Rev. Brandon J. Cheeks Sr. was born in Memphis, Tennessee. Rev. Cheeks accepted Christ at the age of 12 at Temple of Deliverance COGIC under the late Bishop G.E. Patterson. He began preaching and licensed at the age of 23, at St. John’s Missionary Baptist Church under his mentor and Pastor Allen D. Smith. He was ordained in 2016 and faithfully serves as the Youth Pastor at St. John's MBC. He is also the Co-Youth Director for the Missionary Baptist Convention of Kansas. He is also the Kansas Regional Chairperson for the Western Region Youth Conference. In between fulfilling his calling into the ministry, Rev. Cheeks received a degree in History at Kansas Wesleyan University in Salina, Kansas and is currently a 7th grade Social Studies teacher at Lakewood Middle School in Salina. In 2017 he received his Masters from Kansas State University in Educational Leadership. In addition, he is over the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, the Head Basketball, Cross Country, and Track coach at Lakewood. He served on various committees and board in Salina. Rev. Brandon J. Cheeks Sr. is happily married to his lovely wife Mrs. Ralita Cheeks. They are the proud parents of two sons and five daughters: the late Brandon Cheeks Jr., Tamia, Jalen, Bralynn, Reagan, Rhythm, and Bree.
The Men of Excellence Program recognizes men from across the state in the following areas: Excellence in Education: This award recognizes individuals who excel in education as either an administrator or instructor. Levels of education include pre-K through college.Honoree Brandon Cheeks (Non-profit - St. John Missionary Baptist Youth Group)The Men of Excellence Program also gives these men, the community and The Community Voice and opportunity to financially support non-profit organizations of significance to each of the honorees.
For as long as he can remember, Brandon Cheeks has understood the importance of mentoring youth. A 2005 graduate of Kansas Wesleyan University with a bachelor’s degree in education and a minor in history, Cheeks, 33, pursued his passion for educating youth in the classroom while participating in basketball and cross country. “I’ve always been aware of the impact, positive and negative, that an adult could have on a child’s life,” Cheeks said. “I wanted to make sure that I could be that positive model for them. It’s important helping them believe in themselves.” While pursuing his education degree, Cheeks was a student-teacher at Lakewood Middle School, where he currently teaches seventh-grade social studies and coaches track, cross country and basketball. “That experience really gave me insight on what is needed to be able to connect with children,” he said. “Each student is different and needs a different type of attention or assistance to get to where they need to be in life.” The Memphis, Tenn., native said he takes the same approach toward his six children — Tamia, Jalen, Bralynn, Reagan,Rhythm, and Bree. It runs in the family. A desire to work with youth runs in the family. Cheeks’ wife, Ralita, is a counselor at Salina Central High School. “It’s bigger than just telling a child that they can do something; you have to show and support them in everything they’re passionate about,” Cheeks said. “You must lead through your daily life. You have to be there to listen to them and give them an outlet to express themselves and be themselves.” Cheeks said he has attended his former students’ high school and college graduations, visited students in hospitals and “will continue to do these things, because that’s how you show support.” “I even get some that come back and tell me how much they wished they would have listened to some of the things I would tell them,” he said. Educating students in the classroom and through sports at Lakewood isn’t enough for Cheeks. He also is the youth pastor at St. John’s Missionary Baptist Church, a position he has held the past five years. “I love interacting with the youth and mentoring young men and ladies,” Cheeks said. “Giving them encouraging words regardless of the path they take, is essential.” “Catching them at that early age is even more important,” Cheeks said. “There’s no one-way path to success. It won’t be easy. They have to know these things.” More than the classroom, in effort to become a better leader, Cheeks is in the process of attaining his master’s degree in educational leadership from Kansas State University. “I have to be the best that I can at leading children,” he said. “I also love to learn because education is a key that unlocks so many doors. I try to teach that to the youth. “It’s not just about the classwork. Educating yourself in whatever your passion is and learning about yourself and what makes you happy is education.”— Reporter Eric Wiley can be reached at 822-1407 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.