Julius Montague, of Zebulon, was recognized recently by the staff and leadership at Raleigh Rehabilitation Center for his volunteer work with that organization.
As a Veterans’ Association chaplain, he explains his mission this way. “My job is to rehabilitate spirits.” He has been successful at that work not only in the lives of residents, but also with staff and family members.
A native of Wake County, he received his degree in Business and Human Resources Management from the University of Wisconsin. He spent two years in the Army and went on to work in human resources with UPS for 27 years. After retiring from UPS, he went to work for a consulting firm as a human resources manager and eventually started his own business in the same field.
As a human resources manager, he focused on helping people. He believed that it was his responsibility to advocate for employees and make sure the company was doing the right thing for them. This concern for others led him to his current career path as chaplain for the Veteran’s Administration, after having earned his master’s degree from Duke University’s Divinity School.
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Montague began volunteering at Raleigh Rehabilitation by leading a Bible study group for those who are unable to attend their own churches. In a nondenominational spirit he is a “teacher of scripture.” He strives to provide lessons that can be helpful in daily life.
That must be working because the class has grown to include not only residents, but staff members and family members as well. In fact, it has grown so large it has outgrown the meeting space provided by Raleigh Rehabilitation and the group is now working to provide a larger space.
In addition, he visits with residents who are room-bound to provide spiritual comfort for those who cannot attend. He has been asked by families and staff for prayer, guidance and hospital visits.
Beyond his original commitment to Raleigh Rehabilitation, he has added other services including Communion services, veterans recognition ceremonies a men’s club and a Saturday football group. He has provided holiday services for residents and staff on Christmas and Thanksgiving and he has arranged for guest speakers and musicians for events at the center. He’s currently planning a field trip for residents.
Montague has been a great asset to Raleigh Rehabilitation. Cheerful, accessible, empathetic and joyful, he is an inspiration to those around him. He has a wonderful ability to connect with others and determine how he can help. His sense of humor draws people in and his caring spirit keeps them there, bringing hope to those who most need it.