“I was spending more money on drinking than in paying the electric bill so I moved out and started living in my car,” says Phillip Helms in explaining why he came to Brother Bryan Mission. “I fell and hit my head and once in the hospital the staff saw that I was going through withdrawals so they kept me for seven days in order for me to sober up. When the hospital released me I didn’t have anywhere to go so I walked to Railroad Park and met a guy who was in BBM’s New Life Fellowship Program. He told me I ought to check it out so I came and was admitted the next day,” says Helms.
Phillip grew up in Midfield with parents who were married for over forty-seven years. He graduated from Midfield High School in 1980 and went to Bessemer Tech to study being a mechanic. For the next twenty years he worked as a diesel mechanic for Ryder trucks. As a hobby he built and raced his own cars.
Helms got married out of high school and was married for over ten years when they realized their paths had gone in different directions. They divorced. “I took my first drink after we divorced,” says Helms.
Weekends found Phillip drinking with his brothers. It wasn’t long before he added other days to his resume. “It got to where I would rather drink than go to work, Phillip describes. His life was out of control.
“I was scared to death,” Helms says of his first impression of BBM. “It didn’t take long for me to realize this was a good place,” he continued. Helms was assigned Curtis Reynolds as his chaplain and knew soon after their meeting that Reynolds only wanted what was best for him. “One of the first meetings I had with my Chaplain, he led me to make a decision for Christ in his office,” says Helms.
Since graduating the New Life Program in January of this year Helms decided to accept a job outside of the mechanic world he has lived in his whole life. He started in the produce section of a local Piggly Wiggly store. It wasn’t long before he was asked about managing the Frozen Foods section. Recently he was asked about adding another department to oversee. One day Helms called BBM to say that his store had some milk and other goods that had damaged packaging that he was not going to be able to sell. He asked the store manager if it could be donated to BBM and with the ok BBM has received products from Phillip’s store on a regular basis.
Before Helms came to Brother Bryan Mission he had reached the lowest point in his life. Now he has a life worth living thanks to what the Lord has done through the ministry of Brother Bryan Mission.