"BIG JOHN"

 

"If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar. for if he loveth not his brother whom he hath seen., how can he love God whom he hath not seen?" I John 4:20

FACTS ABOUT JOHN: Founder and previous Director

• Born and raised in Piedmont, S. C., a textile town
• The youngest and only son of 13 children
• Joined the U. S. Navy at age 16
• Played textile baseball in 40's
• Signed baseball contract with Brooklyn Dodgers
• Correctional Officer of the Year for 1982, Perry Correctional Institute
• President of the Board for The Home with the Heart
• Popular speaker for A. A.
• Has been a guest on Nightline and Peggy Denny Show
• Shares message of Christ's Love everywhere he goes: prisons, churches, community groups

While lying flat on his back, in a rehabilitation hospital room, John's doctor told him he had only two weeks to live. Raised in a Christian home, with his mother dying when he was only 5, John rebelled against his five, bossy, domineering, older sisters. After joining the Navy at age 16, John returned to school, received his diploma and attended Wofford College. He also signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers as a pitcher. After his bout with professional baseball, John sold insurance, became district manager, and began drinking. He then purchased and operated two truck stops, working 24.hour shifts, still drinking. After 35 years of drinking, John hit rock bottom. He lost his businesses, his home and almost lost his family. When he learned he had only two weeks to live, he really saw himself for the first time. Remembering his Christian upbringing he realized how lost he was. Falling on his knees John asked God to heal his body and save his soul. He made a commitment to God that if God gave him one day or 100 days John would go to the highest mountain top or the deepest valley telling others what God had done for him. John shared this message of how God reached down and pulled him up, and gave him a message of hope. This message gives hope, no matter what the circumstances, no matter how far we feel we've gone. JESUS is the ANSWER. HE CARES. He gave John ETERNAL LIFE, HE can do it for YOU. John Brook went to be with the Lord, June 30th 2001, His heart will keep giving long after he's gone!

God grant me the Grace to reject "GOOD ENOUGH", Courage to continually
search out the "BEST", Wisdom to know the "BEST" is yet AHEAD. - John Brock

John Brock went to be with the Lord on June 30th 2001

Alex Richey became the second director of the Home With a Heart following John's passing.

 

Alex Richey and Family

 

ALEX'S TESTIMONY

I first came to South Carolina in March of 1997. God saw fit to place the Home With a Heart in my path after over twenty years of drinking and drugging. My father died when I was only seven years old; I grew up in a household where my mother and my brothers and sisters all used alcohol and drugs, I used to get drunk and get high with my mother. My life ran the course of using and abusing alcohol and every kind of drug imaginable. I was in almost constant trouble with the law from the age of fourteen on. I had two unsuccessful relationships and was on the way to ruining a third. I knew no life that did not include at its core lying, stealing, womanizing and wasting all my money on drugs or alcohol.

I woke up in the hospital one morning after a drug deal gone bad, beaten up, in pain, my face and jaw battered and put back together with wires. I saw at the foot of my bed my wife and her preacher, praying for me. That was the day I called John Brock at the Home With a Heart. John said to me "son, when you get those wires out of your mouth, come on down here to see me." I took a Greyhound bus seven hundred miles from Illinois to Greenville. I spent my first night in South Carolina in a homeless shelter in Greenville. The next day I took a Greenville County Transit bus to the end of the line and walked the last several miles to Easley. John Brock sent someone to pick me up in Easley the next day.

When I arrived at the Home, John said to me "son, if you want to change the way you've been living, there's only one thing you've got to change – and that's everything." Two weeks later I got saved. I asked the Lord Jesus Christ to come into my heart right here at the Home and my life was changed forever. The Home showed me how to live one day at a time without the use of drugs and alcohol. I began to find a purpose, a goal – and a new direction for my life. In time, my wife got her husband back, my children got their father back and we began to be a family for the first time.

After eight weeks at the Home, I decided that I did not want to return to Illinois but begin a new life in South Carolina. My family and I stood on the porch of the first dormitory built at the Home and prayed. I thanked God for delivering me from the horrible pit of miry clay and setting my feet on the rock. I promised Him that I would re-direct my life to His service. One of the saving graces in my life was my wife's decision to stay with me in South Carolina and continue the work of putting our family back together. I did not know at the time it would become a ministry.

In 2000, John Brock realized his health was failing. He told me one day that the Lord had laid it on his heart that I should become his successor and continue the work he had begun at the Home. I thought he was crazy. I was an ex-addict, a new Christian, no professional training for ministry. But John insisted that that is where he and the ministry of the Home was being led. I became the Associate Director while John was still with us and when the Lord called John home in 2001, I became the Director. My wife, two children and I moved into the Home to continue the ministry.

I've seen over a thousand men come through the Home since then. I've seen God continue to work miracles in men's lives and the lives of their families. I've seen men rid themselves of crippling addictions, even when many other attempts had failed. I've seen wives get their husbands back, children get their fathers back, sons restored to their parents, brothers restored to their siblings.

The Home faces new challenges – challenges presented by growing addiction devastating our society, new drugs that did not exist five years ago posing new addiction problems for our people and the increasingly apparent inadequacy of secular rehabilitation to combat these challenges. God has promised to deliver his people. That delivery from the bondage of addiction is available to everyone who asks for it through the saving grace and sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ. God has blessed this ministry and guided its path, constantly providing for its needs. I believe that grace is not only sufficient but will continue as we reach out to those who need the life changing experience that many have found at the Home With a Heart through Jesus Christ.

(1) I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. (2) and be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. Romans 12:1-2


If you have any questions don't hesitate to contact us!