Canton man uses second chance to minister to migrant workers - CBS46 News

Canton man uses second chance to minister to migrant workers

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Source: WGCL Source: WGCL
CHEROKEE COUNTY, GA (CBS46) -

Inside a highway storefront in Canton, there are souls in need of support. 

Each Monday brings a steady stream of the city’s poorest – who receive food and basic household things. 

Randy Richardson runs Changed 2 Ministries. Most of the folks who come are Hispanic and all are in need of help. He’ll tell you language may be a barrier but love is not.

“If they're trying to do the right thing we want to help them. With food, with furniture, with beds,” Richardson said. 

He offers the essentials that make life a little easier. But if they show up for the practical, they stay put for the spiritual. 

“We're able to help them with different things. But we don't do nothing without sharing the gospel,” said Richardson. “There is a big need for what we're doing, but the real need is for Jesus Christ it really is.”

The families are often members of Georgia’s growing force of migrant laborers. This time of day, the men are working and the mothers are looking for a little peace, if maybe not quiet. 

“We try to encourage the dads to come, but it's hard for them to come because their hearts not right. And I can relate to that, mine wasn't either,” he said. 

Richardson was involved with illegal drugs for much of his life.

“I had a drug problem for over 30 years. I was in prison when I was 17,” he said. 

But he didn’t just use them. In 1999, Richardson was arrested for operating one of Cherokee County's largest meth labs.

“The helicopters were there. All the news agencies were there. It was really a big to do,” Richardson told CBS36. “They thought they'd got them a real outlaw. And I guess at the time I was.”

It was that time awaiting trial that would prove pivotal for randy and his wife. 

“When Tammie was in jail, I told her ‘we can’t keep living like this. She said, ‘Well what do you want to do?’ and I said ‘Go to church.’” Richardson recalled.  

They began to attend church regularly. And he appeared before the judge a changed man.

"I says, ‘I'm guilty of all those charges, but I'm not the man I used to be.’ And he looked at me a minute. And he says ‘Mr. Richardson I believe you’” said Richardson.

He was sentenced to 20 years to serve five – but was paroled after just 20 months. Richardson came home with a plan. 

“The Lord put on my heart to come up here and minister in Canton,” he said. 

But it’s only a start. Richardson said the need is greater than ever. 

“I guess our biggest need for this is to purchase this property here because that way the ministry will be able to minister to the community until Jesus comes.,” he said.

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