By Earl Winfrey
I can’t remember a time when church was not part of my life. I was baptized into Christ at 12 and felt the call to ministry and started pursuing a deeper knowledge of the Bible at the age of 14. Unfortunately, I got mixed up with the wrong crowd during my senior year of high school.
I got married two weeks after graduation, and we had our baby five months after the wedding. For the first year and a half, I lived in denial, thinking my marriage was good. Then one day I woke up to find my mother-in-law loading my wife’s and son’s belongings into her SUV. We ended the marriage six months later, and the guilt was overwhelming. I felt like such a failure because I could not make my marriage work.
With a failed marriage, I knew it was unlikely I could find a full-time job in ministry. I thought that until a friend invited me to help with his youth ministry. I served as a youth sponsor awhile, gaining the confidence to pursue a degree from Florida Christian College (Johnson University Florida).
Now I serve a church full-time as minister, and I have a beautiful wife with two awesome kids in the house, and a full-grown son in New York. My faithful friend reached out to me in a time of need and helped me realize “He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion” (Philippians 1:6).
Earl Winfrey serves as minister with First Christian Church, Greenwood, South Carolina.