CONWAY, Ark. — Six months ago, the Central Baptist Church in Conway was vandalized. That man caught and arrested was Brenton Winn.
He now sits in recovery, and he said it was nothing less than an act by God, and nothing short of a miracle.
“I was angry at myself. I was angry at God,” Brenton Winn said. “But what I’ve come to realize is, I don’t think I picked that church, I think God picked me, because I couldn’t pull myself up out of my addiction on my own and I think God helped me do that.”
For several years, Winn was consumed with alcohol and drug addiction. He started hitting rock bottom, and found himself at the Central Baptist Church earlier this year.
“I don’t really remember a lot of the night. I was on several different substances,” said Winn.
“A very expensive soundboard had been thrown over the balcony, but was dangling,” Senior Central Baptist Church Pastor Don Chandler said.
There was writing on the walls, spray down the hallway from a fire extinguisher, and fire damage to the property.
“To be honest with you, he strengthened the church, because I saw hundreds of us come together to work together to get us back to where we needed to be to get us to worship on Sunday,” said Chandler.
Pastor Don Chandler had already forgiven Brenton for his actions and worked with the prosecuting attorney to give him a chance at recovery, instead of prison.
He didn’t realize that would lead to his baptism in the same sanctuary he damaged just months earlier.
“Many of them didn’t know that’s who he was until I announced that, and there were literally gasp from the congregation, recognizing very quickly what the Lord had done,” Chandler said.
“But really, what that did was that opened the door for me. I received that grace and God’s love was reflecting through that church, and I just want to continue to show that love and grace towards other people,” said Winn.
As Brenton finishes recovery, he said he’s working on becoming a better father and a better husband. He and his fiance are planning on getting married next year.
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