At age 15, Kimberly began using drugs. She said this propelled her down a road of destruction.
Thereafter, she said she lost everything. Today, she admits that drugs are bad because she lived through the fears and despair the habit can bring.
“On July 2, I celebrated a year without drugs,” Kimberly said. “I found hope through people who shared their love and support to help me find answers in a dark world.”
She is referring to jail ministry volunteers, which includes Cathy Campbell, Leanne Hornsby, Vicki Brown, Kristi Dabbs and others.
More than 4 years ago, Cathy was one of the first at Antioch Baptist Church to spark the idea of forming a jail ministry. The spark soon grew into a flame and people were invited to become a part of the endeavor.
Kristi, wife of Dr. Jeff Dabbs, pastor at Antioch Baptist Church, was a volunteer in the jail ministry when she met Kimberly.
“I invited her to attend church where she found the peace she was seeking,” Kristi said. “The rest is history.”
A new name for the jail ministry — Fried Pies —was initiated after Cathy Campbell and her husband vacationed in Florida.
Cathy said she thought about a name for the ministry and finally got it.
“A fried pie is filled, sealed and turned over! That is what we are as a Christian... filled with the Holy Spirit, sealed until the day of redemption and turned over to a new way of life!”
She said the success of Fried Pies is due to the volunteers, support and care that people have shown.
The ministry helps women, who are either homeless or released from jail or prison, by providing clothing, shelter, and food.
Providing shelter was difficult until they partnered with Community Share Ministry, which operates a men’s shelter and thrift store in Cedartown.
Director Jason Slaughter is pastor of Connect Missionary Church.
He said he found a new purpose for his life after closing a local business.
Slaughter said God gave him three things to accomplish: a men’s shelter, a place for women to stay and a facility for children.
The first goal has been reached. He acquired a 7 bedroom, 4-bath house at 210 South Philpot Street, Cedartown, which has become the residence of up to 15 men.
“Due to today’s economy, many people find themselves without a home,” he said. “They start sleeping on couches and this usually leads to bad habits.”
The shelter provides men a place to stay while they get their life in order. They are also required to have random drug testing, actively seek work and attend church.
“We want to help them, but also let them know we are not in the hotel business,” Slaughter said.
Since finding a home at the men’s shelter, Matt Dodd said he is no longer afraid and has been called to the ministry.
“I have had opportunity to speak at different places,” he said. “I have also decided to attend college and hopefully graduate from seminary school.”
Slaughter said remodeling has begun on a building that can house up to 12 women. When complete, his second goal will be reached.
“Our future plans are to accomplish our third goal and provide a place for children,” he said. “It is not easy to think that kids are hurting in our land of plenty.”
For more information about Fried Pies ministry, contact Cathy Campbell at 770-748-3419 or 706-237-0264 or go to www.friedpiesministry.com.
For information about Community Share ministries, contact Jason Slaughter at 770-639-1754 or 678-634-4395.