Building relationships the old-fashioned way

Jeremy Edmiston, member of First Baptist Church in Grand Prairie, Texas, has been in the multifamily real estate investment and management business for 20 years and is vice president of Pinnacle Property Management Services. From deep in the heart of one Texan, Edmiston shares his background and thoughts on being a follower of Christ in the marketplace. To suggest a Texas Baptist leader in the marketplace to be featured in this column, or to apply to be featured yourself, click here.


What other businesses have you been in, and what were your positions there?

I have been a racquetball pro, was an intern in the activities ministry at Park Cities Baptist Church in Dallas and was a chaplain for the University Park Police Department.

Where did you grow up?

Grand Prairie, Texas

How did you come to faith in Christ?

I gave my life to Jesus in June 1982 at age 8. I remember it clearly, vacation Bible school at Fairview Baptist Church in Grand Prairie.

Where were you educated, and what degrees did you receive?

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I studied theology and ministry at Hardin-Simmons University.

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About life in the marketplace

Why do you feel called into the marketplace?

I feel called to the marketplace because the Lord has given me the gift of networking as well as being a connector. He gave me an eidetic memory, meaning I remember people, their stories and needs in great detail. Through this calling, he has put me in position not only to provide investment advisory, but also present the gospel with people of all faith backgrounds in situations outside of traditional or vocational ministry.

How does being a Christian influence your decisions in the marketplace?

Being a Christian has an impact on every business decision, opportunity pursuit and business relationship I have. The Lord seems to always refocus my efforts on the relationships ahead of the business. He constantly leads me to pay very close attention to everyone’s personalities and the little indicators that get revealed in conversations.

The verses that come to mind every day are Philippians1:27, “Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ,” and Philippians 2:4, “Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the needs of others.”

What is your favorite aspect of the marketplace? Why?

Hands down, my favorite thing about the marketplace is interacting with people from Main Street to Wall Street. My role is to grow quality business relationships for the long haul.

I also enjoy the people I know and the anticipation of developing new relationships and connecting with people in my business travels, as well as living in the moment and having the opportunity to represent Jesus.

What one aspect of the marketplace gives you the greatest joy?

Within our apartment portfolio, we touch about 600,000 people each day. It brings me joy that we are engaged in one of the most critical parts of life, a roof over people’s heads. It’s a sacred calling as people, every day, are starting their families in our apartment homes, and we get to be a part of it.

It also brings me joy to serve our clients and to help them be in position to make great investments.

What one aspect of the marketplace would you like to change?

This won’t be shocking to those who know me, but I’m what you might call old school. Technology and automation is really cool, and the Lord has definitely had his hand on it, especially the spreading of the gospel through digital mediums, as well as the velocity with which we can send rescue to people across the globe.

However, I feel we are losing fireside chats, if you will. We’re constantly texting and emailing and perhaps losing relational skills. It’s an art form, for sure. I’d much rather talk on the phone or meet in person to forge partnerships. I would like the younger generations to grab hold of this. I think they will be surprised at how effective it is in all aspects of life.

How has your place in the market or your perspective on the marketplace changed?

It’s quite extraordinary becoming an elder statesman these days. I often look around board rooms I’m in across the United States, and I’m often the old guy in the room. Not that I’m anything, but it does impress upon me to seize the opportunity to roll out biblical wisdom when I have a captive audience as a leader.

Over more than 20 years, I certainly have seen a great deal, from penthouse economies to outhouse economies. If anything, I’ve learned it’s not often about the specific business opportunity, but clearly about participating in the Lord’s work in the midst of a business opportunity.

When I was younger, it was about trying to close the big deal. Today, it’s about being relentless and obedient to what he’s called me to do, one day at a time.

If you could launch any new venture, what would it be? Why?

I would like to gather a large group of Christian CEOs from all lines of business and change the trajectory for at-risk kids. I’m convinced there is a huge number of potential leaders who are one relationship, one mentor away from greatness.

What do you wish more people knew about the marketplace?

It’s the largest mission field.

About Baptists

What would you change about the Baptist denomination—state, nation or local?

Above all, we need to keep our focus on the Great Commission. We have a favorable history in the United States and abroad, and much should be expected considering all of the resources we are the stewards of. However, we need to be careful in our presentation, given the number of people coming to our churches having never experienced church culture. The mission is to participate in the Lord’s work so lives can be changed. This must be paramount.

About Jeremy

What is your favorite Bible verse or passage? Why?

Philippians 3:13. I really like the “forgetting what is behind” directive and always to be looking ahead at what the Lord has prepared for us.

Who is your favorite Bible character, other than Jesus? Why?

Paul, for sure. He was a Renaissance man with an amazing way of relating to people. He lived in the moment and kept his focus on the mission at hand at all cost.

Name something about you that would surprise people who know you.

All of my life, I’ve struggled with learning disabilities. I’m a slow reader and often skip sentences. It’s a constant battle to get through things. However, I consider it a gift and a condition the Lord intentionally has allowed to be present to show his grace.

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