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RESOURCE CENTER AND ARCHIVES

Former meth addict turned pastor helps Sardis Association church growcomment (0)

February 19, 2009

By Jeremy Henderson


New Chapel Baptist Church, Kinston, is being led by a 39-year-old former methamphetamine addict — a 10-grams-a-day-for-eight-years methamphetamine addict.

And everyone there is thrilled.

That kind of redemption shoots a special power through a man’s testimony and really burdens him for the lost.
And folks say that’s exactly what the little white church with the beige trim needed.

Eighty-five-year-old Roy Baker has been going there for a long time, and he couldn’t care less about the new pastor’s old drugs.

“What do I know about him? I know he’s built this church up,” said Baker, the Sardis Baptist Association church’s only deacon.

In fact, since tall, skinny Terry Godwin showed up in July, the church’s Sunday attendance has doubled, tripled and even quadrupled — from six to 25.

“Yes sir, we’ve got several new members since then,” said Baker’s daughter Donna Jones, the church clerk and song leader, noting there’s just been some “really good preaching.”

That is likely best explained by the transparency of Godwin’s testimony.

The meth was wonderful that first time, he’s not going to lie. It made the shifts fly by at the cotton mill like you wouldn’t believe.

“I felt like I could do anything,” Godwin said.

But he couldn’t.

Godwin couldn’t take care of his family as he needed to. He couldn’t keep from getting pulled over by the police. He couldn’t stop them from taking him to jail. He couldn’t sleep, eat or do anything when his wife, Kate, finally let him back in the house.

“All I could think about was the Holy Ghost,” Godwin said. 

He was saved Oct. 21, 2003 — 9:58 a.m., to be exact.

Godwin has been involved with church ever since. But the preaching part took a little while.

“God just spoke to me about a year ago about teaching, and I never would step up into it and do it,” he said. “I’d fill in, I’d fill in, I’d fill in. And then He put pastoring on my heart.”

Godwin had been studying the Book of Acts passage about Saul being on the road to Damascus.

“I couldn’t focus on anything else in the Bible, and He just spoke to me one day. I said, ‘God, what do you want for me? I want to surrender.’ And He said, ‘I need a man like Saul that will take my Word into the dying world and preach it,’” he recalled.

One day, Godwin did preach to a men’s group at Ino Baptist Church, Kinston, in Coffee Baptist Association, where he and his wife were members and she still serves as ministry assistant/receptionist. When he finished, 70 came down to the altar. So Senior Pastor Garry Winstead invited him to give a full sermon in front of the whole 900-strong Ino Baptist congregation. 

“I was nervous but I did it,” Godwin said. “A guy got saved that night.”

Two weeks later, New Chapel Baptist called for a fill in.

Then it called again.

Then it called him for good.

“Since he’s been here, we’ve had professions of faith and we’ve had three baptisms and he’s just been a blessing to us,” said Baker, who likes to brag on Godwin.

But for his part, Godwin is too busy hunkered down in the Word to blush or even notice.

“I don’t have anything to do with it,” he said. “I ain’t boastin’ about me.

“I’m just an ordinary man just doing what God wants me to.”

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