In the early ‘80s, a 12-year-old Chris Brent was intrigued with the NAACP’s involvement in his hometown, Covington.
He was also a fan of election commissioner Joe Sneed who was the only black board member during that time.
Brent began dreaming of being involved in the two areas, so he began to pray and asked the Lord to fulfill his wishes.
“One day, I would like to be a part of this. I would like to see where it would lead me.” He said during that age.
Years went by and he found himself in college at Tennessee State University and enjoyed his time out of Covington, which led to an idea of not returning, but God had other ideas.
Brent, 53, said that not returning home were “his intentions, but not God’s intention.”
Upon graduating with a degree in chemistry, he found himself back in Tipton County and cried out to God, asking why he is back home.
God’s response to him was “in due time.”
Brent was still clueless on what He meant, but in 2014 is when he understood why he had to return because God made sure his childhood dreams came true as he not only became a member of NAACP, but was deemed the president over the Tipton County branch that was revived after a six-year hiatus. It was his job to strengthen the roots, and make the name known again.
“I was given a task to rebuild a brand that was already established.”
God continued to bless Brent with a spot on the election commission board three years later. He joins Sneed and Marie Cannon as the only black members in the county’s history.
“Not realizing that I asked for this in the early part of the eighties, not realizing that in 2014 and 2017, those asking became true.” Brent stated.
To get into his present position, he had to work for it.
“I visualized it for myself, but did it come true? That’s another thing. You have to put the work in somewhere.”
Brent has always had a heart for people, but knew that it has to be a major focal point adjusted to the highest, and elevates his success through others. He asks himself this question, “how I can help a man or woman become better than me?”
As president, he has to be an advocate for more than the black community, but any human. It can be misguided that the NAACP is geared towards African Americans, but the organization was created to help the entire population.
“We defend and fight for your right, regardless of what color. That color means all of us because all of us have been treated wrong at one point.” He added.
“A lot of people think that the NAACP is an organization about starting confusion, but it’s not. We are here to resolve issues.”
Being on the commission board shares the same objective as the NAACP: he advocates the local area and push fairness into the voting sector.
“Regardless of whatever party we are affiliate with, when we go in, we’re commissioners. Our job is to make sure Tipton County has a fair election. I push party out the way, and it’s all about the people.”
Trials he tries to avoid is getting “emotionally attached” to families that comes to him about issues. He cares for the people, but also puts up a professional wall when business is handled.
“I try to do the job, (and) walk away. because if you get an emotional attach- too attached to them- it’s hard to give a fair and sound judgement.”
Even in serving on a higher power, Brent works for The Leader and distributes papers on Thursday to better his relationship with the people of Tipton County.
“It gives me a chance to get back out and see the community where the needs are. It keeps you grounded.”