A Proven Leader
Rudolph Ferguson, Sr., 51, is the Executive Director of the DREAMS Center powered by the Frontline Project, Inc. and Senior Pastor of New Birth Tabernacle of Praise, Tallahassee.
Pastor Ferguson was born on August 2, 1971 in Miami, Florida. After learning the harsh street life of Liberty City, his family relocated to Tallahassee in 1984. As a teen, Ferguson grew up in the Griffin Heights neighborhood where he attended Griffin Middle and Amos P. Godby High.
It did not take Ferguson long to find his way through Tallahassee as he connected with the Basin Street and Holton Street boys. While he was well acquainted with drugs, Ferguson never participated in the sell or distribution of it. Nevertheless, he was heavily involved in shoplifting, acts of aggression and violence. Because of his behavior, Ferguson dropped out of high school in his senior year due to the frequency of suspensions and mounting absences.
After dropping out of high school, Ferguson did little to nothing to advance his life by making more poor choices and decisions. As months moved on, Ferguson remember looking at his little brother and thought to himself that he was a very poor example of what a big brother should be. So, after that revelation, Ferguson decided to make the necessary changes in his life by obtaining his high school diploma from the Adult Education Center and becoming involved in his local church, where he is the senior pastor.
Ferguson joined the Tallahassee Urban League’s Operation B.E.A.T.S. Program in the summer of 1988. Ferguson's leadership skills at the age of 17, he was hired as a peer counselor with the Tallahassee Urban League. As years progressed along with his experience, Ferguson became a strong positive voice in the communities he served. Ferguson’s work captured the attention of the late Governor Lawton Chiles, appointing him to the Florida Martin Luther King, Jr., Institute for Nonviolence board of directors as the state’s sole youth representative as well as the Vice Chairman. As a result of this appointment, Ferguson traveled the country speaking on nonviolence including the Season of Nonviolence conference at the United Nations in New York. The following year, Ferguson received the “Citizen of the Year” award presented by former Florida Attorney General Robert Butterworth.
Beyond the pulpit, Pastor Ferguson serves as the chairman of the Frontline Pastors Action Council; member and former chairman of the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice Faith Leaders Network; a member of the Community Leadership Council on Gun Violence; a member of the Tallahassee Human Relations Council; member of the Leon County Sheriff’s Citizens Advisory Council; and recently appointed chairman of the Tallahassee Police Department’s Citizen Advisory Council.
Throughout the 25 years, Ferguson has received several local and statewide recognitions for community service such as the 2015 Church of the Year presented by Live Communications, Inc.; and top 5 finalist for the 2016 Person of the Year award presented by the Tallahassee Democrat. Later in 2016, Ferguson was recognized with the African American Icon Award presented by WTXL ABC 27. In 2017, he received the Community Service Award presented by the Significance Youth Conference; 2018 Juneteenth Freedom Award presented by the Della Walker Chapter #86; . And recently, Ferguson received the Trailblazer Award presented by J.R.E. Lee, Sr., Chapter 422 as well as the 2019 Edition of “Men Who Support Women” Award presented by the Leon County Democratic Women’s Club.
Ferguson has been married to Katrina for 28 years. Together, they have four adult children, Rachel 30, Rudy Jr. 28, Darrington 26, and Jacobe 21 along with four gorgeous grandchildren. Ferguson credits his strong family ties and support for his achievements.