Felicia Hamilton’s two elder brothers protected her from some of life’s dangers — but also introduced her to their fast-paced, drug-laden lifestyle. Her entry into a world of substance abuse and promiscuity began when she was just 10 and began to sell drugs.
Two years later, as she slid deeper into a desperate existence, she had her first abortion and also an overwhelming desire to read the bible.
Hamilton, 48, said this paradox of living in the world but craving the word of God led her to fall to her knees in front of a coffee table full of drugs and accept Jesus as her Lord and Savior when she was 23.
Instantly set free, she said, from her addiction, she tossed the drugs into the trash and hit the street to share her revelation with others.
The mother of two adult daughters, grandmother of two and senior pastor of Kingdom Agenda Ministries in North Miami-Dade said her life was full of contradictions that blended religion and the streets.
“The very guy that led me to the Lord was the one who introduced me to crack,” Hamilton said of the man that she eventually married. He also became “saved.”
While many drug addicts get clean after hitting rock bottom, Hamilton said she never did fall that low. “I just got tired of getting high,” she said.
Eager to help others who faced what she did, Hamilton readily talks about her journey from addiction to the ministry every chance she gets. During a fiery Sept. 12 sermon at Kingdom Agenda, entitled, “The Power of Passion,” she briefly recounted her story before asking members of the congregation with past drug addictions to stand. Nearly half of the 60 or so worshipers rose to their feet.
Her journey includes 25 years in the ministry, her small, but growing eight-year old church and Fresh Manna, her first book; a year’s worth of daily inspirational messages, coupled with bible scriptures designed to be read one passage per day (although her mother read the entire book in one sitting.)
At a book reading at the African-American Research Library and Cultural Center in Fort Lauderdale on, Sept. 4, Hamilton spoke of the motivation for writing Fresh Manna and read a few passages from the book which is written in English, Spanish and Creole.
The book began after Hamilton, as pastor of her church, wanted a way to be in daily contact with its other leaders. She began to get up at 4:30 a.m. to e-mail them words of encouragement, along with a scripture from the Bible. The church leaders shared the inspirational messages with their co-workers, who also began to expect the daily encouragement.
After constant urging from the leaders to compile her writings into a book, Hamilton agreed and Fresh Manna was the result.
Renee Michelle Harris may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.