My name is Will Latham. I am a 40 year-old husband and father of 4 children. I have 1 daughter and 3 sons. This is my story.

At the age of 8 years-old, my 2 sisters and I were abandoned by our mother after years of verbal and physical abuse by our step father. I would not see or hear from my mother again until 31 years later. I was raised in a Christian home by my great aunt Myrtle Turner and her husband Earnest Turner. From a young age I learned about the goodness and mercy of God. Although being taught about God’s love and mercy, I still held a great deal of anger and resentment towards my mother for leaving me to be with her husband and the 3 children she had with her husband. This anger caused me to have a bad attitude and quick temper. As a young man I fell into a life of petty crime and drug use. I ended up becoming incarcerated.

While incarcerated my aunt passed away. I felt empty, alone and lost. I began to reflect on some of the wise words my aunt had given me, while she was alive. I began to pray and ask God to help me. I gave my life to God while I was incarcerated. It was once I gave my life to God, my life began to feel whole and at peace. I have continued my walk with God ever since.

When my aunt passed away, I prayed to God to give me a family. I was released from prison in 2009. God answered my prayers, God blessed me with a wife and 2 step sons and 2 years later another son. The good Lord also lifted the anger in my heart towards my mom. I began looking for my mom and the siblings my mom took with her when she left. After about a year of searching, I was able to find my mom. She currently resides in Georgia. Me and my mom speak to each other often on the phone now.

I live in Newark, New Jersey a city plagued with crime and killings. I would consider my self a youth leader, but would definitely like to grow in ministry. I want to be able to spread the goodness of God throughout this city. I currently work with young boys from my community. I take some of the boys I have developed a relationship with to my church. I am currently working on forming a nonprofit outreach program for young men in urban areas. I have also been working with my pastor on ways to encourage and draw the young people into the house of God. I use to ask myself why do I have to go through so much hardship and turmoil. I now know, it is because of all the painful experiences, I can relate to so much of what the young people in my community is experiencing. I’m reaching out to the young people to tell them; I know what it is like to be abandoned by your parents. I share with them God can fill any void in your life, if you give God a chance.

My dream is to open a nonprofit faith-based center for people. This center will focus on the fact, you can do all things through God. The center will specialize in working with abuse victims, drug addicts, victims of domestic violence, gang members and anyone looking to turn their lives around. I know where He has delivered me from, and the goodness of God. The good Lord has given me mercy and showed me grace. Now that I know the goodness of God on a personal level, I want to be educated as well; which is why I want to move forward with the online Bible school. While I read the bible on a daily basis, I want to gain a firm understanding of the Bible. So when I am out witnessing to others about the glory of God, I’m armed with knowledge and understanding of scriptures from the Bible. As I don’t want to add or take away anything from the bible. This online Bible school is essential to the work God has for me to do. I currently stay at home to take care of my 2 year old son with special needs, and cannot afford to pay tuition for school. I ask that a scholarship be given to assist me doing Our Father’s work.

Will Latham, of Newark, New Jersey U.S. Graduate of the Christian Leadership basic course – Christian Leaders Institute.