Bootheel pastor offers shelter, support for local men facing life - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

COPY-Bootheel pastor offers shelter, support for local men facing life after addiction

By Kathy Sweeney - ksweeney@kfvs12.com.

KENNETT, MO (KFVS) - In the basement of a small Kennett church, men in need are getting a second chance.

Gary Spence shows the small room he's staying in.

"There's just one person right now, me" Spence said. "And you stay here all the time, right?", I ask.  "Right, when I'm not working or in meetings or in church," Spence said.

Spence is receiving help through Global Visions Recovery, a faith-based shelter for recovering addicts based at the New Covenant Fellowship Church and run by its pastor, Robert Taylor.

"What we try to do here is we just show them respect," Taylor said. "We show them tough love."

Taylor also shows them brutal honesty by sharing his own addiction struggle, and how he came out on the other side.

"I'm not ashamed of my past," Taylor said.  "I was shamed then.  I'm not shamed now.  So, to tell what God has done for me in my life, it doesn't bother me in the least bit."

Taylor is the face and spirit of the program, while partner Paul Macklin handles the nuts and bolts.

"I come behind his vision with the road map to obtain it," Mackiln said.  "And that's been our partnership all along.  He would say, 'I want to do this' and then I would say 'Alright, let's figure out how to do it.'" 

Macklin also works alongside Taylor at the Stapleton Center, a rehab facility in Hayti.  Several church members come from Stapleton after Taylor introduced them to his church.

"I was raised in church and knew what I needed in my life, that my drug addiction had just overpowered everything," said Beverly Weaver of Hornersville.

"I'm so thankful to know there is people here who care about people like me," said Rick Adams, a former Stapleton client who also stayed at Global Visions and now works alongside Taylor.

Taylor and Macklin say, right now, Global Visions is running solely on church support and donations.  They are in the final stages of getting non-profit status so they can apply for federal grants.  

In the meantime, Robert Taylor will keep leading by example.

 I want to be right there with them, sharing my story with every person," he said.  "Hey I've been there.  You can do it.  Life is better without it.  It just comes to steal your life away.  Life is too short to do that."

For more information on Global Visions Recovery, visit www.gvrinc.org.

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