Now life for Jamie hasn’t always been living to serve others and make a difference, in fact it was very destructive for many years. At an early age he was focused on money, having “fun” and self fulfillment, while indulging himself in the underworld of New Bedford.
It wasn’t soon after working in bars and nightclubs that he not only started selling drugs, but using them as well. With a wife and 3 children he tried to balance out his life by starting to go to church at the age of 25, but in turn created two parallel lives. On Sundays he would go to church and wrestle with his faith, but the rest of the week his life would be in total disarray.
By 35, he had jumped from job to job and even lost his wife and the relationship he had with his children, all of this due to his drug addiction. At the verge of committing suicide, his two parallel lives collided and his faith became a very real thing to him for the first time in 10 years. Not wanting to live the life he had for so long, with the help of family and friends, he checked himself into Teen Challenge New England, a faith-based residential rehabilitation program.
After a year in the program, Jamie returned to New Bedford renewed and ready to re-build his life the right way. He started all over again and spent a lot of time in the community, trying to right the wrongs he had made over the years. His goal was to help those who were still in the darkness and introduce them to the light he had found in his relationship with God.
He has since remarried to Stacey, who shares his passion and vision for ministry. And in the past 5 years he and a few close friends founded the Acts 29 Project, which has been involved in multiple foreign mission trips, as well as a yearly Thanksgiving Ministry at GNB Voc-Tech that prepares and delivers meals to the elderly, sick and shut-ins of our community. They also “adopt” families during Christmas to help them provide gifts, and have a recovery program that focuses on reaching those struggling with addiction.
“Its for Christ, for the glory of God. The call of the Christian life is to live out your faith and not just go to church, but to be the church. There’s a war on our streets and the greatest weapon we possess in this city, is love.”
Faces of New Bedford is a project by Colton Simmons. If you are interested in booking a shoot or getting prints from the series email all inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org
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