For many years, Terrell Scott was the leader of a criminal gang, sold drugs, organised armed robberies, for which he ended up in prison. But it was in prison that God melted the guy’s “stony” heart.
Emptiness, pain, suffering and contrition – in these four words, Terrell Scott, pastor of Passionate Life Church in McDonough, Georgia, USA, describes the years when he was the leader of a criminal gang.
Scott spent most of his teenage years and adolescence participating in gangs, drug trafficking and armed robberies. During those years he was addicted to alcohol, used and sold marijuana, cocaine, ecstasy and methamphetamines.
In an interview with The Christian Post, Scott said that he grew up in a dysfunctional and incomplete family and did not have a close relationship with his father. He sought to feel fulfilled and sought a brotherly relationship to fill the void left by his father’s absence. All these factors, he said, led to the fact that he gathered around him a gang known for its brutality.
In McDonough, where Scott grew up, gangs weren’t unusual. Many of his peers had formed their own gangs by the time they graduated from high school. And then – fights, attacks, beatings, robbery, extortion and war between gangs.
Scott hoped that by forming a gang, he would find brotherhood and unity. At the age of 15, he gathered the boys from the school football team and started his own gang. That led him to a 10 years of a life of crime, which ultimately led to his arrest and imprisonment.
At the age of 21, Terrell Scott received five years in prison, as well as a $ 500,000 fine.
While in custody, Scott continued to run his gang from prison and trade drugs for several years before being caught. For this he was transferred to solitary confinement.
During 6 months of isolation, Scott began to find himself increasingly contemplating the existence of God. One night, he turned to Him in prayer, asking the Lord to bring someone into his life to help him learn more about the Christian faith.
A month later, Scott received a letter from a woman named Brandi, whom he once robbed at gunpoint.
“In the letter, Brandi shared the gospel with me and said that God has a purpose and a plan for me. And the Holy Spirit touched me. I repented, ”Scott said. “I was so excited about it that I began to testify and share Jesus with everyone.”
For several months, Brandi visited Scott regularly to study the Bible with him. After he gave his life to Jesus at the age of 26, the correctional institution paid attention to changes in his behavior and ministry among inmates. The judge later agreed to cancel the $ 500,000 fine.
“On one of my last nights in prison, I was praying and I had a vision of how two hands clasped. I realized that God is calling me to change the world through ministry. Then I heard the voice of God who told me that I must be a preacher to help many, ”said Scott.
After leaving prison, Scott married Brandi. The couple now have five children, and in 2013 they founded the Passionate Life Church in the same area where Scott grew up. About 100 parishioners gather in the church every Sunday.
They also started their own Christian ministry called The River Refuge to minister to youth in McDonough, an area that continues to struggle with high crime rates.
“If God can change me, then He can change anyone. And I want to prevent others from experiencing what I went through and give them a purpose in life, ”said Scott. “I’ve made many mistakes and hurt so many people, but seeing what God has done, I just want to share it with more and more children to inspire them.
God gave me a heart for children. Over 90% of children at McDonough have never met their fathers, so we want to take a step forward and become godly examples for them. ”
“God’s grace saved me, saved me from the past and freed me from drug addiction, because God can forgive and heal anyone,” Scott said. -“There is nothing better than serving the Lord. What I found on the street, in that lifestyle, was a fake of what I needed, and I never found satisfaction in it.
When I gave my life to Christ, it was not like I was a bandit, a drug addict and a drug dealer, and then I wake up and everything is peaches and roses, but this was a process that God led me through, and I had to trust God and His healing, ”added Terrell Scott.
Based on materials from The Christian Post