Derek didn’t have a father growing up, but he had a village that aided him every step of the way. He attended the United House of Prayer for all People, “The Savannah Mother House,” when he was a child and is currently a member of First Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church located in historic downtown Savannah.
After graduating from Savannah’s Jenkins High School, Derek earned a bachelor’s degree in leadership and ministry from Asbury University as well as a master’s in public administration from Savannah State University.
In addition to serving in the Georgia House, Derek has served with the Boy Scouts of America for the past 13 years and has created many youth-focused programs throughout the district. He is also a member of Alpha Phi Omega, a national service fraternity; the 100 Black Men of Savannah, and Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc.