Derryberry ministers to women in ‘transition’comment (0)
January 1, 2009
By Brittany N. Howerton
Ransomed, Reconciled, Redeemed.” This is the message of hope traveling music evangelist Kevin Derryberry is sending with his newest album, which was developed specifically for the residents of L.I.F.E. Tech Transition Center for women in Wetumpka.
“We wanted to record the songs that these women love so much,” Derryberry said, “so when they leave L.I.F.E.
Tech, they can put that CD in and it will remind them of that night they experienced God in such a way and it takes them back to a moment that in the middle of no matter what’s going on, reminds them God is real.”
So Derryberry, worship leader at Westwood Baptist Church, Alabaster, and his worship team from the Shelby Baptist Association church recorded the album with the women in mind and included a track with them singing at the end.
On Dec. 12, they distributed the album to the 135 women at the facility dedicated to helping them develop Life skills Influenced by Freedom in Education so they can smoothly re-enter society after about six to eight months there.
“Tonight was just awesome,” said Sharon, a L.I.F.E. Tech resident since March. “Every time they come, it’s like that.
It’s just like the Holy Spirit comes and visits me.”
Derryberry’s team visits the facility four times a year to lead worship and distribute devotions, Bibles and toiletries.
Rachel Smith, administrative support assistant at L.I.F.E. Tech and correspondent with Derryberry’s ministry, said all of the women are thankful for his visits.
“They just get so excited,” Smith said. “Many have given their hearts to Christ.”
And for some, “it’s their last chance to make a change,” she added.
Smith said after hearing Derryberry’s testimony four years ago, she knew he would be able to relate to the women at L.I.F.E. Tech.
A native of Selma, Derryberry moved to Birmingham in 1979 to further pursue his “rocker” career. But when Christ transformed his life of drug and alcohol abuse in 1995, his plans changed.
Now the husband, father of three, worship leader and music evangelist is relentless in the pursuit of Christ’s possibilities for his life.
At the forefront of those possibilities is showing others what faith in Christ can mean for their lives.
“These ladies (at L.I.F.E. Tech) are hungry for God. They’ve had rough lives. They’ve never seen the ‘peaceful shores,’” Derryberry said, referencing lyrics to the hymn “Love Lifted Me.”
“Some ladies don’t even know what that looks like,” he added.
So in addition to visiting the facility regularly, Derryberry began a more targeted ministry — Letters from Paul, which fosters correspondence between a woman at L.I.F.E. Tech and a godly female mentor.
“They repent of their sins and want Jesus as their Lord and pray to receive Christ and then we leave. That’s like saying, ‘OK, Satan, here’s a target. Go for it,’” Derryberry explained. “But now we can write them and encourage them. … Our goal is to get momma back home and not be the one that needs help but (be able to) help her family.”
And “by the grace of God,” they are “overcoming,” Sharon said.
“God has led me in a different direction, and now I can teach my kids what I learned here and not to make the same choices I did,” she said.
For more information, visit www.kevinderryberry.com.