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Paying it Forward

Bo and wife

Almost twenty years ago, Bo walked through the doors of the old Nashville Rescue Mission’s building on 8th Avenue. He was 33-years-old and had just lost everything. Life seemed bleak and hopeless.

Where it all began
“I grew up in Clarksville, Tennessee,” says Bo. “My dad was an abusive alcoholic. Despite my home situation, I lived a pretty normal life. After graduating from high school, I attended Austin Peay State University and was a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity. I guess because of my dad’s abusiveness, I wasn’t interested in drugs or alcohol during those years.”
“In fact, I didn’t experiment with drugs until I was in my 30s,” shares Bo. “I was married and had a daughter. I owned two successful Bo and daughter at graduationbusinesses, yet curiosity got the better of me. Drugs were easily accessible, so one day I was tempted to give it a try.”
One time was all it took. Once Bo tried cocaine, he was immediately hooked. Bo had a cash flow business, so it was easy to hide his addiction from his family—at least at first.
“Eventually my lifestyle caught up with me,” says Bo. “I was getting high all the time and was no longer working. Instead, I resorted to stealing to support my habit which eventually led to my arrest. During this time, I lost my wife, my daughter, two businesses, a 4-bedroom house, my car and several years of my life to drugs.”
“If God was not in my life today, I’d probably be either in jail or dead.”
Hopelessness sets in
After living a life of abusing drugs for a number of years, Bo finally reached his limit. He had learned about the Nashville Rescue Mission’s life-recovery program and knew people were getting help there overcoming their addictions. He hadn’t slept for three days, didn’t have much hope and was completely broken. Going to the Mission was his last resort.
Bo and daughter at 21st birthday“I was at the end of my rope,” explains Bo. “I had no where to go, I didn’t even have a car, so I hitched a ride. I remember walking up to Fred Hoffman, a counselor at the time and saying ‘I’m tired of this life, I want to get clean and sober. Can you help me?’ I honestly had nowhere else to turn.”
Transformation begins
“The Nashville Rescue Mission gave me the opportunity to hit my knees,” shares Bo. “I was already so far down the only place to look was up. The success I have in my recovery today is because of what I learned on the front steps of that building on 8th Avenue. That’s where I first learned how to pray.”
Learning how to pray changed everything for Bo. He learned how to start and end each day by talking to God—something he still does every day. In fact, Bo says he talks to God all day long. “It’s like having a conversation with a friend.”

“There’s no way I could have done this without God. I thank Him daily for what He gave me, what He took from me and how He’s changed me.”
Moving on
“I moved to Colorado in 2001,” shares Bo. “I went there to pursue my wife, but I know God’s hand led me there so I could help others. Today, I’m paying it forward. By that I mean, God keeps bringing people into my life that are in need of recovery. Because of what I learned at the Nashville Rescue Mission, I’m able to help them. First and foremost, I teach them how to pray. That’s where it all begins.”
Ten years later, Bo is happily married to his wife Mac (Elizabeth) who is a psychologist as well as a professor. Bo now owns his own business. He has reconciled with his daughter, who is 21 and just purchased her first house.
“Every year on my sobriety date, I do something to make amends for the harm I caused others,” shares Bo. “Whether that means I give financially or offer an apology, I do it. Making amends is a burden lifter and soul cleanser for me.”
“My recovery is contingent on my being spiritually fit every day,” says Bo. “The only way I can do that is by the grace of God, on my knees, praying every day. I thank God and I especially thank the Nashville Rescue Mission for teaching me how to pray.”
If you or someone you know is in need of life-recovery, please contact us at (615) 255-2475.
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