Carrying to Completion

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.

Trunk with stuffI 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.

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