Tommy More, First Clermont
September 23, 2015
This Week’s Storyteller is…
Tommy More, First Clermont
(Submitted in 2014)
My childhood was the same as any other childhood. I grew up in a Christian family and attended a local Methodist church because that was routine. As a young boy, I was molested by a neighbor several times and never told anyone. My fear of people knowing, my shame, my guilt, and my distorted view of sexuality began a death spiral into a life of sin.
My teenage years were full of rebellion, drugs, alcohol and hate. After being kicked out of the house at around age 15, I wandered into a church that changed my life forever. The pastor, Benny Hinn, felt compassion for me, sent me to a rehab in Bradenton and started to disciple me. During this time in my life, I became intimately close with God. My life was completely changed, and I was on fire for God. As I became complacent, I was tempted with sexual impurity by a woman and gave into the temptation. Not wanting to be a hypocrite, and having the “full throttle” mentality of an addict, I turned my back on God, Benny, the church and everything related to religion, and started living a life of “controlled” sin.
I worked full time, drank every day, and only smoked pot with occasional cocaine. I was empty, lonely, hopeless and in denial that I had a problem. On the way home one evening in 1999, after drinking at the bar, I slammed into another car, taking the life of an innocent person. Never did I believe this could happen. I always said, “I hope I don’t get pulled over,” or “I hope no cops are out.” Never did I say, “I hope I don’t kill someone.” The realities of the dangers of drinking and driving became real that evening.
I was found guilty of DUI manslaughter and sentenced to 11 years in prison followed by four years’ probation. My life was over I thought. It was in prison that God saved me through Celebrate Recovery. I started working the program and taking college correspondence courses. While everyone else was playing dominoes, cards and board games, I was reading my bible and studying finance courses. When I was released in 2009, at the age of 39, I went back to college, earned a BSBA (finance major), got a position in finance real estate and dedicated my life to serving God anywhere he wanted me to.
I have 14 years continuous sobriety (Glory to God) and I am a Ministry Leader in Celebrate Recovery at the First United Methodist Church of Clermont. I chair meetings in the local AA groups. I sit on the church’s finance committee, endowment committee and I give my testimony any time God opens that door. God has given me hope and a future. I have been offered a position at a firm on Wall Street and am currently getting my MBA in finance. I want to pursue a PhD in finance, and I am waiting on God’s direction. I just want to encourage the person who feels they have no hope. God has taken me from the pit of prison to the pinnacle of Wall Street. All things are possible with God!
Up Next Week…
Elissa Salinger, Forest Hills, Tampa
What began as a day in which nothing was going right turned into a “seemingly” random opportunity to minister to a homeless family.