Pastor leads gang member away from life of crime - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Pastor leads gang member away from life of crime

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MEMPHIS, TN -

(WMC-TV) - A reformed gang member is using his story to help make his neighborhood a better place for kids to grow up.

Darrius Halloway first stepped foot inside Pursuit of God Transformation Center nine years ago.

"When I first came to church, I had a gun," he said. "I was like, 'This has got to be a setup. They trying to get revenge."

He thought the church was seeking revenge after he beat up the pastor's son with a few of his fellow gang members. His sentence was to attend church.

"To make a long story short, I ended up going to jail. And my lawyer came to me and said that the pastor wants you to come to church. And I'm really gang related, so that don't happen," explained Halloway.

But it happened and after one visit, he stopped bringing his gun and began to turn away from gang life.

"My mentor was the drug dealer. My fathers was the rappers. That's who I'm used to," he said.

But Pastor Ricky Floyd challenged Halloway to grow into a man of God.

"I looked past his actions and saw that his actions came from hate and for lack of a better word, ignorance," said Pastor Floyd. "He was only acting from the culture that he was used to and what was reasonable in his culture."

"One of my main reasons for crime was 'cause of money. I robbed for money. I sold dope because of money. And I stole 'cause of money," said Halloway.

Pastor Floyd showed him ways to make money legally and live off of that life.

"We literally took himself in as a son," said Floyd, who showed Halloway a lifestyle he didn't know existed, one of love, commitment, and faith.

"Nine years ago I probably thought prostitution was gonna be my life," said Halloway. "If a girl was gonna date me, she was gonna get my money. Today, I'm married to one wife. She ain't gonna catch me in no club, screwing around. Like, we in love. I've got two children."

Halloway is now growing in his faith, supporting his family, and inspiring others to follow in his footsteps.

"When I come to church and see somebody who is in a position that's was in nine years ago, crying, and trying to do better and trying to get out of gangs. Them are things that give me joy. Them are things that keep me pushing," he said.

Halloway's life change started with the actions of one pastor, who did not want to see a cycle of crime continue.

"I believe that somebody has to take a stand and fight for the family," said Pastor Floyd.

Pursuit of God Transformation Center is hosting a Men and Boys' Summit this Friday. For more information, contact the church at (901) 353-5772.

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