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Pastors Donald Holcomb and Richard Marshall say they’re living proof that no matter what happens in your life, there is still hope. Their church, Victory World Outreach, is …
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Pastors Donald Holcomb and Richard Marshall say they’re living proof that no matter what happens in your life, there is still hope.
Their church, Victory World Outreach, is putting on the free production, “Broken,” Saturday at Brighton High School in hopes of spreading their message of hope throughout the community.
Whether it’s drugs, infidelity, fights, gang involvement, jail time or alcohol abuse, both pastors have lived it. Though they thought it was impossible, both Holcomb and Marshall were able to turn their lives around and, through Saturday’s production, they want to share this message with others who are struggling in life.
“We know what the world is looking for. They’re looking for hope,” Marshall said. “And we want to bring hope to Brighton.”
Pastor Holcomb’s story
Holcomb is the pastor of Victory World Outreach church, 114 Strong St., Brighton. When he and his wife opened the church a few months back with their two children, the family was all smiles. But it wasn’t always that way.
“I was raised in a good home with a good father,” Holcomb began. “When I got older, peer pressure got to me. I got involved in drugs, alcohol and meth. I was living the party life and did some jail time.”
“I thought there was no meaning for my life,” he added.
Holcomb married and had two young children, yet, his life was still quickly spiraling downward. He was an addict, dealing with depression and his marriage was in shambles.
The changing moment in Holcomb’s life was a few years ago when his young niece fell out of a two-story window. Doctors told the family the little girl wasn’t going to make it. Holcomb went into her hospital room, put his hands on the baby and prayed for her.
“I was raised in church and I knew God was real. But I just turned my back on him,” he said.
Holcomb remembered he had a flyer in his truck from a church. He got the flyer and called the number.
“I called this guy I barely knew and all of a sudden, there were hundreds of people calling and praying for us from a church I never went to, but they cared,” he said.
Suddenly, it looked as if the little girl made a turn for the better. Doctors were taken by surprise but said she would still have major brain damage and would likely never function normally. But Holcomb, his family and the people at this church that he didn’t even know continued to pray. A couple of days later, the doctor delivered the miraculous news.
“The doctor came into the room in tears and said, ‘God healed this baby,’” Holcomb said. “They sent her home with a clean bill of health, and she’s been fine since.”
That week, Holcomb visited the church and told his emotional story. He’s been involved with Victory World Outreach since. The Brighton position is his first as a pastor.
“I didn’t care about people before,” Holcomb said. “When I got saved that all changed. Now, when I see people on the streets, I have compassion. When I see somebody’s life change, that’s my payment.”
Pastor Marshall’s story
Chaos and violence. Marshall said those are the best words to describe his childhood. He had several step-fathers growing up and he remembers watching them all abuse his mother since he was a very young age.
Marshall said as a child, he couldn’t control the anger he had inside as a result of all he and his mother went through. He began drinking at about age 11 and was doing drugs by 14. By the time he was 25, he had been arrested close to 20 times for assault and alcohol-related charges. He said he once cut off a man’s thumb with a garden hoe in a gang fight.
Marshall joined the Army in 1981 and thought it was his chance to change. But his lifestyle followed him. He was honorably discharged after four years. He met his wife, Cherise, in 1984 who, after one year, wanted a divorce. During this time, he was accused of another serious charge and faced eight to 16 years in prison.
“One day, coming back from the detective’s office, I got on my knees in my bedroom and started to cry,” he remembered. “I said, ‘God, if you’re real, please help me.’”
A couple of days later, people from Victory World Outreach Church knocked on Marshall’s door. Marshall and Cherise went to church as a family and got saved as a family. When he went to court six months later, the judge gave him two years. But before they took him away, the judge changed his mind and gave him only 60 days in prison.
“They knocked on my door,” Marshall said. “If it wasn’t for this church reaching out to me and my wife … it’s a miracle. When I turned to God, everything turned around so quickly. I got away from the drugs and alcohol. It’s now been 25 years.”
Marshall and Cherise have now been married for 26 years, the longest marriage in his family. He serves as an associate pastor for Victory World Outreach in Colorado Springs and is head of the Breakaway Ministries program, which works with people dealing with addictions, mental illness and gang violence.
“I never thought I would travel the world,” Marshall said. “I’ve been everywhere. I get to tell my testimony. The same problems we deal with here, we deal with across the world.”
Breakaway Ministries at Victory World Outreach will present “Broken” Saturday,
7 p.m. at Brighton High School. The production is free and the public is invited.
“We put this play together because I wanted to think of a way to reach people when they’re hurting,” Marshall said.
Marshall wrote the one-hour play. Some of the storyline follows his own childhood, while other parts of the story are written after other people he has known. The cast of nearly 20 members of the church and many have dealt with struggles of their own.
He advises a little parental discretion due to a funeral scene and some scenes with fake gunfire. But other than very young children, the production has something for everyone, he said.
“There is something for anybody,” Marshall said. “The goal is that if somebody comes in a total mess, we can help them to get to know God and eventually get their life turned around.”
“We want to give people that have no hope, hope,” he added. “With God, there are no failures. God can turn any person around. We want to reach other people that have messed up lives. Everybody has problems. There are no throwaways with God. There’s hope for everybody. There’s no such thing as a lost cause.”
Victory World Outreach meets Sundays at 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. and Wednesdays at 7 p.m. For free ‘Broken’ tickets or for information on the church, call 720-490-0140.
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