By: Katie Sobiech
“Four hundred years of slavery could not take down the African American race, but a piece of crack this little,” Gary Wyatt, Founder of He Brought Us Out said, nearly pinching his fingers together “came and destroyed the race. A piece of crack will tear up a whole family for generations, even to this day.”
Years ago, when God brought Wyatt out of his addiction to crack cocaine, he began passionately pursuing saving others from the darkness that once kept him bound. He shut down his crack houses and he and his wife Patricia turned one of them into a ministry home, the North Hill Community House, that is a light in the neighborhood today.
“We want to be a resource center,” Wyatt said, “and do whatever we can to impact lives.”
They do this through a home-based food pantry run out of his garage.
“It’s what you call a mom and pops,” he said.
His garage is filled with refrigerated items, medication, tissues and other hygienic supplies that they give out on the last Thursday of each month to people in the community.
“I love the ministry,” Patty Hayes, Wyatt’s mother in law said, “It’s my heart. I even take food out of my freezer at home and help people if they don’t have anything to eat.”
They also have a storage unit upstairs filled with furniture and household items for those in need. They offer tutoring, community meetings, a back to school outreach and offer children a safe place to come after school.
“This house used to be a drug house but now it is a safe haven for kids,” Wyatt said.
They provide food to about 100 people or 25-35 families a month.
Getting Off Track
If it weren’t for where he had been Wyatt wouldn’t be doing what he is doing now. It was because of his drug addiction and falling so far away from God that he found his calling in life.
It all began in 1989 after he got out of the military.
“I started hanging with my old friends, got out on the streets and began to run with a few friends that were into the drug games,” Wyatt said.
The money was good at the white collar level and so he established several dope houses.
“Before you knew it I started snorting cocaine to the point that I almost needed it to function because of all of the pressures behind selling drugs,” he said, “Then I graduated from snorting cocaine to smoking it.”
He says that he couldn’t figure out what crack actually did to people. He was somewhat intrigued by the power it had over them. He wondered ‘How could a drug make a woman steal and stay out all night and prostitute?’ That curiosity led him down an even darker path.
“It just consumed me,” he recalled.
Finally one day there came a crossroads in his life.
“I went on a three day drug spree and made up in my mind that that was it. I got half an ounce of cocaine, cut it up and was basically going to kill myself,” he said.
While getting high one lady said to him “You just don’t look like you fit in here.”
“What do you mean by that?” he asked.
“You look like you should be in a church somewhere,” she said, “You just don’t fit in with us.”
“That just messed up my whole high,” Wyatt said, “because I never lost that thought. I thought ‘You know the Lord is speaking to me once again. I need to change’.”
After his drug binge he says he was drunk out of his mind but somehow got home Sunday morning. His wife found him in his car, cleaned him up and took him to the nearest church where they sang ‘This Little Light of Mine’ as he walked in.
“I just jumped up out of nowhere and started running because I was so bound up. I was at the end of my rope. I didn’t know what to do, all I knew is I had to run to Jesus,” he said.
He ran to the altar and asked God to forgive him and he says he knew he was delivered that moment.
“The Bible says that we wrestle not against flesh and blood but against principalities. This thing (cocaine) that the devil has released on this earth is one of the most powerful drugs. A thousand hits are not enough,” he said.
“I was smoking twelve hundred dollars of crack a week,” he continued, “People can smoke one piece of crack and kill themselves, so never underestimate its power.”
After cutting his crack habit, Wyatt had no withdrawals. He says that he was delivered of his drug addiction and other addictions instantly.
“I know they’ve got the Twelve Steps and there’s nothing wrong with that,” he said, “but when you’re that bound up and have the devil all on you and a twelve hundred dollar crack cocaine habit you don’t have time for twelve steps. I needed one step and that step that I took with Jesus Christ is the best thing that I could have ever done.”
He then referred to the woman in the Bible with the issue of blood.
“She had that issue for 12 whole years but said ‘If I can just touch the hem of his garment’ and the Bible says that when she touched it she was made whole.”
Now Wyatt is using what once trapped him to help transform the lives of others. Along with the above mentioned outreaches he teaches financial literacy, credit repair, banking and how to managing a mortgage. The ministry collaborates with many people, including city officials.
“We wouldn’t be able to make it if we didn’t collaborate,” he said.
“I love what I do,” he continued, “That is why I can go to work at four in the morning and get off and come here. People ask how I do it; it’s the power of the Holy Spirit. It’s the drive, unction and anointing that I have for this community. If I wasn’t anointed or empowered by Christ I couldn’t do this.”
For more information or to donate to this ministry please contact He Brought Us Out at 330.375.5066 or our website: http://www.northhillcommunityhouse.org
If you have any story ideas, questions, or comments you can contact: Katie@akroneur.com.