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Life Story of Gregory Antonio Rollins
Gregory “Greg” Antonio Rollins was born to the late Elder Ezekiel Major Rollins and Mary Janie Rollins on September 4, 1962 in Miami, Florida. Being raised in a God-fearing home, Greg accepted Christ as his Lord and Savior at an early age. He was baptized by Elder Ezekiel M. Rollins in July of 1976 at Mt. Zion Primitive Baptist Church in Eustis, Florida.
He received his early education in the Miami-Dade Public School System and graduated from Eustis High School, Class of 1980. Greg was an avid athlete and would often share how he could have made it to the National Football League. When not in Miami, Greg spent much of his time traveling between Tallahassee and Gainesville, Florida visiting his family and working on his father’s farm.
Continuing the family tradition, Greg obtained his college education at one of the most prestigious universities in the nation, Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU). There, he received a dual degree in Public Administration and History. While spending his college years in Tallahassee, Greg lived in a house, then known as a “bachelor pad”, built by his father at the corner of Rollins and Bennett Street. He also joined the first Prince Hall Masonic Lodge in Florida founded by his great-great-grandfather in 1870. When not being a scholar or serving the community, Greg spent his time nurturing then-current and future familial bonds. Furthermore, the highlight of Greg’s college years was spent courting Deadre Rollins, his college sweetheart whom he wed in 1986.
After college, Greg relocated to Miami, where he began his lifetime career of community activism and political engagement. Greg worked at Miami-Dade Corrections & Rehabilitation Department for nearly 30 years. His former coworkers described him as honorable, dedicated, and informed. He often, jokingly, claimed that he was also described as a “Fashion Guru.”
Passionate about local and global organizational and social change, Greg found great joy in teaching the nonviolence principles of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. He spent time abroad in Nigeria, where he was part of a small contingent responsible for training approximately 30,000 ex-militants from various states in the Niger Delta. He also served as a member and trainer of the Florida Martin Luther King Jr., Institute for Nonviolence for over 25 years. Greg’s involvement in other community institutions and organizations included the Federation of Black Employees, NAACP, and P.U.L.S.E.
Greg has been a proud member of one of South Florida’s premier churches, Mt. Olive Primitive Baptist Church for over 50 years. During his service at Mt. Olive, Greg served as Church School Superintendent and lead vocalist in the mass and male choir amongst various other active roles.
Greg was witty, generous, kind, creative, and honorable. He also was a serial entrepreneur with a love for learning and calculated risks. Most importantly, Greg was a man of great faith and vision. He had a firm understanding of the word and took great joy in spreading the Gospel. On April 8, 2023, the Master Architect of the Universe called Greg home. He finished his course, and now laid up for him is a Crown of Righteousness.
He leaves to cherish his memories; his loving and devoted wife of 36 years: Deadre King Rollins; Children: Tarik Khalid Rollins, Najja Akil Rollins, and Abani Zakiya Rollins; Grandson: Teigen Rollins; Mother: Janie Smith Rollins; Brothers: Elder Major E. Rollins, Jr. (Gwendolyn) of Tallahassee, FL., Jeffrey Rollins (Genefer) of Tallahassee, FL Cory Rollins of Tallahassee, FL and Charles Rollins (Felicia) of Tallahassee, FL. Sister: Mildred Rollins Black of Miami, FL; God Sister: Sheila Patterson; God Sons: Jahmal Rollins and Jonathan Rollins of Miami Florida, and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.
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Be comforted by these words:
"Blessed are those that mourn, for they shall be comforted."