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franklin county times

Ministry, school safety mix well for Sam Thompson

By By Kelly Quackenbush/The Meridian Star
April 1, 2001
Being a full-time minister and keeping watch over the safety of students in the Meridian Public Schools presents no conflict for Sam Thompson.
A certified law enforcement officer with national certification in school safety, Thompson is the director of the Safety Center for the Meridian Public School District and the president of the Mississippi Association of School Safety. He is also the minister of the 31st Avenue Baptist Church.
Thompson says he does not bring his ministry or religion into his job, but it all flows together smoothly. "Some parents ask me to counsel their children when they find out I am a minister," Thompson said.
Thompson became a minister at the age of 16 at his first church. He knew he wanted to be a minister at the age of seven. There are 16 ministers in his immediate family. He had a private sector job dealing with safety when he joined the Meridian School District in 1995.
His days can be 16 hours long. After a full day at the safety center, he works nights and on weekends at his church. He said he is equally dedicated to both professions.
The field of discipline and safety is very important to Thompson. He developed the Safety Center of the Meridian School District almost three years ago. Thompson says the objective of the Safety Center is to educate students, teachers, parents and the community about school safety.
Thompson believes dealing in discipline and religion helps him keep in proximity with youth and the community. Recently his church built a youth center that is used by the community as well as the congregation.
Kelly Quackenbush is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail her at kquackenbush@themeridianstar.com.

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