After 20 years of drug use, criminal activity, and even imprisonment, Payton finally walked away from this life of sin and found help at the Mission.
Here’s his story . . .Read More
“My life didn’t turn out like I expected it to.”
Have you ever said that? Truth is, lots of people have that same thought. Including Payton.
He grew up in Memphis, attended church on Sundays, and was an all-American high-school football and basketball player. He had big plans but struggled in college. Eventually he just dropped out.
“I started selling drugs to make money. But when I became my best customer, things went downhill,” says Payton.
Over the next 20+ years, Payton married, became a father to four children, moved around, changed jobs, and battled addiction. “Year after year, my wife begged me to get help. I loved my sin too much to quit.”
Eventually, his lifestyle caught up with him, and he spent four years in prison. But still, that didn’t stop him. It took more pain, turmoil, and suffering before Payton came to the end of his rope.
As always, the doors of the Mission were open.
“It wasn’t easy,” he says. “But I was determined. Some days I would cry out to Jesus, asking for His help to keep me from leaving.”
Payton says he was so used to doing things his own way, he didn’t know God’s way. “The classes gave me the chance to get to know Him for myself. He changed me and made me new.”
After graduating from our recovery program, Payton made Nashville his home. His wife of 37 years joined him. He started working at the Mission. He joined a local church, where he has since been ordained and is serving as the Sunday school superintendent.
“I’m in awe of how God has blessed me,” says Payton. “Hope ... it really does live here. It lives in me. Now I can share it with other people. I tell them, if He did it for me, He’ll do it for you, too.”
Easter is just weeks away. And because this special season provides so many opportunities to reach out with the love of Jesus, will you partner with the Mission during this crucial time of ministry?
When you give now, you’ll provide so much more than just a meal and care. You’ll share the truth of Jesus ... that His grace and hope extend to everyone — even people like Robert. No matter what their past looks like.
“Lord, I don’t want to go back down these steps the same way I came up,” Payton prayed as he walked through the doors of the Mission.
Nashville Rescue Mission is a Christ-centered community dedicated to helping those who struggle in greatest need to experience life with dignity, strength, and health.
We’re driven by the desire to share the Gospel, striving each day to spread this unending message of hope.
Every $2.26 you give now will provide an Easter meal and other care that open the door to genuine life transformation. There’s no greater gift you can give our neighbors in need right now than to share the message of hope in Christ.
Please don’t wait. Your gift is needed right now.