GAFFNEY, S.C. – Behind the walls of an old school house are lessons John Locklear says brought his eight month old son back into his life.
“I get to see him every day,” he said smiling at the baby in his arms.
“I probably shot at least two grams of meth per day,” said Locklear.
Those dark days became years in and out of prison until he found the Church Builders of Gaffney just four months ago.
“There’s a lot of love here. It’s just not like a regular rehab,” Locklear said.
This one is run by Pastor Michael Mcleymore who battled his own addiction to alcohol, and lives at the church himself. They’re using the building at no cost thanks to the owner, Larry Sossamon.
“Our job is addiction. Because I was an addict, God has placed it on my heart to reach out to people with addiction,” said Mcleymore.
They house 16 men at a time, setting rules to help them overcome addiction, giving them hope for a better life.
“Every morning at 7:30, they’re out of bed. Three days a week – Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 7:45 in the morning, we’re doing exercises up here,” said Mcleymore.
It’s the kind of discipline he says helps these men, and a community he believes lacks similar resources.
“When these guys are here, they’re not in jail. When they’re here, they’re not in the trap house. When they’re here they’re not in the streets, they’re not committing crimes, and they’re not robbing to feed their habits,” said Mcleymore.
He says the non-profit runs on donations, and is struggling financially to keep its doors open for people in desperate need of help.
“This place saved me, know what I saying,” said Locklear. “It really saved me.”
More than two hundred people have gone through that program in its three years — with an 80% success rate.