Brian's Story Begins In The Streets of New York City...
A child of a single parent household, Brian Long grew up in the heart of New York City, and joined a local gang at the age of nine. The relocation of Brian's family to North Carolina did not break his connection to gangs. Despite the fact that Brian was doing well in school, his escalating gang activity found him facing five counts of armed robbery by age 17. It was not until he was faced with serving 35 years in prison that Brian made a decision that would change the rest of his life. Through prayer and divine intervention, Brian was sentenced to only three years and nine months in prison.Following the voice of God, his mother, who was a minister, relocated the family to North Carolina when Brian was fifteen. Once in North Carolina, Brian and his new friends established a major gang movement. By the age of seventeen, Brian’s escalating gang activity resulted in him being convicted of five counts of armed robbery and facing 35 years in prison. The night before his sentencing, Brian made a deal with God, that if he received a light sentence, that he would dedicate his life to helping others. Miraculously, the judge sentenced Brian to less than four years, and his path to transformation began while he was still in prison, where he received his GED. Also while in prison, he received the nicknames of “Preacher Man” because of the wise spiritual counseling that he gave the other inmates and “Kirk Franklin” because he formed a gospel hip hop group who wrote their own songs and were allowed to perform outside of the prison walls.
Once released from prison, Brian struggled to find employment, and persistence landed him several jobs, but he longed to have a satisfying career. He enrolled in Mitchell Community College, where he became involved on campus, and earned the Coca Cola Scholars scholarship and the Dallas Herring Achievement Award, presented to him by Governor Beverly Purdue. In May of 2008, he graduated with an Associate’s Degree in Human Services. Since then he has earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Services in 2010; a Master’s of Science Degree in Forensic Mental Health Counseling in 2013; Honorary Doctorate in Christian Counseling in 2016; Doctorate of Philosophy in Christian Leadership in 2017 and a Honorary Doctorate of Divinity in 2018.
Brian never forgot his promise to devote his life to helping others. In 2006, he founded “Making a Difference (M.A.D.) /Expressions”, an organization focused on helping at-risk youth stay off the streets by involving them in music composition and performance. As the Founder and Presiding Prelate for Transformation Ministries International, he coordinates several community churches to provide food for the homeless and Christmas toys for low income families.
Brian has worked tirelessly in Human Services as a Gang Intervention Specialist, Youth Incentive Program Coordinator, Former Offender Program Coordinator, and is currently the first convicted felon to work as a Regional Reentry Expert for the State of North Carolina. In Iredell County, he was the first convicted felon to serve as a certified mediator in the district court system.
Outside of work, Brian is an accomplished motivational speaker, author, certified life coach, teacher, and consultant. Through lectures and workshops, Brian shares his message of hope with youth, formerly incarcerated individuals, inmates, corporations, faith based and community organizations. His second book, “At the Table” is a powerhouse of life-changing devotionals for daily inspiration. He is an enthusiastic, dynamic speaker who impacts audiences of all ages. Brian’s mission to be a motivation to others has led him on a lifelong journey to mentor and encourage others to overcome life’s challenges and reach for the stars!!
“Set Free & Making A Difference” :2009
An autobiography of Brian’s life’s journey, this book details pivotal moments that changed Brian’s entire outlook on life, God, and his future.
“At The Table”
Brian's second book “At the Table,” is a book of encouraging quotes and inspirational messages. The book was released in April 2015.
Knight of Abyssinia & Member of the Royal Military Order of the Lion of Yehudah-2017
The Abyssinian Apostolic Church bestowed this high award to Brian for providing humanitarian support in the community and advocating for the poor and individuals re-entering society.
Triad Business Journal 40 Leaders Under 40 Award-2015
The 40 Leaders Under Forty Awards is a program honoring forty up and coming young professionals in the Triad.
The Dallas Herring Achievem Awards/B ent Award-2009
Brian Long was the first recipient of The Dallas Herring Achievement Award, established by the North Carolina Community College System in 2010 to honor the late Dr. Dallas Herring, one of governor upon a current or former student who best embodies Dr. Herring’s philosophy of “taking people where they are and carrying them as far as they can go.
” Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities & Colleges- 2008
This award is bestowed on the basis of scholarship, leadership, citizenship, and participation in academic and extra-curricular activities
The Viola Kimbrough-Parker Diversity Award-2007
This award recognizes a Mitchell Community College student who has made a difference in promoting diversity in Iredell County. Kimbrough-Parker was a former long-time College employee who contributed to the spread of diversity at Mitchell.
Coca Cola Scholarship Recipient-2007
The Coca Cola Scholars Program is one of the most recognized and respected corporate sponsored scholarships in the United States. Created in 1986 as a joint effort of Coca-Cola Bottlers and The Coca-Cola Company to commemorate the 100th anniversary of their flagship college scholarships.