Mercy Street Welcomes New Executive Director Back to West Dallas
We are ecstatic to announce that Carlton Oby, originated from West Dallas and well-versed in mentorship and community transformation, has been appointed Executive Director of Mercy Street. He will officially step into the role in August 2019.
After a period of careful recruitment and selection by the Mercy Street Board, Carlton emerged as the unmistakable candidate. In this role, Carlton will cast vision for the future of Mercy Street and mobilize the staff to carry out the vision, programming, and day-to-day operations. He will uphold mutual transformation and community restoration as core values and build upon his strong experience with youth discipleship.
Carlton hails from The Mentoring Alliance (which serves East Texas youth and families) as Vice President of Ministries. Before The Mentoring Alliance, Carlton served as High School Mentor Coordinator, Director of Leadership Institute, and the Associate Executive Director at Mercy Street from 2006 - 2014. Mercy Street founder, Trey Hill, says:
“When I started Mercy Street, the dream was to have someone from West Dallas be equipped to run the ministry. So Carlton returning to Mercy Street to lead the organization is the embodiment of what we hope to see with the kids we work with - that they too would return to the community to make a positive difference and be role models for others.
Carlton understands the ministry from the inside out, is an experienced leader, a charismatic presence, and a great role model as a husband and father.”
Q&A: Carlton Oby
Can you tell us briefly about you, your family, and what led you back to West Dallas?
I love Jesus, my family, inner-city ministry, and the Dallas Cowboys! I grew up in West Dallas and attended C.F. Carr Elementary, Sequoyah Learning Center, Thomas Edison Learning Center, and Lincoln High School. My wife, Denita, and I have been married for fifteen years. Together we have six children: LJ (14), Coleman (11), Ayla (9), Grayson (7), Najla (5) and Ezra (3).
As I read God's Word, I feel an urge to live for God's glory by using the platform that God has given me. I am compelled to speak up for the poor and the fatherless. I also desire to be a catalyst for reconciliation between both God and man, and man and his fellow brother.
My family has deep West Dallas roots. Our family has been in West Dallas for four generations, extending almost sixty years. My grandmother moved to West Dallas in 1960. My father was in the first class to graduate from L.G. Pinkston in 1967. I grew up in West Dallas and lived here until 10th grade. Four of my children were born in West Dallas.
Please share about your early experience with Mercy Street.
I was introduced to Mercy Street as a guest speaker during my time at Dallas Theological Seminary and was excited there was a ministry in West Dallas working with kids and their families. I eventually joined the staff as High School Mentor Coordinator and was assigned to Pinkston High School. When I began my first year at Mercy Street in 2006, a large portion of the community did not have a high school diploma, the average home was worth $40,000, and there was a high pregnancy and dropout rate.
As we mentored students, they began to graduate from high school. Our first class had roughly 73% of the students graduate, the second class had 82%, the third class had 91%, and the last class that I worked with had a 100% graduation rate.
What is your vision for the young people of our community and for the future of Mercy Street?
My dream for young people in the community is for them to reach their full God-given potential. I dream of being on a team of people, organizations, and local churches that raise up a new generation of leaders from West Dallas. Ultimately, I would love for a West Dallas young man or woman to take my place one day.
Because of the contributions of The Crystal Charity Ball and all those who support it, we will also expand our ministry efforts into the South Dallas community where we will learn from and partner with current South Dallas churches, ministries, and organizations to mentor young people and create indigenous leadership development.
My ultimate dream for the community is to create a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, multi-generational movement of God's people that will walk, work, witness, and worship together for the glory of God and the good of the city of Dallas and beyond.