FAITH & FAMILY: Port Arthur “Man of the Year” Nakia Crockett puts God 1st to help others

Published 2:19 pm Saturday, February 1, 2020

Nakia Crockett grew up in the graces of God, but by no means did he miss out on the trials, tribulations and challenges of life.

In 2011, Crockett’s left leg was amputated do to a mishap during a routine abscess removal, a procedure he nearly died from. Today, while he still struggles with injury and health, he said he can add a great honor to his list of things to be thankful for.

The Port Arthur native was dubbed as 2019’s “Man of the Year” at the Martin Luther King Day Brunch on Jan. 20.

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“It’s powerful to me,” Crockett said. “It just shows you what God can do for you if you keep pushing. Being recognized for anything is a blessing but something as great as ‘Man of the Year,’ I am still speechless. ”

Crockett was selected to receive one of Port Arthur’s most prestigious honors due to his efforts as the visionary of the God 1st Ministry.

Nakia Crockett sits in his non-profit clothing store Thursday as he reflects on the journey that led him to be named as Man of the Year 2019. 

“God 1st is all about helping people,” he said. “It’s about putting God and the community at the forefront. Something so small can make such a big impact. It’s a blessing to help others.”

Crockett, and other members of the God 1st Ministry, have been a positive force in the community by handing out food to the homeless, reading to the blind and speaking to the elderly.

“We’ve been all over, doing everything,” he said. “It’s our ‘Quality of Life’ project and it’s all about helping these different areas of society that need attention. You have the homeless population and the elderly who are often forgotten about. They all have sad stories, so we try to ease those pains by being a light.”

Crockett also began “One Love, One City,” an annual citywide free giving event meant to spread the word of God, in 2018.

“H-E-B gives away groceries,” he said. “Chick-fil-A hands out food. The police department distributes toys and bikes to children. It takes all of us to be one city, to push forward and the only way we can move Port Arthur forward is by loving everybody.”

Crockett also works with the Texas Workforce Commission to help at-risk, first time kids hold a job.

“The purpose is to empower them to be positive citizens in the workforce,” he said. “We take at-risk children or even adults who maybe lost their children and need a job. We teach them how to be responsible and provide stability.”

Port Arthur’s “God 1st,” located off of Memorial Blvd., is a non-profit clothing store owned by Nakia and Bernadine Crockett. 

A large portion of Crockett’s teachings come from his mother, Bernadine, who also works in the God 1st Ministry and non-profit clothing store. The 63-year-old Port Arthur native said she is proud of all her son has accomplished.

“God 1st is all about Jesus,” she said. “It’s all about blessing people. It’s not about keeping in what you get. We don’t want to make just withdrawals. We want to make some deposits into people’s lives.

“So I’m very happy that he chose to do that and that he loves everybody. That’s what the world should be doing — loving.”

Crockett said while he does it all from his heart, he wants to express his sincere gratitude at being named “Man of the Year” and is looking forward to bigger and better things for the city and it’s people.

“God is awesome,” he said. “You keep pushing and wake up every day to try and help somebody. A couple years ago, I wasn’t even suppose to live and now, now I’m ‘Man of the Year’ — it’s incredible, and I owe it all to Him.”