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Featured Preaching Woman

Dr. Rosalind Osgood: Arrested and Redeemed For His Glory!

Have you ever been at a place where you felt like you've finally hit rock bottom? Has life circumstances dealt you some blows that made you wonder, "For all I've been through is this really worth it?" Whether you feel like that now, or have experienced it in the past, you are not alone. At one point of another, we've all experienced some challenging situations that made us feel as though we were jailed away from the plan and purpose of God. But, be of good courage! God has blessed us with the exclusive opportunity to talk one on one with Dr. Rosalind Osgood from the New Mount Olive Baptist Church of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. As a former welfare mom previously living homeless on the streets of Fort Lauderdale experiencing a life riddled with drugs, incarceration, and embarrassment, Dr. Osgood graciously accepted our invitation to be featured on our site and share with you her rivoting testamony of God's love and redemption. Read all about it inside...

Dr. Rosalind OsgoodDr. Rosalind Osgood: Arrested and Redeemed For His Glory!

Written by Nichelle L. Early, Executive Editor
 
Have you ever been at a place where you felt like you've finally hit rock bottom? Has life circumstances dealt you some blows that made you wonder, "For all I've been through is this really worth it?" Whether you feel like that now, or have experienced it in the past, you are not alone. At one point of another, we've all experienced some challenging situations that made us feel as though we were jailed away from the plan and purpose of God. But, be of good courage! God has blessed us with the exclusive opportunity to talk one on one with Dr. Rosalind Osgood from the New Mount Olive Baptist Church of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.  As a former welfare mom previously living homeless on the streets of Fort Lauderdale experiencing a life riddled with drugs, incarceration, and embarrassment, Dr. Osgood graciously accepted our invitation to be featured on our site and share with you her rivoting testamony of God's love and redemption. She is a true testament of God's ability to lift one from the ground zero of despair to the boundless heights of a life filled with joy, peace, abundance, and an anointed ministry in Christ Jesus. Dr. Osgood wants you to know that you too can be victorious over anything life brings your way!  
With an infectious smile and a great sense of humor, Dr. Osgood is an extraordinary preacher and teacher who is exceptionally qualified to share the good news of Jesus Christ. God has blessed her to earn several degrees to include a Master's of Divinity from New Orleans Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and a Master's and Doctorial Degree in Public Administration from Nova Southeastern University.  Despite the glowing amount of education she has to her credit, Dr. Osgood will be the first to tell you that she knows personally what it means to need and accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
 

About 20 years ago, Dr. Osgood's life was quite different than it is today. She was in a place where she experienced what we would literally call "rock-bottom." Succumbing to the pressures of life during her initial tenure in college, peer pressure from friends, and a deliberate straying away from the Christian teaching of her praying grandmother who raised her, Dr. Osgood fell into a life of addiction to alcohol, marijuana and other drugs. But, through great faith in God and the help of numerous men and women, God snatched her from the depths of "rock-bottom" and changed her life in ways unimaginable to her.

PreachingWoman.com (PW) asked Dr. Osgood (Dr. O.) "What happened…how did you end up leaving your Christian teaching and falling to a life of substance abuse?"

Dr. O: "Well, to give you a little background, I was raised in the home with my grandmother.  And, she was a praying woman. She taught me very well right from wrong. And, every Sunday she made sure that I was in church, because that was important to her. So, when it came time for me to go to college, before I left home, I made a conscious decision that when I got to college, I wasn't going to church again.  I thought once I got grown, I didn't need God. So, when I got to college, I began partying and drinking, and because of peer pressure from people in my college neighborhood, I began to deal and use drugs. 

PW: So, What happened next? Did you continue school?

Dr. O: I got pregnant my last semester of college…I quit school and came home to my grandmother's house…I was still dealing drugs and eventually becaume a [consistent] drug user. Two years later, I went to the streets, because I was living with my grandmother and I could not do drugs and do what I wanted to do while living with her.  That just wasn't going to work. (She laughs…) But, while I was in the streets, I ended up becoming a street bum. I began to have run-ins with the law and eventually I got arrested. And, being arrested made it difficult for me to use and sell drugs…I couldn't get high anymore…And to make a long story short, by a turn of events I ended up getting out of jail and I went back to my grandmother's house.  However, I found out I had an outstanding warrant out for my arrest, so I surrendered. 

Dr. Rosalind OsgoodPW: Dr. Osgood, what made you surrender at the time? Why did you decide to turn yourself in?

Dr. O: I voluntarily turned myself in and went back to jail as a means of escape. I had come to a point where I realized that I had fallen so far down because I had strayed so far away. So on Dec. 2, 1989, the day I turned my self in, I encountered God…I simply asked God to help me. I prayed, not knowing whether God would really hear my prayer. ..Later on, I got in a fight with my cell mate, and they decided to separate us; my cell mate had left her Bible behind. As I sat in that jail cell, I tried to read the Bible and I couldn't read it…that's when I realize that I had hit "rock-bottom…"

PW: What is rock bottom…how would you describe it…what is it really like to be on what many refer to as "rock-bottom?"

Dr. O: I believe that "rock-bottom" is a state of incomprehensible demoralization…you are so low that you feel helpless and hopeless…you feel like there is no way out.

PW: What words of encouragement can you offer to women, especially those in ministry, that may feel like they have made some mistakes and they have hit "rock-bottom?"

Dr. O:

1.)  First of all, God loves us immensely; there is nothing that we could ever do to make God give up on us…God is longing to come in our lives, and we must open the door to let him in, especially when we feel like we've made big mistakes. Don't run from God, run to God.

2.)  Allow the people that God has placed in your path to come into your life and help you. Don't let pride and shame stop you from getting the help you need.

3.)  Know that when you can't, God can!  When you are at your weakest, God is at His best!

 

PW: So, How did God began to turn things around?

 

Dr. O: Well, I had been to rehab on numerous occasions, but this time I followed the directions…God begin to give me favor with [an individual] who was helping me. After rehab, I started going to a 12 Step program and I got back in church. I realized that my world view began to change, I began to see the world differently…I began to have a better understanding of how in love God was with me. God allowed me to be placed on house arrest for 2 years. During that time, I went back to the core values of working and spending time with my kids…by this time I had already had two babies and was pregnant with the 3rd…The house arrest gave me some parameters that helped me become disciplined... Most of my time was spent at work, church, and home…I learned how to be a mother again…I just grabbed a hold of all that  I was learning…And, the more I did that, the more God continued to allow me to progress…At the time, I was on welfare and required to get a job, so I got a job at McDonalds as a manager making $3.75/hr…God blessed me and I got a promotion to another level of management and began to make $5.25/hr. At this point, I was a two time convicted felon, with strikes against me, and God himself was turning my life around. So, my testimony serves to let people know that no matter what you are going through, God has a destiny and a purpose for everybody. I am empirical evidence of the power of God.  Every time I look in the mirror I see God's miracle looking back at me.

 

PW: Wow! So, eventually, you went back to school finished your initial Bachelor's Degree and continued your education to receive numerous other degrees. How important is education in your opinion?

 
Dr. O: Education is vitally important, especially for women; it equips you to become economically sufficient and helps you make a contribution to your household. Education also helps you grow in knowledge, wisdom, and faith, because it is through those same vehicles, along with the Holy Spirit, that we learn more about God… All my life, I was told by my grandmother that I was to be educated…the desire to get back on track for what I was groomed and purposed to do was yet in me.

Dr. Rosalind OsgoodPW: So how did you end up in ministry?

Dr. O: In 1991, I was called out of the audience at a Pentecostal revival and was told that I had a call on my life…It scared me…I went back to my home church, under Dr. Mac King Carter…I sat for 11 years. I just worked in the missionary department, feeding the homeless, doing evangelism, and anything that I was asked to do...I just served. [However,] I still felt something was missing. So, I went and spoke to my pastor, and he encouraged me to enroll in an ATS accredited seminary school…After completing the first year, Dr. Carter licensed me and positioned me in the pulpit. I became the first woman in the history of the Mount Olive Baptist Church of Fort Lauderdale to be recognized as a preacher. After my third year in Seminary I was ordained, God used me as a trailblazer in the ministry…almost like climbing Jacobs latter; to help reach back and pull others up, as there was someone ahead of me pulling me up. God continues to challenge me unto this day to help open doors for others.

Dr. Osgood is the founder of the "Women Reaching Women" Women's Ministry, The Women Reaching Women Word Network, as well as DR. Rosalind Osgood Ministries International www.DROministries.com She is an itinerate preacher and also finds time to represent New Mount Olive Baptist Church in the District, State and National Baptist Associations.

PW: Why do you believe that God has given you such a heart toward helping women?

Dr. O: I believe that every woman has a word in her belly from the Lord, she just needs some one to help her birth it…I also believe that God is calling women to do something different… I can remember my Grandma would see people in the store and would asked them if they were saved, and if they said yes, she would and ask them to pray for her granddaughter who was on drugs…[I believe] we should go back to that…I envision women coming together from all over the nation to pray for others…So, I'm focusing on teaching and praying, because the mission of my ministry is to transform lives by putting the word in the people and the people in the Word…The word keeps you in the will of God to help you live out the ways of God.

Dr. Rosalind OsgoodToday, with over 16 years of professional experience in mid to upper-level management in non-profit organizations, Dr. Osgood is currently the President/CEO of Mount Olive Development Corporation (MODCO). In this capacity, she has demonstrated extraordinary managerial and transformational leadership skills to include giving birth to over 23 programs. She is currently constructing a mix-use facility to provide housing and job training for ex-offenders. In addition, Dr. Osgood is the author of two academic articles, "Moral Development and Municipal Elected Officials" and "Ethics in Municipal Government in Florida". She has been featured in several newspapers and magazines articles and has received numerous awards. Dr. Osgood is also a member of numerous professional organizations to include: Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. 

Dr. Osgood exemplifies an extraordinary commitment to volunteerism. She is the former public policy chair for both the Broward County and State of Florida Branches of the American Association of University Women. She has served four years as a member of the Substance Abuse Advisory Board for Broward County, two years on the CRA Advisory Board for the City of Fort Lauderdale and the Board of Directors for the Broward Coalition for the Homeless. She currently serves as a member of the Central Broward Teen Alliance Coalition, the Board of Directors for Rise and Shine, Inc. and Vice Chair of the Broward County Housing Council.

PW: Dr. Osgood, in closing, what final words do you have for God's women, and what do you believe He is saying in this season?

Dr. O: All the money in the world  couldn't buy my way to where I am now…my resume of life doesn't fit the bill for what God has called me to, but God found a way to use me for His glory…and he can do the same for you too…The Holy Spirit empowers us to overcome obstacles, by optimizing opportunities, and obtaining outstanding outcomes…If we can shift our minds from thinking of situations and obstacles and see them as opportunities, then we can trust God to experience them as outstanding outcomes…that's supernatural…I am totally convinced that all things are possible with God…I believe that God is saying in this season, that as women, he is bringing us to the forefront to do what He has called us to do…for example, when you go back to the Garden with Adam and Eve…Adam said it was the woman that God gave me the fruit…Eve said that it was the serpent…the woman called out the enemy…God has called us to this awesome assignment to call out the enemy in this season.

So the next time life throws you a curve ball, and you feel like you can't make it through, just remember you can make it because you serve a risen, living Savior, who will arrest and provide a way of escape for you from your troubles and redeem you especially for His glory!