I grew up in a broken home with just my mom, brother, and sister. We moved around a lot, and I had several stepdads in and out of the picture. My mom had me as a teenager, so she was basically a kid raising kids. But she loved me, and I always knew that.
When I was 12, I started smoking pot with my mom, and I’ve used and sold drugs since I was in junior high. I got in my first serious trouble when I was 18 years old. At 19, I got caught up in a robbery charge with a buddy and went to prison. It’s been a roller coaster ride since then.
I’ve been married twice and in and out of trouble. I owned my own construction company for over eight years. But then greed took root, and I started using drugs again. My second wife died of cancer, and it just took me down a dark road.
Refinement and Preparation
While doing time at Core Civic’s prison on Harding Place in Nashville, I read a book by Franklin Graham and asked God to come into my life. Right after making that decision, I randomly got moved into a faith-based unit run by Men of Valor. Within only a few weeks, I was told I would be released. But I had nowhere to go.
By God’s grace, Men of Valor accepted me into their aftercare program. This was in early 2016. My time with Men of Valor was an appointment from God. He was both refining me and preparing me for my next journey. I was discipled and loved. I learned what it meant to be a child of God and a man of God. God knew exactly what I would need for the season ahead.
An Opportunity for Impact
Out of the blue, some old charges caught up with me. After being out of prison for eight months and seeing God work incredibly in my life, I was headed back to prison. God gave me an incredible peace during this time. But I knew He had a plan for me and that He was ultimately in control.
I ended up doing five years on those old charges, but God gave me the opportunity to impact so many lives while incarcerated. I gave to so many men the very things God had given me at Men of Valor. Quite a few of the guys I shared Jesus with ended up getting out before I did and came to Men of Valor to receive help and further discipleship. It was exciting for me to see them leave, knowing they were coming into the care of this ministry.
I Never Felt Alone
I was never forgotten or abandoned. One of the Men of Valor staff was at every court date I had over the next five years. I never felt alone. They stood by me. They are my family. After five years of being locked up, just this summer I was released and accepted back into the Men of Valor aftercare program, which is now located at Valor Ridge—a beautiful campus in Antioch.
I have almost 70 guys in my family here who are doing life with me. I’m getting my life together, continuing and growing in my walk with the Lord, and am looking forward to all He has for me. I have two children who know I love them, and we have a good relationship. I know it’s going to get even better as we are able to life together.
To God Be The Glory
I started a coding education program while I was in prison and look forward to finishing it. As soon as I complete those studies, I will be working in the world of computers. I am very, very excited about those possibilities and know I have a good life ahead of me. I want to be a loving father to my kids and leave a godly legacy for them and my grandkids. My goal is to honor God with my life and to make a positive impact wherever I can.
I am grateful for your church’s support of Men of Valor, as well as the part you have played in helping me find true freedom. To God be the glory!