Note: This article providing updates on two of our earlier Faith Team partners appeared in the August 2018 newsletter. It was written by Deacon and St. Luker Monnie Riggin.
It’s hard to believe that St. Luke’s has been hosting Faith Teams since 2011 (7 years!). It’s also hard to know who has benefited the most – our partners or our members? This is a story about two of our early partners, Christopher Graham and William McQuaig IV. Both have overcome incredible challenges but because of their determination and belief in their team to support them, both are to be celebrated today!
Christopher Graham came to us as a 24 year old, having served since he was 18 for armed robbery. What we learned then was that while in prison, a person loses that development time. In other words, Chris came to us as an 18 year old and made decisions commensurate with that age. Because Chris was so open to his team, we got to know him and each other quickly and genuinely. While there were a few bumps in the road, Chris’ Faith team has continued to be with him and a loving friendship is the result. During our time together, Chris taught us about Islam where we learned there are more similarities than differences and that these are a kind and loving people. Chris now has a full time (plus) job with Insight Solutions as an assistant mechanical engineer. He is married to Charlotte, and together they have a baby girl born January 7, 2018. This is a picture of their wedding in their Mosque, prior to which they had a civil union. And, a picture of their little pride and joy!
William McQuaig IV
William McQuaig IV came to us at 47 years old having served for 8 years for a drug offense. William was, from the beginning, incredibly determined never to go back to prison and to succeed no matter how hard the road. And the road was very hard! As an example, after working the late shift at Cheesecake Factory, he walked home (from South Point to MLK Boulevard). Did I mention he often walked to work as well, depending on the schedule of public transportation? Not surprisingly, William formed a close friendship with our dear friend Wynn Cherry. She went out of her way to give him love and support. William has reached his goals. He is a Maintenance Technician with Community Builders and is working as on his CFC exam. He is also enrolled at Durham Tech where he will start this fall in the HVAC certification program. He and Renee Brown were recently married and many of his team were there to celebrate with them.