Below are some of the testimonies of people who have been through the program, in it’s entirety, as students.
Maybe you have heard the words of the old gospel song, “If it had not been for the Lord on my side, tell me, where would I be now.” I can say with much confidence- if it had not been for OMA- tell me, where would I be now? I can certainly say I would not be where I am now, and I for sure do not even want to think of where I could have been.
It has been through the discipleship and teaching received during my season at OMA that have laid the foundation for my 28 years of Christian living. It was at OMA that I gave my life to Christ, heard the call to ministry and received intense discipleship to learn how to stay the course the Lord had for my life.
The principles I learned, and the convictions of the Holy Spirit I gained at OMA have shaped and fashioned all areas of my personal and ministry life. They have now become practices for how to raise our family. How to lead the church I am pastoring. And the passion we have to disciple numerous people into ministry.
At OMA, I experienced what the Apostle Paul wrote to the young Pastor Timothy: “Hold fast the pattern of sound words which you have heard from me, in faith and love which are in Christ Jesus.” (2 Timothy 1:13)
My name is Gene Hamman, and this is the testimony of the grace of GOD and His love for me.
I started working for Chrysler Co. in 1976, two weeks before I graduated from high school. I don’t remember when I started smoking dope, smoking cigarettes, drinking and doing drugs – it just gradually got worse. By the end of 1986, I was hooked on Dilaudid. It didn’t take long before my whole check was going toward drugs. I lost my job, apartment, and found myself living on the streets of Huntsville. I was frequently in and out of jail and in multiple treatment centers in Tennessee and Alabama.
I went to Outreach Ministries of Alabama, Inc. (OMA) in 1989 with everything I owned in a paper bag. It was a Sunday night church service. My last cigarette was in the parking lot as I was walking up to the door. I had no friends. But I did have people that loved me and prayed for me. One of which was Tommy whom I made a promise to about trying OMA for three months.
Two weeks into my stay at OMA, Tommy was found dead in the field from a heart attack. My first thought was I could leave, because I wanted too. Jim Summers would spend the next week carrying me back and forth to Athens – it gave me time to think; I had made a promise that I know now changed my life.
OMA gave me a safe place to stay and work on things in my life. It was not about drugs and alcohol any longer; it was about what God could do in my life. I prayed and asked God to help me to stay. That is what God did! For the first time in my life, I had hope that things could be better.
I am thankful for Dennis Jordan, Ken Pounders, and Jim Summers, for being a part of what God was doing in my life. I am grateful to them for giving of their lives to minister to the broken hearted. Thirteen months at OMA gave me a place to learn and a place to get away from everything in the world. I was encouraged, I had a new found joy, peace, and a desire to get started on my new life with God in it.
After graduating from OMA, I made myself accountable to Pastor George Sawyer at Calvary Assembly of God, weekly. I got to go to Argentina on a mission trip. During this time, God would give me my drivers license back, The state of Alabama had said that I was “mentally and physically incapable of driving a motor vehicle.”
God restored relationships with my family and friends. I would marry the girl that God had for me, Alicia Shelton Hamman, who was a staff member at the women’s home. We have been married for twenty-five years now.
Shortly after we were married on my birthday September, 11 my father died, that was a hard time for me. But I stood on the promise that the best birthday present I could have was that my father was in the presence of God. God not only restored what the locust had eaten, but He healed my body of Hep. B, that I had contracted from shooting up dope.
Many things have happened throughout the years in my life, but the biggest is my ministry, which is my job. The pastor of Mount-view Baptist Church (David Taylor), who I lived near at the time, asked me one day to build him a fence for his cows, so I did. That was twenty-four years ago. Fifteen years ago God opened a door to travel to Japan and build three riding arenas for a private horse club. Over the past ten years, I would be featured five or six times in the Progressive Farmer magazine.
God has restored seven-fold what Satan tried to steal from me. As the owner of “Quality Farm Fencing”, I have been blessed to be able to share my testimony with the people around the world that I have worked for. I always share how OMA gave me a place to allow God to change my life. Thank you, OMA, for providing a place to hang out with people that love God.
Over 40 years ago The Lord used Jim Summers and OMA to save my physical life and Eternal life. I was a Heroin addict, in the Detroit area, and had reached the end of myself in 1974. I cried out to God one night asking, that the next time I put a needle in my arm, to let me leave this world or somehow pull me out of my despair.
Two weeks later I found myself in Alabama, 700 miles from home, in a place I’d never been before. Surrounded by people I didn’t know, but that hoped to help me. God is a good Father!
While attending OMA, I accepted the Lord on June 2, 1974, at a church (Called Stateline Methodist Church at that point) on Highway 231. The Lord used OMA to change my life and has also touched multiple lives in my family and circle of friends. My cousin, Jerry Koch, was the first student at OMA. My best friend growing up, Vern Zimmermann, came down 20 years later to OMA, and both his son and mine have been through the program. I never stop giving thanks for Jim and Judy Summers for saying yes to the Lord so many years ago.