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Henry native's quote featured on Starbucks cup
By Jason A. Smith, jsmith@henryherald.com
Henry Daily Herald
November 03, 2008

A local success story says he is looking forward to coming home to McDonough to share his good fortune with his home church over a coffee cup.

Shiloh Baptist Church, at 262 Macon St., will host author and professor, Renford Reese, Nov. 30, during the 8 a.m., and 11 a.m., services.

Reese was raised in McDonough, and attended the church until he began attending the University of Southern California. He now has a Ph.D., in Public Policy, and has written a total of four books.

It was Reese's latest work, "American Bravado," which led to his most recent accolade. A quote from the book is now featured on cup No. 294 for Starbucks. Reese will autograph copies of the cup at the event.

The words which garnered the distinction for the McDonough native, read: "Insensitivity makes arrogance ugly; empathy is what makes humility beautiful."

He came up with the quote while "contemplating America's place in the world," and what he sees as a "misuse of power" by political leaders in the country in recent years.

"Arrogance is not the answer to our foreign-policy woes," explains Reese. "Humility is. I don't think you can win respect with bombs, artillery and hard power. We must use our soft power, our democracy and our rights which have made us the envy of the world."

Lisa King is the communications ministry chairperson for Shiloh Baptist. She says the congregation is proud of Reese's accomplishment, and his desire to share it with people in Henry. "It's an honorable thing to want to give back to the community where you're from," says King. "His heart is still in this area, and that's evident in his frequent local appearances, where he addresses congregations here, and others in the area."

Reese says his impending visit to McDonough represents a reflection of the sentiments he coined on the cup. "I've visited 51 countries, and nearly every major city in the world," he says. "I've lectured in many of them. But home will always be home. I will never be bigger than the people who raised me."

The cost for an autographed cup is $2. Proceeds from the event will go toward the Shiloh Baptist scholarship fund.