“I ain’t gonna make it,” was the first impression Reginald Perdue had of Brother Bryan Mission. Perdue was on his way to meet his assigned chaplain, Curtis Reynolds, for the first time. In the meeting, Reynolds helped “Reggie” come to a clear understanding of what a personal relationship with Jesus means. “I gave my life to Christ in that first meeting,” Perdue related, “once I did, I knew I could make it.”
Reginald’s road to Christ is a familiar one for those experiencing the pain of drug and alcohol abuse. Lost jobs, lost relationships, and having nowhere else to turn, like so many others, Perdue asked for help. The advice he received was, “You need to go to Brother Bryan Mission.”
Coming to BBM seemed so far from where Perdue’s life had been heading. Born to a stable family, Reginald graduated from high school without ever having taken a drink. Though his Dad had died when he was nine, his grandfather had made sure he and his three siblings went to church every Sunday. He had enjoyed playing basketball at Jackson Olin along with future University of AL and NBA player, Reginald “Mule” King. It wasn’t until he went into the Army that Perdue had his first drink. “Everybody else was doing it,” explained Perdue, “ so I thought I’d give it a try.”
Perdue finished his stint in the Army and was honorably discharged. He went to work with his step-father who was a brick-mason. As he learned the trade he also learned to drink. He began to experiment with other drugs. “One day I wrote some checks from my step-Dad’s account,” said Perdue. His deed was soon discovered. Reginald returned the money, but his mother asked him to leave the house.
Perdue went to live with his older brother and the experience sobered him for a while. While sober he noticed that there was a pretty lady who lived next door to his brother. “I got the courage to ask her out and we dated for about three years,” said Reggie. They married in 1999. “I stayed clean for another three years,” Reginald related, “then I started drinking again.” My wife didn’t like it but she found strength in her church where she went every Sunday.
Finally, in 2016, Reggie’s wife had had enough. Reggie had to leave. He found a job but struggled to maintain sobriety. He decided to go to a secular rehab but he knew something was missing. When he asked for help in finding a place to help him discover what was missing was when he was told, “Brother Bryan Mission is the place you ought to go.”
Today, Perdue is not the same man as when he entered BBM’s New Life Fellowship Program. “Brother Bryan Mission has changed my life,” proclaims Perdue. “I am learning what being a Christian man is and that is what I want to be. I love Brother Bryan Mission.”