Champion of the Month

James McKinnie Share

Dec 5, 2019  |  Layla Price-Bodkin

Born in Ft. Camp­bell, Ken­tucky, James McK­in­nie was brought to Mar­i­on, Indi­ana as a child to live with his grand­moth­er. He grew up in and around Grant Coun­ty, but as a teen suc­cumbed to mis­di­rec­tion includ­ing using and deal­ing drugs and choos­ing to act in vio­lence which result­ed in bounc­ing around to dif­fer­ent juve­nile deten­tion cen­ters, then cor­rec­tion­al facil­i­ties includ­ing prison. He became addict­ed to meth and hero­in and even­tu­al­ly lost his home. In Decem­ber of 2018, McK­in­nie checked him­self in to the Grant Coun­ty Res­cue Mis­sion in Mar­i­on, where he was not only giv­en shel­ter and food, but fel­low­ship and encour­age­ment to begin an 8‑month Life Change pro­gram. McK­in­nie start­ed to see the work of a high­er force in oth­ers dur­ing the pro­gram. Then one day, the Lord spoke to him. McK­in­nie explained, It hit me hard and changed my life for­ev­er when I heard God actu­al­ly say, James, this is real, and I love you.’ That moment held strong with me for two full days. I was so emo­tion­al from it.” McK­in­nie then began to live life through new eyes. Every word he said and every action he took would no longer be self-serv­ing, but for his Lord. He began to devel­op a deep rela­tion­ship with God. The staff and res­i­dents at the Mis­sion began to see His work in McKinnie’s life. They offered him train­ing in the remain­ing months of his Life Change pro­gram, then offered him a paid posi­tion in Octo­ber, 2019. McK­in­nie not only grad­u­at­ed from the pro­gram, but now min­is­ters to the men and edu­cates them on the Life Change pro­gram while doing oth­er tasks at the facil­i­ty. I want to see them gain a rela­tion­ship with Jesus. There is a dis­tinc­tion between know­ing scrip­ture and actu­al­ly apply­ing it. It’s impor­tant to get to know and com­mu­ni­cate with Him as you would your wife or sig­nif­i­cant oth­er,” McK­in­nie explained.

Speak­ing of fam­i­ly, for the first time in about ten years, McK­in­nie shared a Thanks­giv­ing with some fam­i­ly mem­bers around the same time as his grad­u­a­tion. He has also been par­tic­i­pat­ing in and help­ing out with com­mu­ni­ty events such as the Fly In Cruise In, Turkey Day 5K, and the Col­or Me Pink Run for Can­cer Ser­vices. I’m just try­ing to show up and give back,” expressed McKinnie. 

He expressed whole-heart­ed thanks to his Res­cue Mis­sion fam­i­ly. Every per­son here has shown me uncon­di­tion­al love, patience and pos­i­tiv­i­ty, and has fought with me on the front lines dur­ing this process. They nev­er gave up on me.”

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