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Rudy's journey is a testament to the transformative power of resilience and a strong sense of purpose. When he moved to Tallahassee at the age of 13, the harsh realities of crime, drugs, violence, and gangs were all too familiar. As he struggled to find his way in the challenging environment of Griffin Heights, one of the city's highest-crime and lowest-income neighborhoods, Rudy faced his own share of setbacks.

However, a pivotal moment in the summer of 1988 ignited a change within him. Rudy realized the need to become a positive role model, especially for his younger brother. He took a life-changing step by joining the Tallahassee Urban League's youth mentoring program, quickly rising to the position of peer counselor. Even before he could cast his first vote, the late Governor Lawton Chiles appointed Rudy to the Florida Board of Directors for the newly established Martin Luther King Jr. Institute for Nonviolence.

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“A good leader takes people where they want to go. A great leader leads people where they need to be.”

Rudy Ferguson

Rudy's journey from a challenging upbringing to a dedicated advocate for youth and nonviolence is an inspiring one. Over the past 35 years, he has devoted his life to making a positive impact, not just for himself but for his family and countless young individuals in Tallahassee and beyond. His extensive list of achievements includes receiving the Citizen of the Year Award from then-Attorney General Bob Butterworth and addressing the United Nations.

He currently serves as the chairman of the Frontline Pastors Action Council, a member and former chairman, as well as a current member, of the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice Faith Leaders Network. He is also a member of the Council on the Status of Men and Boys, the Community Leadership Council on Gun Violence, the Tallahassee Human Relations Council, and the Leon County Sheriff's Citizens Advisory Council. In the past, he served as chairman of the Tallahassee Police Department's Citizen Advisory Council.


Over the course of nearly three decades, Rudy has received numerous accolades and recognitions for his exceptional community service. These include the 2015 Church of the Year award presented by Live Communications, Inc., and his recognition as a top 5 finalist for the 2016 Person of the Year award, as presented by the Tallahassee Democrat. In the same year, he was honored with the African American Icon Award from WTXL ABC 27. In 2017, he received the Community Service Award from the Significance Youth Conference, the 2018 Juneteenth Freedom Award from the Della Walker Chapter #86, and the Trailblazer Award from J.R.E. Lee, Sr., Chapter 422. In 2019, he was the recipient of the "Men Who Support Women" Award presented by the Leon County Democratic Women's Club.

Today, at the age of 51, Rudy is recognized nationally as a leader in nonviolence and youth advocacy. He is known for his commitment to our community, forging connections with those who possess the power to bring about positive change, whether at the city level or within the state government.

Despite the accolades and recognition he has received on a state and national scale, Rudy's heart remains deeply rooted in his Griffin Heights community, his church, and the city of Tallahassee. He cherishes his family and congregation as two of his most treasured gifts. As the Senior Pastor of the New Birth Tabernacle of Praise in Griffin Heights, Rudy continues to be a beacon of hope and an advocate for positive change. 


Rudy has been happily married to Katrina for 31 years, and together they have four adult children, Rachel (34), Rudy Jr. (30), Darrington (28), and Jacobe (24), as well as five cherished grandchildren. He attributes his remarkable achievements to the unwavering support and strong family ties that have been a guiding force throughout his journey.

Dating back to the 1990s, news articles traces Rudy's enduring journey and commitment to our community and effective leadership: 

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