I was raised in Dallas, Texas in a severely dysfunctional
family. I know there is often some type of dysfunction
in most families, but when I say my family was severely
dysfunctional, it is without exaggeration. My home
environment consisted of drugs, prostitution, murder, gangs,
incest, and mental illness. As a result, I became a prostitute
when I was a young teenager. I continued in that lifestyle for
a number of years until one day I realized something was
wrong with the way I was living.
I joined a church in 1985 because I needed to find another
way to live. I was sick and tired of being sick and tired. So I
made the decision to turn my life over to Christ.
After I accepted Christ, I did not completely surrender to
Him. I still tried to straddle the fence; I continued to make
money on the streets and attend church also. When I say
“make money on the streets,” I do not mean I was going
corner-to-corner. I had learned another way to do it— with a
close network of people my family knew.
I left home at age 19 and met a man who told me
he loved me and could show me how to live. This man
introduced me to other ways of making money in the sex
industry, like talking to guys on the phone and meeting
them out somewhere. However, because I had given
my life to Christ, I soon became very disturbed with my
lifestyle but did not know how to change. Everything
was out of balance. Eventually, I started using drugs and
continued selling my body to support my drug habit.
After a while the police caught up with me. Eventually, I
was sentenced to 10 years probation in 2000. The demands
of probation were strict and overwhelming. After awhile, I
went back to the judge and asked if there was a better way
to serve the time instead of probation. He suggested I serve
four months in jail. In 2006, I did those four months. While
locked up, I began to think about how I really wanted to
make a change in my life. I prayed, God, how am I going to
know I’m really with you? He answered, If you die to yourself
and everything you think you know, I will be there for you.
When I was released, I got a job at the Veteran Affairs
(VA) Hospital. However, I still felt something was missing and
continued to seek God’s guidance to fulfill His purpose for
my life. He told me to go to Atlanta.
One day at work, I learned of a great job opportunity
in Atlanta! My boss asked if I was interested. I thought to
myself, Okay God, I’m gonna trust you. So in June of 2007,
I took a bus to Atlanta. I got the job and worked there one
day and a half before I learned there was a budget issue
concerning my position, and I was let go.
Fortunately, a classmate had a grandmother living
in Atlanta and put me in touch with her. My friend’s
grandmother allowed me to stay with her for a period of
time. I constantly reminded myself of what God told me,
Forget everything you thought you knew and submit to
My will. I did just that, but it was not easy. Everyday I had
to die to myself and submit to His will.
One day, in my quest to find work, I decided to walk down
Old National Highway in College Park, Georgia. I went inside
each business and asked for a cleaning job. While walking,
I noticed a big building sitting far back from the street. I
walked over to that building and read the World Changers
sign. At the time I did not connect it to Pastor Creflo Dollar.
My mom and I used to watch Pastor Dollar on the Trinity
Broadcast Network (TBN) back in 1995. My mom loved
Pastor Dollar. She always talked about him. I, on the other
hand, would say things like “Oh sure! Do you really think
there is a World Changers, mother? Is World Changers a
place where people’s lives are being changed?” At the time,
I did not believe a place like that existed. Even though I found
it difficult to believe in the name of the ministry, I heard great
teachings from Pastor Dollar.
As I stepped on the campus of World Changers, I had
no idea it was the church of the pastor I had watched on
television several years earlier. When you come from a
background like mine, venturing into a big building can be
scary. It was too uncomfortable, especially where churches
were concerned. I was uncomfortable because I viewed this
church as a place a person like me would be looked down
on, which is what I had experienced at some churches.
Not even realizing I was walking into a church, I made
my way through the doors of World Changers Ministry and
explained my situation. Staff members prayed with me and
gave me food. I began to go there everyday for prayer. One
day, I told one of the security guards my story and asked if
she knew of a place that would help someone like me. The
security guard told me about the Prestige Ministry. Excited
to know the ministry had a program like this, I made a phone
call to Prestige that day!
That phone call changed my life! The ministers talked to
me and prayed with me. Not only did they ask how they
could be of assistance to me, they began to help me with all
of my needs. They asked me about my struggles and I told
them I believed my struggle was in my mind because I had
seen God do so many things in my life. I have set goals and
accomplished many of them, but I did not know how to stay
committed to those goals.
The Prestige ministers gave me assurance. They taught
me the Word. I learned I could not really find myself until I
submitted to the power of God in me. I also learned that my
purpose and my destiny could also be found within me.
Within the Prestige ministry, I felt I could be open and
honest because they did not have a motive for giving and
sharing. They did not ask anything of me except to develop
Christian character by attending the classes that would help
me experience change. They helped me with housing, food,
employment, and most importantly, spiritual development.
Prior to joining World Changers, whenever I thought
of the Bible, I would become fearful because I was not
able to interpret and understand it well. In addition, I had
misconceptions about leadership and preachers because I
had been misled in the past. However, that has not been my
experience at World Changers. The most important thing
that has happened to me since coming to this ministry is the
change that has taken place in my mind. My mind has been
renewed by the Word of God.
I realize now there is a place called World Changers where
lives are changed! I would advise any young girl who has lost
her way or may be involved in the sex industry to turn her life
over to Christ. Then, come to World Changers. Change is at
World Changers! Change is in the Prestige Ministry.
-As told to Tawanda Mills
Carol is continuing her transition through Prestige. She
has started a non-profit organization called Further Building
Our Children and Communities (FBOCC). Through FBOCC,
she helps children from severely dysfunctional families.