Helping people find freedom

“We are helping people find freedom.”

That’s how Tommy Wilson describes the work he’s doing through Living Free Ministries of Corinth. Wilson is on a mission to help people battling addiction because he understands what it means to be lost in a world of drugs and darkness.

“I was addicted to drugs from age 18-32,” he said, “and while I was in that addiction, I thought I was the ruler of the world, but then I hit the bottom of the pit.”

Now 23 years clean and sober, Wilson has dedicated his life to helping others overcome the grips of drugs and alcohol. He founded the organization in February, and Living Free Ministries offers help through group meetings, 12-step faith-based programs, and other activities.

“Everything we do is centered around Christ,” he said. “We have Bible studies, non-residential programs, support groups, and all kinds of things to help people in our community.

“The thing about addiction is that it affects people from all different backgrounds. We’ve got people from all walks of life that we are helping right night now.”

Living Free Ministries is dedicated to helping people find freedom, healing, and deliverance in Jesus Christ. Whether it’s meeting physical or spiritual needs, Wilson, through his organization, has helped thousands of people in North Mississippi.

“What I tell those we help is that we all need support. We need people in our life who can encourage us, and we need to find an atmosphere that offers those things,” said Wilson. “A lot of times the people we see don’t have people in their lives who can support and encourage them, and it makes it very difficult to turn your life around without that.

“Most of the people I see want out of addiction, but the shame of their life keeps them in the same place. They feel like everything is going against them.”

Wilson noted that for people who want to find a way out, it is difficult

“It takes a lot of hard work, but it is possible. They have to be committed, but once they make that commitment, we are there to walk beside them. They need a lot of help, and they need medication attention.”

Wilson speaks to those about KFC – Kingdom, Family, and Community – because, as he said, “everyone loves KFC fried chicken”.

“We have to do the things we can to bring glory to God’s kingdom. Then we have to be the people we can for our family, and finally, we must do what we can to make our community a better place,” he said. “It’s been the privilege of my life to help people through addiction and see them come out on the other side. We talk about issues and offer hope.”

For the hope and future that Living Free Ministries works to help individuals prepare for, there are many barriers that the state places in front of people who are leaving incarceration.

“So many men and women don’t have an ID,” he said. “They need help getting some form of ID before they leave prison because a lot of people get here and don’t have a birth certificate or anything that you need to get a form of ID. They are way behind when they come out of prison.

“It’s hard enough for them because they have to find a job where someone is willing to take a chance on a convicted felon, they have to find a place to live, and they need support. All of these things are incredibly difficult for someone leaving prison.”

Wilson noted that the system is setting people up for failure because of issues with getting an ID, paying so many fines, and meetings with a probation officer.

“How in the world are they going to make it when they come out with so many things stacked against them?

“MDOC is doing some positive things around reentry and hopefully we are on the way there.

“It’s important that we help those in our community because the next person out of rehab that we help could be the one that starts pulling people out of ditches in their own community. That person could be the one God uses to help so many more. That’s what He did with me. We’ve been able to help thousands of people.”