Ron Hicks was on his way to California in 1983 following his exit from the military in Petersburg, Virginia, when he says he “landed in Texas and decided to stay.” Previously stationed for a brief time at Fort Hood, Ron says it was then when he “found out how pretty Texas is,” and that, plus the burgeoning job market here at the dawn of the age of computers, prompted his stopover in the DFW area to check out the possibilities.
The rest, as they say, is history. This week we are excited to announce that Ron is joining our staff full time to direct and take our safety and security program to a new level with his specialized training in building teams and security processes. In addition to this extensive base of knowledge and experience, we celebrate Ron’s friendly, welcoming, and smiling face that greets us at the West Door each day, serves at the Mission, and generally makes all of us feel safe and welcome with his gentle demeanor and sweet-but-serious disposition.
Ron grew up in North Carolina, and then finished high school and spent a lot of time in Brooklyn, New York. After high school he enlisted in the U.S. Army where he served for six years, then in the Air Force reserve for three more years. In addition to his military training and peace officer licensing in 1985, Ron is also a graduate of Dallas Baptist University with a bachelor’s degree in Business Marketing.
After his return to civilian life, Ron did police work with DFW Airport Police, and then took a job at Bell Helicopter where he worked his way up from manufacturing to Security Captain over a span of 26 years, from 1987 – 2014. “When I was at DFW Airport I applied for a City of Irving Police job and to Bell Helicopter at the same time,” he recalls. “Both called me back with an offer at the same time — and I just knew I needed to choose Bell.”
While at Bell, Ron spent a year and a half in a mentorship program in which he trained in all aspects of the company from administration to production by a company vice president. Following this mentorship he obtained his Six Sigma Green Belt certification. Six Sigma Green Belts are employees of a participating company who spend time on process improvement teams to help analyze and solve quality problems.
In 2014 Ron went to work for the federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) as a protection officer and also began working at FUMCFW as a part-time security officer to assist our former Director of Security, Don Lee. “Don called me to help out here because of my security experience,” Ron says, “and from the very beginning this job has felt like more of an opportunity to help different aspects of the community.”
Ron says that this is a different kind of feeling than he has had with other jobs, and the family atmosphere of our church is what helped him make the decision to come on full time. “Sure, some days are hard, but all days feel like they have worth,” he says, “and it’s a whole lot easier when you love coming to work — it doesn’t seem much like work at all!”
While acknowledging that sometimes he has to “contest people,” Ron says that he always feels like there is more of a helping factor to his role — from dealing with people who are homeless to young families who are coming to the church, some for the very first time.
Sometimes, Ron says, this job already feels like a somewhat unexpected ministry. “One young man came looking for help,” Ron recalls. “He said he hadn’t eaten since Friday and was hungry. He had been to the Mission and the Main Office, and for some reason he ended up there on the sidewalk talking to me.” Ron says they shared stories and scripture, and by the time the man went on his way he told Ron he felt better. “The man said, ‘For some reason talking to you and your patience in listening to what is going on with my situation really helped me.’” Ron pauses, thoughtful. “He didn’t get what he came here looking for that day — which was food — but I think I helped him, so maybe he got what he needed.”
Ron grew up in the Baptist church and now attends Grace Fellowship, a small community church in Grand Prairie, but “It really doesn’t matter to me where I get the Word,” he says with his trademark smile, “Just as long as I get it!” Although Ron says that he never really considered himself in any sort of ministry before, when he told a friend at his previous job he was thinking of taking a job at our church, the friend asked, “How do you feel when you walk in there?”
Ron says that question really made him think. And then, he says, he told his friend, “Being there brings up good feelings around God and people — and there is new food for thought every day.”
Ron pauses. “God offers us opportunities, and you have to realize sometimes when an opportunity comes up who it is that’s really doing the offering,” he says. “It feels good to be here. It’s where I’m supposed to be.”