Newly ordained assistant pastor and educator Micah Poole is ready to make a difference in the lives of his young scholars.
BY DEXTER MCCREE, Feature Writer
ST. PETERSBURG — Micah Poole is as comfortable in the classroom as he is in the pulpit. He is all in for the challenge and the people he serves. Poole is committed to the calling of impacting children and transforming lives. He has lived the experience and willingly shares his journey.
In 2014, Poole had a call and response conversation with God, and like Jesus, found himself with no place to lay his head, reflecting on his future calling. He doesn’t lay claim as a savior of the world, but every young life he touches makes a difference.
Poole is an assistant pastor and a third-grade educator at Woodlawn Elementary, the school he attended as a youngster that gave him the motivation to teach.
“I was the elementary student that was told that I may or may not have ADHD. I could not read until fourth grade. I was told I was not able to take foreign language classes because my test scores were so low. And I would get in trouble in class because I could not do the work, nor was the work that was given interesting,” said Poole.
Poole said he’s motivated to continue teaching because, with his experience and education, he can close the achievement gap with struggling students.
His teaching journey started in 2019 as a P.E. coach for Saint Sports Plus, a faith-based organization specializing in physical education. He fell in love with teaching because of the impact and transformation in the students. Last year, he began teaching at Woodlawn Elementary.
Back in 2014, Poole was homeless and separated from his family. He would sleep either in his car or at his sister’s house while working two, sometimes three jobs.
“My life at that moment had been ruined by pride and self-centeredness. In that moment of my life, I prayed to God over and over and God continued to give me the same answer. He told me that I would be a voice for him and that I need to answer the call,” explained Poole.
While homeless, he told God that he would answer the call to be the voice his generation needed.
Since then, he has had an opportunity to speak at several churches, schools, college campuses, and most notably, the Atlanta Falcons Professional Football team. Poole published his first book entitled “ALL IN VOL ” through trial and error. 1.”
Poole officially began his ministry in 2015 at New Philadelphia Ministries with Pastor Jon Matthews, who coincidentally was his Lakewood Jr. Spartans football coach. Matthews said that Poole was one of the best players he’d ever coached.
“I was encouraged by Pastor Matthews’ teachings so much that I began to serve faithfully at the church for more than six years,” stated Poole. “In serving, I have had the opportunity to be ordained as a minister, youth pastor, and now assistant pastor.”
Poole serves with two non-profit organizations to help teach the gospel to the youth. Urban Youth Justice Program spreads the Word to young folks in juvenile detention centers across the nation, and Huddle Touch brings the gospel to student-athletes worldwide. He recently began working with the Legacy Center, ministering to its teens in a program called The Real.
When being ordained as an assistant pastor on Dec. 12, Poole said the only thing that continued running through his mind was that he was finally ready. When the subject was broached in 2016, he knew he wasn’t there yet.
“I was not ready, I thought at the time. But now, through discipleship, mentorship, and leading by example, I am confident enough to say that I am ready to serve as an assistant pastor.”
His challenges in the classroom are not as difficult as some schools, but they are trying. There are so many expectations placed on teachers that he finds himself spending bringing his work home. Fortunately, his colleagues give him insight and will help whenever it’s needed.
For Poole, ministry plays a significant role in his teaching capabilities and how he leads his classroom.
“I understand that I am a light on campus and a difference-maker in the young scholars. Therefore, I teach with the heart to support scholars with their education, but I also challenge their character. Good grades and bad behavior don’t mix well in school, which is what I inform my students of every day.
“I am all in to give hope to my students and people who simply need to believe that a power greater than them is working for them,” he exclaimed.
Poole married his middle school sweetheart, Ashley, and together they have four beautiful children: David, Elias Azaria, and Trinity.