Mother Joyce Richardson
“I enjoy providing hospitality and praises to the Lord. One thing that I have been involved with is helping out in the Women’s department. I stepped up to help out my daughter on the praise team not knowing that I would still be a permanent member. I have also taken time to text or call some of the young ladies, who have not been to church in a while or may have been sick, to see how they are doing and if they need something. My greatest desire is to bring more young ladies to be used in their calling. I have had to slow down a little after the doctor told me that I had six months to a year to live, but all I could hear was ‘your work is not done’. According to the doctor my time should have been up, but I had prayer warriors who were praying and still are. I thank God first but I also thank the Lord for my husband, my better half, for being there by my side. To God be the glory for the good he’s done.”
Sister Sharisse Thurston
Born with a heart defect, four open heart surgeries resulted in the insertion of a pig’s valve at 8 years old because it was “strongest of all options” and a melody valve at 17. Life on oxygen, type 2 diabetes and sleep apnea are among the other daily hurdles. Around the age of 20 I began taking drugs and by 23 I had taken so much I lost my mind. I was arrested in 2012 and faced a 14 year sentence. My judge, seeing that I was incompetent, decided to send me to a facility in Yankton, SD. While there I battled strange thoughts like I thought I was the Queen of England and that I had a midget son. I was literally going insane, diagnosed with manic depression and schizophrenia!
Back in the day I didn’t care what you say, I was twisted in the darkness. I lost my way so now I don’t regret my past. I get through trials, with You my life is a miracle, thanks to You they don’t last. I have an old soul, here’s the shirt off my back if you are cold, I’ll take a tissue to wipe your tears but it’s Jesus who will erase our fears. Jesus all the way! Thank you Lord, my Savior. This is my poetic praise!
Elder Michael Jackson, Sr.
“I was an addict and alcoholic for years and once God took the taste of drugs and alcohol from me in 2006 He freed my mind. I decided to turn my life over to God and never looked back. Since I made that decision I’ve always felt an urge to serve and work in the church (never wanted to warm the bench) and when I did, it came natural, it felt natural. I knew servanthood was not only my gift but a calling. I love to serve, the saying is ‘if you love what you do you’ll never work a day in your life’. With roses come thorns, so serving isn’t always enjoyable, but when you sit back and think about why you serve, truly doing it unto God and not for the pleasure of man, then it’s well worth it. God saved my life form darkness. Drugs and alcohol would have lead me to my grave so the least I can do to try to repay Him is serve Him with an honest heart. I thank God for awarding me with an understanding wife and kids who support me, a husband and father with a servants heart, because there are times when I have to be the first to arrive and the last to leave and times when family time is sacrificed. My life is my testimony.”