"It's for the children."
Politicians throw around the phrase like confetti in election years, then often forget it once they are elected. But Ted Bullock doesn't need to be elected. He's already got the job.
The Bessemer, Ala., native is the newly named chief executive officer of The Bethlehem Center, succeeding Lurone Jennings, now administrator of the Department of Youth and Family Development for the city of Chattanooga.
Bullock, 58, says he applied for the job to help kids.
"It's the opportunity to champion a cause," he says, "to do something that will make a difference for some of the children in the community."
Bullock, for the last 10 years senior development director at the Downtown Rescue Mission in Huntsville, Ala., was approved by the center's board last week and will assume his new position on Oct. 1.
With Boy Scouts of America for 20 years before moving to the rescue mission, he says he "loved trying to have an impact on young people's lives. I wanted to do something at this stage of my career to make a difference, and do it with young people through the Lord."
Bethlehem Center, which traces its lineage to 1920, is a faith-based agency dedicated to transforming lives and revitalizing inner-city communities.
Bullock says one aspect of the job during most of his career has been raising both money and awareness, and that's what he'll do at the Alton Park agency.
"It's something I love to do," he says. "I want to get people excited about young people and those that need help. I think my best quality is getting people excited over what's going on at the Bethlehem Center."
While with the Scouts, Bullock worked in the Alabama cities of Anniston, Birmingham, Huntsville and Montgomery, helping conduct camps and starting Scout packs and troops.
"I got to see kids in action," he says. "I got to see so many wonderful things come out of working with children -- seeing their confidence [and]
leadership skills grow. That's what drew me to The Beth. I want these young people to have the best and have an opportunity [in life]."
Bullock says he doesn't plan to sweep in and make immediate changes at the United Methodist Church-related agency. The Bethlehem Center staff does "a tremendous job," he says. "I just want to encourage, help, do what I can to help [staff members] to continue doing what they're doing. I just want to come in and be part of the team."
Contact staff writer Clint Cooper at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6497.