Howard Daniel received a Division I athletic scholarship for football from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. After college Howard become a Sunday School Teacher and minister. Eventually, he moved to East Hartford, Connecticut to work at Pratt and Whitney. Howard is now a father of five and author of two books with a third in its final stages of production. Pastor Daniel has done a lot in his life to help our youth. He is a former coach of high school football, track, jayvee basketball, as well as a high school/collegian basketball referee. Howard’s former jobs include; TV Producer of Youth Program in Ohio entitled “Kids About Kids” a substitute schoolteacher, and a juvenile probation officer. Howard served as a youth pastor for the last 14 years before becoming a fulltime pastor.
- Howard, did you always know that you wanted to serve others and help today’s youth?
As far back in my life as I can remember I have always been one who enjoyed helping others. I come from a lineage of those who helped others. From my grandmother making quilts for people to my mother relentless support of homeless and less fortunate to my father being a Civil Rights leader (N.A.A.C.P. OHIO State President for 14 years.) As the oldest of eight children I learned to love and work with youth at a young age.
- Can you walk us through how you first got started in your career path?
I actually graduate from college with the intentions of returning to California and becoming a TV or Movie producer. I allowed hesitation and an exciting opportunity to work for a cable advertising company. The pay wasn’t great but allowed me to work with children and coach high school sports. It was until I actually left the Juvenile Probation position for a Leadership Development program with Stolle Corporation (Subsidiary of ALCOA). After 8 years with Stolle Corporation, I was actually recruited by Pratt & Whitney. They made an offer I decided I could not refuse and moved with my wife and son to Connecticut. After a number of job advancement, I found my niche in the Continuous Improvement group known as the UTC ACE (Achieving Competitive Excellence) Operating system. I have completed the highest level of competency known as ACE Master and have traveled the world for both Pratt & Whitney and now Sikorsky to work to make our company number 1 in the world.
- How did you handle the bumps in the road? Were there any moments when you wondered if all your hard work was worth it?
Prior to accepting Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior I handle bumps in the road with fear, anxiety and worry. After accepting the saving grace of Jesus Christ in 1992 I viewed bumps in the road as an opportunity for God to do two things. One, was for him to prove he was real and truly with me. Secondly, to enable me to grow in my faith. I simply handle bumps now with prayer and faith. This has cause me to have much less stress. It has also made me a stronger man of faith. There have been many of times I wondered if the hard work was worth it. The most significant was in 1999 and 2000 when my wife and I went through a very painful separation which eventually ended in divorce. However, prayer and faith held me together until I was reunited with the same women and my two children at the time. We now co-pastor the Upper Room Christian Center and are the best of friends as husband and wife.
- I’m wondering if you can help us understand what you attribute your success to.
There are so many things I could name here. They all would be correct. Most importantly is the Lord. All my credit for any success that I have and will experience in the future is totally attributed to him. There my Grandmother Arnett White who taught me about loving people, my mother Almeda Warren who taught me about the Lord Jesus Christ, my father who taught me to stand for my rights and help others, my High School Football and Track Coaches Dave Gates and Dwane Elsner who wouldn’t let be give up nor quit. Most success stories has a number of silent unsung heroes behind them. Success is not a solo occurrence but one achieves it because of the supporting cast they are surrounded by. Such is the case with me. The same was true and remains true as I now pastor the Upper Room Christian Center. It is the cast of member of this great church that afford me any success I experience now and will have as we continue to grow.
- What do teens need today more than anything else?
Knowledge of and faith in the Lord Jesus is my immediate response. That is their spiritual need. They also need to experience true love like I did from my grandparents, parents, siblings and extended family. They need more time with positive influences. They need to have personal discipline and be much stronger than the peer pressures they face daily. They need solid and productive role models. They need LOVE.
- What would you tell a teen who was struggling?
I would tell them they CAN MAKE IT! I would tell them have faith in God and in the abilities God has given them. I would let them know and show them how many other has gone through some of the same struggles and have made it. I look at my on life as a teen and all of the things I have been blessed to survive. I would tell them my stories and help them see we all have life’s challenges and struggles. However, they make us stronger, better and who we become.
- Howard, what else do you want to tell us about what you do and what you want to eventually be doing?
I currently work for Sikorsky AirCraft as well as a full time pastor. This is for me the best of both natural and spiritual worlds. However, I seek to one day be completely sold out to being a full time pastor and doing all I can to help those less fortunate. I would love to for the church has a single’s mom shelter as well as a community home for those making their way back into society from incarceration. I really just want to help people discover a personal relationship with their maker and win 1 million souls for the Kingdom of God.
- Can you please share with all of us something else that I should have asked you?
I love my country but I believe we have strayed extremely far from what our patriarchs intended for us to be. I see our country as a great place to live but if we continue down the path we are heading it will no longer be. We have become so politically infused (confused may be better said) we have lost our spiritual backbone. The Country who claimed, “In God we trust” is now being question, “Can God trust her?” I prayed in school and at sporting events. I said the plead allegiance as well as learned our countries national anthem. All of this was accomplished in elementary school. If we held these same values, maybe our teens and children would feel more of a sense of pride in the country in which they live. Maybe, the last thing ISIS would be able to do is to recruit a child from the Great United States of America. Our children have been trained (by taking such disciplines away) to challenge their parents, law enforcement, teachers and anyone else who doesn’t agree with them. Things I would have never thought of doing. We have removed God from the core of our country. The same God we say we trust in. If we don’t wake up as a nation our future is not so great. Anyone who remains asleep is declared to be comatose. I don’t want us to be a comatose nation. My prayer is that we wake up and awaken now.
- How can people get in touch with you if they have additional questions?
They can reach me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact my admin at 860-268-4447. They may also come visit me at church located at 656 Silver Lane in East Hartford, CT.
Thanks for your time Howard and keep up the good work! Our youth needs more people like you!
Author and Speaker of the Granddaddy’s Secrets teen leadership book series.
* PURCHASE “THE STORM” http://tinyurl.com/glxzjaf