Jonas with the Bonus. . .
Inspiring and Teaching Others
Dr. Jonas Gadson, DTM
story by Cindy Reid
photos by Paul Nurnberg
Bonus from Jonas: “There are three kinds of people. Those that make things happen. Those that watch things happen. And those that wonder what happened!” Dr. Jonas Gadson is most definitely a man who makes things happen as a minister, motivational speaker and author. Born at Beaufort Memorial Hospital and raised on St. Helena Island, he is truly a native son.
Dr. Gadson spent twenty six years at Eastman Kodak in Rochester, New York before returning to Beaufort in 2005. He was inducted into the Beaufort High School Alumni Hall of Fame for “Distinguishing Himself in Profession, Leadership and Service.” He is a two time nominee of the prestigious Chamber of Commerce Civitas award. In addition, he hosted and sponsored a radio internet program: “The Bible Is Right!” airing every Friday for 30 minutes for over three years reaching listeners locally and across the country.
As Minister at the Beaufort Church of Christ “Where All the Doors Swing Loose on Welcome Hinges to You and to Yours,” Dr. Gadson brings the message of faith, and as a motivational speaker, he brings the message of hope. Dr. Gadson‘s warm and engaging manner draws listeners in and the wisdom he gained through years of corporate experience keeps them in their seats. He is known as “Mr. Enthusiastic!” And Dr. Gadson has an uncanny knack for coming up with short witty phrases such as this one: Bonus from Jonas: “This is not the time to whine, but it is the time to shine!”
South to North
Dr. Gadson started life on St. Helena Island, SC where he attended St Helena Elementary and High School “Eagles,” almost to graduation. He says, “In my senior year, we were bused from St. Helena Island and those from Robert Smalls High School; we both were bused into town to integrate Beaufort High School. I graduated from Beaufort High School in 1971, when I was only seventeen. He made the leap from the Lowcountry to the north country because “I had a sister in Rochester, New York so I went up there and if I could find a job I would stay, if I didn’t get hired I would have come back to Beaufort to go to school to take up a trade.” As fate would have it, “I got into the training program at Xerox Corporation and was subsequently hired, and so I worked for them for three and a half years.” Then Dr. Gadson was hired by Eastman Kodak and spent the next twenty six and a half years there. When Eastman Kodak initiated mandatory training for the whole company he says, “I was ready and honored to be the one chosen from my whole division to become a trainer. I was so successful they sent me to the other divisions to present and this launched a whole new career for me.”
Dr. Gadson says, “I spent thirty years in corporate America and as a corporate trainer for Eastman Kodak. I trained over eight thousand people from sixty nine countries and I earned the “Trainer of the Year” Award from the company. And I loved what I did, but I took an early retirement to return home to Beaufort to take care of my 81 year old, elderly mother. People commented, “You are leaving a great job in Corporate America.” But I thought, “I can get another job but I have only one mother. And here’s another bonus and you only get this Bonus from Jonas: “My mother never put me in the young folk’s home, so I wasn’t going to put her in the old folk’s home.” “Returning to Beaufort in 2005, Dr. Gadson devoted himself to caring for his Marvelous Mother, Mrs. Eliza Mary Gadson, for three and a half years until she passed. While back in Beaufort, he pursued a path in the ministry and as a motivational speaker and author.
Message of Healing
Dr. Gadson says, “I look at everything in a positive way, including this story from my childhood. When I was a little boy of four years old I was very ill; I had an enormous tumor in my stomach which made it protrude out as if I was nine months pregnant. Ultimately I was sent to a hospital in Charleston, SC. The doctors told my mother that I had to have an operation and that I would die. Eight other babies had the same operation that I had, and all eight of the babies died. They told my mother that I was going to die too. That I would be number nine! They operated on me not expecting me to live. After they took out the tumor, I contracted a massive infection. They went back into my right side to clean up the infection after the first surgery. The infection had spread to my kidney on my right side, so they took the right kidney out. They didn’t tell my mother and they didn’t tell me. Fifty years later I was told by my doctors that I had only one kidney, and that one kidney was operating at only 5-11%. “When I am speaking I share this story and add one of my bonuses, Bonus from Jonas: “The doctors gave me a diagnosis that I would die, but God gave the final prognosis, that I would live.” And fifty years later I am on dialysis and pursuing a kidney transplant. I have gone public with this very personal story so I can transform lives by giving people a lift. Bonus from Jonas: “Don’t let anyone bury you until after you are dead. You are bigger than that. You are better than that and the best is still in you. Allow that Best to Bud, to Bloom and to Blossom into a bright and beautiful future.”” He laughs and says, “Everything on me still works, including me.”
Beaufort Church of Christ
Dr. Jonas Gadson, DTM is Minister of the Beaufort Church of Christ and says, Welcome to the Beaufort Church of Christ, “Where All the Doors Swing Loose On Welcome Hinges To You And To Yours!” Another Bonus from Jonas: “The Church that Is Biblically Alive Is Worth The Drive.’
Dr. Gadson says, “The Beaufort Church of Christ is a mission work starting from Beaufort, to teach and preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ across the United States and in other parts of the world! The scripture says, “Don’t despise small beginnings.” Since he planted this mission work in Beaufort, SC, he has preached in Maryland, California, Philadelphia, Washington, DC, Delaware, Louisiana, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida. Although he has been teaching and preaching the Word of God for forty five years across the country, he always worked a full time job and has never been on a church payroll.
Motivation to Motivate
“I started off my motivational speaking by preaching and teaching in a church in Rochester, NY after I had become a Christian at nineteen and that transformed my life. ” says Dr. Gadson, “And then schools, colleges, and conferences all took me into corporate America where I became a trainer and was able to partake of all kinds of educational opportunities.”
Dr. Gadson also completed the Dale Carnegie training course and is a member of the National Speakers Association (NSA). He is a DTM, Distinguished Toastmaster, the highest level of achievement in this 300,000 member worldwide organization that teaches speaking, listening and leadership. He is an accomplished orator and helped to establish the Beaufort Toastmasters Club in Beaufort, SC. He gave his signature speech with the same title as his book: “How To Fly Like An Eagle With Wings Like A Wimp!” in St. Louis, Missouri to 500 people from around the world and earned a standing ovation. His speech stayed on the Best Seller list for three consecutive years. One of his quotes was on the Toastmasters website, “If you cheat yourself in your preparation, it will show up in your presentation.” He also has a doctorate in Theology and is a graduate of the Beaufort Chamber of Commerce Leadership Class.” Dr. Gadson says, “I wrote my book so I could teach people how to take a chance, take charge and take control their lives.”
The Three Ways
Dr. Gadson shares his philosophy of “The Three Ways: Educational, Inspirational and Motivational.”
Education is first he says, “Because the Latin word for educate is “to lead and draw out,” the best that is in you. And remember in a world of seven billion people, there is no one just like you. Psalm 139 Verse 14 says, “You are fearfully and wonderfully made by God…” No one else can duplicate your fingerprints, your handwriting or your child. God made you an original. Don’t you dare die a cheap copy.”
Inspiration comes next because “If there has ever been a time for inspiration, that time is now. I encourage people to develop themselves within and they’ll never do without.” Bonus from Jonas: “Live full and die empty. You must work harder on yourself than you do on your job. “
Motivation is the final way because “If a person is headed in the wrong direction, they don’t need motivation. They need education first; Turn Around. They are headed in the wrong direction. Once they get the education, then they can be inspired and then motivated to get up, get going and live their dreams, goals and aspirations.”
“God Is Great All The Time And All The Time God Is Great!”
Dr. Gadson has one “Dynamic Daughter and her name is Ms. Chantieria Joanetta Gadson.” He says about her, “She is my shereo and I love her very much!”
When he needs a quiet place to gather his thoughts, Dr. Gadson returns to the same spots of Beaufort beauty. A true St. Helena Islander, he says, “I like driving down route 21, straight to Fripp Island and walk out on the pier down there. You feel you are right in the Atlantic Ocean. The fresh air clears your mind. I also love the scenery by the bridge in beautiful Beaufort at the waterfront park. The fresh air, the quietness, the scenery. It is God’s country and it doesn’t get any better than that.”
For further information:
Beaufort Church of Christ 170 Robert Smalls Parkway Beaufort, South Carolina 29906
(843) 524-4281 * (585) 703-9547 firstname.lastname@example.org www. BeaufortCoC. com