The Father’s Heart

Inspiration MinistriesBy Inspiration Ministries5 Minutes

Billy’s home life was closer to hell than Heaven. His daddy was an abusive drunk, and his mama, a broken woman looking for love. Through the bus ministry of a local church, Billy heard about the hope Jesus offers, and at age 12, he committed his life to the living God.

“I found the Father I desperately needed, a ‘Big Daddy,’ bigger than any earthly one.”

Despite his parents’ years of knock-down, drag-out fights, infidelities, alcoholism, abuse, and neglect, Billy found a Heavenly Father he loved and trusted. One night, during a wild party at his family’s house, Billy hid in his bedroom and begged, “God, I need to feel Your presence.” Immediately the comfort of God rested on him like one of his grandmother’s heavy quilts.

“I heard God whisper, Peace, be still. I stopped crying and shaking. God was so real for me.”

As Billy tried to escape home life, he found refuge in performing for others—first, with his siblings and cousins, creating shows for their family, and then on a stage in junior high. Through his school years on into college, Billy developed his gifts of acting, dancing, and singing—all in the hopes of one day making it to Broadway.

But God had a bigger purpose for Billy than the applause of the theater. After leaving footprints of stardust in theatres and churches throughout Tennessee, Billy heard God ask him to give up his dreams of fame. “Why, God? You gave me the talent, and I use it for You!” he argued. But God was relentless, and Billy found no peace until he surrendered his idol.

“I realized sharing the love of God with broken people was how God wanted to use me—theatre was just a tool. Ministry isn’t what people think. Sometimes it’s ministering to a homeless person on the street, sometimes it’s taking an orphan or an addict into your house, sometimes it’s sitting with a broken kid and loving on him because he has no hope.”

Instead of Broadway, Billy began singing and preaching in small churches around the country. As he traveled, he experienced God’s favor like never before and a desire to share the love of Jesus with the lost and hopeless.

Still, Billy had a dream that he was passionately praying for—he longed to become the father he never had. The dream seemed impossible since he never married, but as always, his Heavenly Father had a plan. As part of his ministry, Billy helped local officers and social workers by supervising troubled kids.

“They knew I didn’t just check off the hours. I got in their business to help turn kids’ lives around. When I was asked to give a home to a troubled 15-year-old with nowhere to go, I said yes, and my days of being a dad began.”

Soon Ridge became his first adopted son, and the family grew with two other boys, Peyton and Riley. Billy’s care and compassion were just what they needed to begin their healing journeys. As a father, he offers his boys all the things he never had: faith, love, discipline, and time.

The greatest redemption, however, came when both of his parents accepted Jesus because of his love and relentless prayers for them. God’s power healed what was broken in his heart and brought his life full circle to a place of joy and blessings.

“Ministry is messy! When you’ve been unloved, it’s easy to see those who are unloved. When you love on unlovely people, you’ll get your hands dirty. You have to love people.”