To listen to the song “Chain Breaker” by Zach Williams, you will hear Jerry’s story. It begins with:
“If you've been walking the same old road for miles and miles
If you've been hearing the same old voice tell the same old lies
If you're trying to fill the same old holes inside
There's a better life
There’s a better life”
A native Houstonian, Jerry dropped out of his high school in the Heights during the 11th grade. The year was 1983 and he left his childhood home, swept away by the unforgiving freedoms of the streets and down a rugged path of alcohol and drug addiction.
To feed his habit, Jerry lied, stole and eventually committed aggravated robbery. After his arrest and conviction, he was sentenced to 27 years in prison and spent those years at the Mark W. Stiles Unit in Beaumont, Texas.
While in prison, Jerry knew there was a better life for him. And, he took it upon himself to find every resource available to himself pull out of the depths of loss and despair. He accepted Jesus as his Savior. And, he also started singing.
“If you've got pain
He's a pain taker
If you feel lost
He's a way maker”
In August of 2019, Jerry was released from prison and put on parole. In one of their first meetings, his parole officer told him, “You need to go The Beacon and find ways to get help there.” Without hesitation, Jerry showed up at 1212 Prairie Street that same month and started connecting to as many services as he could.
Beyond visiting the Day Center for meals and showers, he started engaging in group therapy, singing at Bible study sessions on Fridays, meeting regularly with his case managers and lawyers to remove the legal barriers preventing him from obtaining his Texas ID. Jerry was determined to be made whole again and worked very hard to get there.
“If you believe it
If you receive it
If you can feel it
The Coronavirus pandemic brought on unexpected stress for Jerry in his journey, but he remained connected to The Beacon’s services as best as he could, always hopeful that he would find his way through to a new life. He slept outside every night, keeping to himself and staying focused. It was this motivation that landed Jerry a job at Luby’s Restaurant where he currently works 40 hours a week.
His dedication to work is just part of his daily purpose. He continues to be well-rounded and resourceful, connecting to people and meetings at The Beacon and beyond who will support his sobriety and goals in life. And, always with his faith in Christ at the center.
“Oh, if you need freedom or saving
He's a prison-shaking Savior
If you've got chains
He's a chain breaker”
To listen to “Chain Breaker” you will hear Jerry’s story. To hear Jerry sing the full song is a gift.