Good News - March 2022

COVER STORY 28 March 2022 Good News • South Florida Edition The Forman name is a fixture in South Florida, affixed to education buildings and parks and drawing respect in political circles. Hamilton McClure Forman and Blanche Collins Forman were pioneers from Illinois who pitched a tent in the Everglades in 1910 on land they bought sight unseen. When growing potatoes proved difficult, they started South Florida’s first dairy farm in 1914 in what is nowDavie and were the first tenders of the Sewell Lock on the New River Canal at Davie Road. Their sons, Hamilton C. Forman and Charles R. Forman, together with their wives influenced the development of and operation of the North Broward Hospital District for 28 years, as well as the water management district and the route of Florida’s turnpike. The family donated the land for Davie’s 825-acre South Florida Educational Complex and lobbied for the creation of the junior college system, which includes Broward College. Today, one third generation Forman, H. Collins Forman, Jr. carries on the family legacy of service to the community. His strong Christian faith is demonstrated through leadership at First Christian Church Fort Lauderdale, the church his grandparents helped establish more than 100 years ago. He serves on the board of the National Christian Foundation, which supports whole life generosity, and his family is involved in missions, leading a life of hospitality. As a lawyer, Collins has handled government work for the Port EvergladesAuthority and Broward County, but primarily concentrates his practice on real estate transactions and real property litigation. On Sunday mornings, however, you’ll find him leading worship at First Christian Church Fort Lauderdale and occasionally preaching the sermon. Collins tells how the church was founded in 1911 by his grandparents on the front porch of a friend’s house in downtown Fort Lauderdale, until 1926 when Frank Croissant, developer of the Croissant Park Neighborhood, offered to donate land to whichever church could find themoney to construct a building. The lot they were given had been a quarry because it was on a coral ridge; they had dug there for rock to build roads and for fill in the neighborhood. Because of this, First Christian Church is one of the only buildings you’ll find in South Florida with a basement. They began construction before the hurricane of 1926 came through and destroyed everything. Starting all over again, the sanctuary was completed the next year. Education and politics Education is a value the Formans hold dear. Collins sits on the Board of Directors for theCharter Schools of Excellence, whichwas co-founded by his father. TheHamilton M. and Blanche C. Forman Christian Foundation has donated to a number of educational endeavors including an expansion at WestminsterAcademy in the 1990s, which resulted in its campus being named the Blanche Collins Forman Campus. Collins’ grandmother, Blanche was a woman of faith, an elementary school teacher and principal. Nova Blanche Forman Elementary School in Davie also bears her name. You’ll find the Hamilton C. FormanAuditorium at Nova High School; the Lucy W. and Charles R. Forman Center at Broward College is named after his uncle, who was a veterinarian and school boardmember; and there is theDr. Charles andHamilton Forman Building for Oceanographic Research at Nova Southeastern University. The Formans were also active in politics. “Here’s one of the things my grandfather did,” said Collins. “He would print flyers and rubber band them to the necks of the milk bottles, so when they delivered the milk, they would deliver his political circulars. He became influential that way and was known as an honest man. He would often buy ads in the newspaper to publish his opinions, and at the end he would always say, ‘with good will toward all and with malice toward none, my opinion.’” According to Collins, it was a miraculous bond vote that stirred his father’s faith. In the early 1950’s Hamilton C. Forman traveled to Tallahassee to challenge a bond issue in the Florida Supreme Court, but lost. On the way home his father said, the only thing that’s going to stop this bond issue now is if there’s a low voter turnout. So, promiseme that when you get home tonight, you’ll pray for a cloud burst to bring low voter turnout. A skeptic at the time, Ham grudgingly kept his word and prayed. When he awoke early the next morning the skies were clear, but the clouds quickly rolled in, and it poured that entire election day. The bond issue failed, and HamForman’s faith was bolstered. Homeschool and Bible study Married 42 years, Collins met his wife Jennifer at a student government event while they were both attending what was then Broward Community College. She was a chemistry major who had traveled from Jamaica to attend school and Collins was studying business. They both earned their associate degrees at Broward College, bachelor’s degrees at Florida Atlantic University and law degrees at Nova Southeastern University then began a family, which has now grown to include six adult children and two grandchildren. When their first son Timothy was 6-months old, Collins and Jennifer attended a seminar by Dr. Raymond Moore, author of The Successful Homeschool Family Handbook, and decided they would home educate their children. “Part of why we homeschooled is because we wanted to rear children who really knew and loved the Lord,” explained Jennifer. “And I remember Dr. Moore saying there were three parts to healthy homeschooling: learning to work, learning to serve and then academics. So, when the kids were little, we always looked for ways to serve as a family.” For many years, they served the homeless through Shepherd’s Way, the ministry which is now Hope South Florida. “They would meet at our church one night a week and the church fed them. The Forman children led anAwana program for their kids and we taught parenting classes,” Jennifer explained. The family provided chapel for the Teen Challenge Southeast Region - Davie Women's Home with Jennifer teaching parenting classes. And individually the Forman children have volunteered at Grace Place School and served as coaches in the SAINTS Homeschool P.E. program, among other activities. Forman Family Legacy Spans 100Years in Florida, Impacting Education, Church, Charities, Missions and More! Shelly Pond Good News Editor The Forman family gathers in the backyard of their Fort Lauderdale home. Left to right: Timot Forman, H. Collins Forman, Jr., Jennifer Forman, John Forman, Ezekiel Forman, Sarah Forman, Nathaniel Forman, Hamilton Forman, Robin Forman. Photo credit: Justus Martin