Matthew Fisher said he never sold drugs to high school children in the communities around Elkview, WV but he believes the drugs he pushed made their way into the hands of young people. A 17-year addiction wrecked his life and his neighborhood.
Fisher's story starts as one all too familiar to many families in the region, a young man addicted to drugs, hurting everyone around him.
He is clean now and returned to his old neighborhood and his family's church to offer a heartfelt apology to the community he said he poisoned with drugs.
"I destroyed my mom's life, my sister's life, by constantly stealing money, stealing material things and just wrecking their lives through my addiction," Fisher said while visiting Maranatha Fellowship church in St. Albans, WV. He went there for years with his family. He said he spent most of those Sunday's sitting in the pews high on drugs.
"I would go to church for my mom. I would go to get my mom off my back. I would go to shut my sister up. It would shut my mom up. I would ease their pain by going to church," Fisher recalled.
But on this particular Sunday in October, a little over a year since the last time he'd been in that church high, he had a different sort of experience.
He took the stage, with a microphone to deliver a message that brought people to their feet.
"I want to ask you all as a congregation body, for forgiveness," Fisher said in an energetic tone, to the large room full of people. "Last September, I sat up there so high on heroine I could barely keep my eyes open. And that was the last time I sat in this congregation, high."
His wife had threatened divorce and he found out he probably wouldn't be able to see his kids. He decided it was time to get better. He went for treatment at Genesis Ministries in Canyon Lakes, Texas.
"I have sat in these pews high on Ecstasy. I have sat in these pews high on methamphetamine. I have sat in these pews high on marijuana, high on heroine, high on prescription drugs and I am here to tell you right now, Jesus is the answer to break those chains," Fisher said, on the stage, as the sound of applause filled the room.
During the nearly two decades he spent hooked on drugs, he said he didn't just hurt himself and his family he also hurt the community.
"The drugs that you are cooking, brewing, selling, even though I never sold it to high school kids my drugs got to high school kids. So from that aspect you are going to poison the community," Fisher said.
Which is why he said the visit home meant so much, as he stood before the church with a clear mind and a stronger sense of faith to open the door for others to heal as well.
"I want to encourage anyone who is stuck in that same addiction that is sitting up there stoned right now, that is high right now, to come down here and let Jesus into your heart," Fisher said, to people inside the church service. "I hope somebody can hear what I am saying because there is freedom and you can walk in that freedom if you want to."
Matt Fisher had much more to say. To hear more of his interview and his entire presentation at the church service follow the links provided. You can also learn more about Genesis Ministries, where Matt got the help he needed to get clean, by calling 1-830-935-2557.