MOUNT VERNON, Ky. (KT) – Frankie Woodall was a pill-popping drug user and dealer on the way to nowhere.
“I thought I was tough,” he said. “The devil had me bad.”
The Rockcastle County man spent a sobering 88 days in jail, went to some jailhouse church services, found the Lord, was baptized and life has never been better. He’s a child of God and proud of it.
Woodall shared his testimony on a WRVK Facebook/radio program that was featuring the faith-based Brodhead Celebrate Recovery in Rockcastle County. He’s a regular at the meetings now but, more than anything else, Woodall is an example of how God can take away addictions for good. He warns those who come of what can happen through his nightmarish experiences. Woodall also tells them about his gospel experience and how God took away the cravings and want-to for drugs and how his life is better than ever.
“Ain’t nothing has made me as high as Jesus does,” he said.
When Woodall was jailed, he said he slept for three days and “woke up for the first time in 16 years with a clear mind.”
About a week later, he was asked if he wanted to attend church and he decided to “give God another chance. I had a clear mind for the first time in years.”
He went to jail church on a Saturday night and then again on Monday night church. They asked if any of the inmates wanted to be baptized at the end of the month. “I raised my hand,” he said. “I wasn’t sure if that’s what it took to fix me.”
Woodall was feeling guilt over what had happened in his life and how he hadn’t thought clearly since his mother died at the age of 45. “I felt a guilt toward God,” he said.
He became hooked on pain pills and when doctors refused to write him more scripts, he went to clinics and received anything he wanted for the right price. Woodall was addicted.
“Seven or eight years of using and I kept getting worse and worse,” Woodall said. “They sent me to a suboxone clinic – I did those for three years. It was always trading one for another. Then I turned to meth and it destroyed me. I was trading good friends for bad friends. It took away everything. It made a slave of me.”
Woodall said he never stole to satisfy his drug habits, but he had to work long days to come up with enough money to feed the demon inside him. “I worked myself to death. I was paying $300 to $500 every two days (for drugs).”
His last stint in jail and reintroduction to Jesus through the jail ministry may have been life-saving for Woodall.
“I was running on borrowed time until I got arrested,” he said.
Once he was baptized, along with four others on a cold April day, Woodall said everything changed. “Until then I couldn’t sleep. I gave my life to God and went back to my cell. I slept that night, prayed every night since. I’m sober and haven’t done nothing in 11 months. I haven’t had a craving.”
Even after being released from jail, he had an ankle bracelet and couldn’t leave the house. He had to pass 18 drug tests to get rid of the ankle bracelet.
“I couldn’t go to church or go to CR (Celebrate Recovery),” he said. “That’s one thing I wish the judge would do (is let those with ankle bracelets attend church or faith meetings).”
Since then he has been a regular at the meetings and volunteers with the food pantry or anything else the organization is doing. He’s also always willing to share a testimony that may just rock the world of some visitors to the meetings.
Katheryn Pope, the director of the Rockcastle Baptist Association’s community mission team and the Brodhead Celebrate Recovery that is sponsored by Valley Baptist, said Woodall’s testimony is even more miraculous than it sounded on the program.
“He gave only a brief portion of it,” she said. “He was a big-time drug dealer and ended up in jail several times. The beauty of it, Randy McPherson, and several pastors from our association in Rockcastle, have been doing jail ministry on Saturday nights. This was like coming full circle for them.”
Woodall said he attends meetings and church “because I have a relationship with God. Anybody listening who knows who I am, you know where I’ve been. Don’t think you’ve done too much bad for God to forgive you. You will be forgiven. We will get you straightened out. (But) You’ve got to get God in your life before you do anything.”
Pope said she was first involved with Celebrate Recovery when she began attending meetings because her son was an addict. “It was the first time I said out loud that my son was an addict,” she said.
The meeting is open to anyone with problems of any kind, including having a family member involved in drugs, she said.
“Any hurt,” Pope said. “It could be a death, depression, or other addictions such as porn. Anyone with habits or hurts and hang-ups.”
The organization is planning the first Rockcastle County Recovery Walk for April 25 in Mount Vernon City Park. It will include free food, live music and testimonies with the idea of bringing community awareness to addiction.
Watch the Facebook video featuring the Brodhead Celebration Recovery with testimonies from Woodall and two others along and interviews with Pope and Tammy McGuire, another volunteer with the program, by clicking here.
Charlie Napier, a Kentucky Baptist who attends Crab Orchard, is host of the program.