Growing up, Darue Bryant had aspirations to somehow be in the music industry, and today, he is working to make such aspirations come true for the youth of Sampson County.
The son of the Rev. Larry Bryant and Dee Bryant, the local businessman graduated from Clinton High School in 1990. Serving in the ministry was something that seemed natural, as it was sort of the family business. Not only does his father serve as a minister, Bryant’s grandfather has been pastoring for more than 60 years.
In 2001, with his wife and children, Bryant followed the ministry to Kinston to be part of his grandfather’s church group, The Bible Church of Christ, out of New York. In the beginning, Bryant served the church as a musician, but was eventually called into the ministry.
“I soon found out that my responsibility was more than being behind the keyboard,” Bryant shared.
The Bryants spent 10 years in Kinston before moving to New York to help out his grandfather, who was in his 80s at the time and beginning to experience health issues.
“We spent three years in New York,” Bryant said. “It was truly an interesting experience, but definitely a culture shock. We really missed this area and the environment.”
Bryant’s parents, along with his wife’s parents, continued to live in Clinton, and the family soon learned it was time to return home — where Bryant felt he could make the biggest difference.
“We came to a moment in our lives when we needed a transition,” he explained as he sat in his studio that overlooks downtown. “We had the opportunity to spend more time with our family, and that is what we wanted to do.”
About three years ago, Bryant, his wife and five children moved back to Clinton, where he quickly began immersing himself into the community.
“I have always felt it was extremely important to give back,” Bryant said.
As a way to give back, Bryant started 1 Kingdom Productions, a video recording and production company.
“When I was young, I had aspirations to record, but my parents couldn’t afford to do it,” Bryant shared. “I wanted to do something for others and open doors for others to come in and explore different opportunities.”
Bryant’s production company isn’t his only avenue of being a part of his hometown. He and his wife own a barber shop in downtown Clinton and he now serves as a member on the Clinton City Council.
“It’s important to me to provide our community with opportunities,” Bryant said. “I want to institute a good reputation through my businesses and service.”
Through the barber shop and recording studio, Bryant stresses the importance of family. Because he knows that his clients very often have to come in with a child tagging along, both the studio and barber shop are family oriented.
“We try to make it an environment that is for kids and family,” Bryant said. “Whatever we can do to promote the gospel of Jesus Christ and get that message out there, we will do it.”
Bryant is working to begin offering the youth in the community an opportunity to come into the recording studio and have some the experiences he missed out on as a child.
“We often get opportunities through open doors, but we have think about what we can do with that opportunity,” Bryant added. “It’s important for me to bless our kids with opportunities.”
With one goal in mind, Bryant says he wants to make a difference in as many lives as possible.
“The Lord allows us to be here for a reason, and it’s our job to figure out what that reason is,” he said.
Bryant and his wife, Darlene, have been married for 22 years. They have five children, three daughters and two sons. Daughter Indyah is a student at Meredith College, daughter Asjah is a student at N.C. State University, and daughter Nyjah is a senior at Clinton High School. Son Judah is a fifth grader at Sunset Avenue School and son Micah is a third grader at Butler Avenue School.
Reach Kristy D. Carter at 910-592-8137, ext. 2588. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd. Like us on Facebook.