Growing up in a single parent home and being denied the necessities of life simply because my mother could not afford them drove me to making bad choices; I chose to sell and do drugs. Bad choices caused me to lose the most valuable things in life. While selling drugs, I began to use them heavily. Instead of making money I was losing it—I lost all of it. To support my habit, I started robbing banks and loan companies. One of those robberies led to my arrest, and I faced 165 years; 140 in the South Carolina State Prison and an additional 25 years in federal prison. The judicial system called me, a menace to society.
I received a sentence of 15 years in the State of South Carolina; and approximately six months after my sentencing, I received an additional four years and nine months in federal prison. I was leaving behind a nine-year-old son and five daughters. As I embarked on my journey of incarceration, I began to realize this was not the life God created me to live. I went back to my roots; I asked God to give me one more chance. I beseeched Him—let me be the man You created me to be—He heard my prayer. God called me to preach while I was in prison. During the next ten years, my life turned around. My time was spent preaching, teaching from behind the wall, and helping my fellow inmates make positive changes.
With only 90 days left before finishing my sentence, I received a call to the chaplain’s office, a call that would change my life forever. There had been a death in my family; someone killed my only son. His death was devastating I was not sure I could survive. I asked God why he took my son. He said, “I TOO GAVE MY ONLY SON, SO THAT YOU AND OTHERS LIKE YOU COULD HAVE ETERNAL LIFE.” While still incarcerated, I was not permitted to attend his homegoing service.
Upon completion of my sentence, I moved to South Carolina and joined Bible Way Church of Atlas Road. There I received my ministerial license and Eldership. After several years I moved back home to Charlotte NC, where I received news that the culprits responsible for the killing of my son had been apprehended. I was summoned to the courthouse to speak on behalf of my son. That is when God commanded me to tell the man that killed my only son how much I loved him. This was the hardest thing I have ever had to do. After it was all over, I knew I had to embrace forgiveness, forgiveness so God could use me. I set aside all hateful thoughts and spiteful temptations forever and once I did, God said, “Now, Son, I can use you.” I made this choice, but it was God that gave the strength.
I asked God to bless me so that I could be a blessing to others. He did so; on my return to Charlotte, God allowed me to give birth to F.A.V.A.R. Ministries (Fathers Against Violence and Repeat-Offenders, Inc.). I dedicated this ministry to my son, so prayerfully no other family will have to endure this painful loss. Then God shared His plan for FAVAR; he stated that He wanted me to help others as He had helped me.
God blessed me; I am a successful entrepreneur, the Executive Director & Founder of FAVAR Ministries. FAVAR’s long-term goal of operating over several states will be achieved, through the prayers, support, love and volunteers. My prayer is to one day cater to this population nationally once the foundation is in place.
So, all who know the word of prayer, please pray that God gives me the strength, wisdom, and knowledge to bring to His incarcerated and homeless sons and daughters the light of freedom, restoration, resurrection and love. Let me help them know and embrace His divine balm in their time of need.