One man describes his journey from ‘Panther to Priesthood’

Ed Willis’s life started in a spot actually known as “The Lower Bottom.” Drugs, Alcohol, Prostitution—you identify it, and it might be discovered within the decrease backside. Ed was all the time looking for one thing. It was this looking that led him to grow to be a Black Panther. Ultimately, Ed can now see that the dignity he was in search of all alongside might be present in understanding that he’s a toddler of God.

Read the excerpt under to be taught extra about Ed’s journey from Panther to Priesthood. You may also take heed to the total episode by clicking right here or hear within the participant under. A full transcript of the episode is accessible by clicking right here.

The following excerpt has been edited for readability.

Morgan Jones Pearson: The development from Panther to priesthood is one thing that’s virtually unfathomable, that somebody may change that a lot in a lifetime. I believe that’s the rationale your ebook title will catch individuals’s consideration, and it’s a real story. How do you each view the evolution of your lives?

Ed Willis: Well, initially, Jesus can change you in a blink of an eye fixed. And, truly, to His time, my time is a few blink of an eye fixed. And so I simply realized that I’ve been outfitted with some attention-grabbing nuggets of knowledge alongside the way in which due to the trials and tribulations and dangerous and good choices that I’ve been by that has ready me to be of service. And, you understand, varied methods—perhaps even methods I haven’t even acquired to but.

I imagine—there’s this saying that I’ve, after I first moved in with Wanda and my sister-in-law, I might say, “The Lord’s got me in high cotton.” And I exploit that very same terminology pertaining to the Church, particularly when He’s had me serve in such fantastic methods. One being in excessive council. But how about simply the Melchizedek priesthood? You know, my goodness, “Who, me?” You know. I’ve regarded for worth, I couldn’t discover it. As a toddler I couldn’t discover it within the Black neighborhood, and once we moved to a predominantly white neighborhood, I couldn’t discover it there.

My worth got here when Jesus saved me. So, you understand, there’s no quantity of worth {that a} man may give me that’s equal to that. And now it issues to not me that I occur to be an American of African descent. It may to those that are thought of as white or Caucasian, however I believe all of us come to the mercy seat with points. All of us acquired points. And all of us acquired a narrative too, you understand.

And I’m hoping that Wanda and my story—it’s actually miraculous—however [that] it might edify anyone. I keep in mind after I first began studying the Bible severely, I examine King David. I believed, “Oh, my goodness,” as a result of I learn the place he was the person after God’s personal coronary heart. And after I learn tales about Kind David I stated, “Oh, man, this guy got a shot? I got a shot.”

Not to even put myself on his stage however I’m simply saying it gave me hope. And so I’m simply praying, you understand, for me, a poor man who began off … in a spot known as the decrease backside. And it’s nonetheless known as that at this time, the decrease backside and Wanda and I went again and visited that spot the place I lived with my mother behind the cleaners, you understand, that place doesn’t exist anymore. And there’s a bunch of yuppies shifting in. But you may nonetheless see the scars of the neighborhood there with drug habit and alcoholism and prostitution and what have you ever. But the actual fact of the matter is, the enemy had that in retailer for me. Well, Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ has one thing completely completely different in retailer for me. So it’s actually evening and day.

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