Golden Opportunity: The Amazing True Story of a Scheme to Enrich a Continent

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One corporate filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission reveals a 2008 draft contract between Millennium Group and the governor of Bas Congo, a province in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It calls for a new partnership to control mining and all natural resources, promising that Jackson's company will "help to convert, whenever possible, the resources... to a form that maximizes the benefits to Bas Congo and the region." However, Serge Tshamala, an economic counselor at the D.R. Congolese embassy in Washington, D.C., says he is unaware of any such partnership ever taking effect.

Once Jackson met with the archbishop and with officials from Royal Bafokeng Holdings, he offered up a new Jacksonville-based company, African Business Development Group, to carry out the business end of the archbishop's plan on the ground in Africa.

A member of O'Neal Dozier's church suggested to Jackson that he meet the pastor, who might be able to round up investors. Dozier says he initially turned down the invitation. But Jackson called him again and put him in touch with the archbishop. Eventually, he accepted, buoyed by the prospect of making money and spreading his gospel message to Africa and beyond. Now he had a new title, one that could enable his dreams of acquiring both money and global influence.

"I am the president," Dozier said recently in his trademark slow diction, touched by a Southern twang. "My official title is 'President of the North American Sector of Archbishop Makgoba's Economic Development Initiative for Indigenous Africans and the Diaspora..." — he paused for a breath — "and the Friends of the Diaspora.' "

The walls of Dozier's church office tell a story of his life. In one corner are pictures of him in college football uniforms and, later, Army uniforms. Next to them, a certificate of honorable discharge. Books from his law-school days. A collection of anti-Islam writings and a plaque from an anti-abortion group. On the desk is a metal sculpture of Atlas, lifting the world on his shoulders. On a shelf: a tall-masted model sailing ship and a TWA jet, poised for takeoff.

Dozier, tall and lean, relaxes in a chair as he talks. He's wearing black slacks and a white T-shirt, translucent over a tank top. His giant hands are adorned with rings and a gold watch. His head, small for his gym-toned body, appears youthful, although the hairline of his flat-top has crept improbably backward. He is wearing sunglasses indoors.

He has been in the blue-collar town of Pompano Beach, originally an agricultural center, for most of his life. He arrived here, he says, "on a migrant farm bus" from South Carolina in 1955, when he was 7 years old. His family moved into a nearby migrant workers' camp. At midcentury, Florida was deeply segregated, and the prospects for black farmers' sons were dim.

"I had a choice to go the way of many of the people I grew up with," Dozier says. "But I decided not to go that way. I do not like poverty."

At nearby Blanche Ely High School, he played football and basketball. He moved on to play football in college, then professionally for a stint. He earned his J.D. from John Marshall Law School in Atlanta. He was drafted to serve in Vietnam, he says, and then volunteered to go back for a second tour with the Army in Germany. While overseas, his official church biography adds, "he competed in and won several European bodybuilding contests."

The law degree was prestigious, but Dozier says he found his calling to serve God. In fact, his looks and demeanor make it hard to imagine his doing anything else. Dozier opened his church 27 years ago and started scaring people away with his sermons until the only ones left were those who would truly listen to every word he had to say.

"My granddaddy used to tell me, 'One who will not tell the truth when they know they should tell the truth is a liar,' " says Dozier. Thus, burdened with knowing that the sinners would be punished, he felt compelled to warn his congregation and began mixing sociopolitical issues into his homilies. He dwelled on the passages of the Bible that have been glossed over by pastors more tolerant of gays, Islam, abortion, Democrats, or women's liberation. When other black churches were celebrating the election of Barack Obama, the pastor was there to, as he puts it, "quench the fire." A typical sermon at Dozier's church may include a rousing, hand-clapping celebration of the scriptural verse that says a woman should be meek and obey her husband. He once held a public funeral for an aborted fetus.

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Stefan Kamph
Contact: Stefan Kamph