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Mission In My Words: Zach Williams

I’d heard about Nashville Rescue Mission, driven by it several times, and often wondered what was going on inside. I had no idea.

I’ve seen people struggle with addiction to alcohol and drugs in small towns and big cities, just the same. The truth is, it can happen to anyone.

I grew up in a small town in Arkansas with an amazing family. During my senior year of high school, I lost a basketball scholarship, got into trouble for drugs, and dropped out of school. I got my GED and walked on to a junior college team, but I tore ligaments in my ankle during my freshman year. I spent the next 15 years, making bad decisions and living recklessly.

I saw hope and determination in many of the faces of the men I met that day.

I never went through a twelve step program or anything like that, but in 2012, I gave my life to the Lord, and He took all those desires away. I want to see that happen for other people.

Last fall, I spent time serving lunch at the Mission. I met some of the men in their Life Recovery Program who shared their stories with me. I played a few songs and shared some of my own experiences through my music.

I hope they heard something in the songs I sang—I’m just a regular guy who struggles with some of the very same things they do. But the one thing that has helped me was giving my life to the Lord and not trying to fix things on my own.

Just because someone is homeless doesn’t mean they aren’t looking for a second chance to start over. I saw hope and determination in many of the faces of the men I met that day.

For someone battling addiction or homelessness to have a place like Nashville Rescue Mission, a Christcentered facility—it’s awesome. It isn’t an old traditional soup kitchen, far from it. It is highly organized and runs like a well-oiled machine. They are helping people that struggle with addiction to drugs, alcohol, and just life, in general, get back on their feet.

I wish more cities had a Mission like this. Now that I know what’s happening there, I’m definitely glad to be a part of it.

Born and raised in Jonesboro, Arkansas, Zach Williams is a husband and father and has become one of CCM’s leading artists and songwriters. Currently based in Nashville, Tennessee, his blend of southern rock, country, and faith-filled songwriting landed him his first GRAMMY Award® with his debut album, 2017’s Chain Breaker.

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