The Texas Dream Center in Deport is where life began for former drug addict Chris Taylor.

He came to the center four and a half years ago bearing the heavy cross of addiction, but he leaves today a man renewed by his faith in God and his faith in himself to spread the word in Frisco, where he and his bride, Chelsey, will serve as student pastors at Friendship Church.

“I came so broken and bound by addiction, and it was a huge step to leave everyone I knew to come to this little town called Deport,” Chris said.

He planned to stay a month and then get on with his life in Waxahachie.

“Little did I know that God had bigger plans, and that a better life was awaiting me here,” he said. “I can’t say enough about the center or about Ray and Pat Evers, who saw me through different eyes. They saw potential and hope and took the time to identify the areas of my life that were causing this bondage.”

Addicted to methamphetamine for more than 12 years, Chris had been to eight drug rehabilitation centers before the Dream Center. It wasn’t long before he became a supervisor and later became the center’s public relations director.

“I began wearing lots of hats — fundraising, grant writing, marketing, speaking to clubs, getting involved in the community,” Chris said. “I joined Kiwanis, became a Chamber of Commerce ambassador and volunteered for United Way.”

Chris soon became active at Pathway International Church of God in Paris, the home church to men at the Dream Center. It was at church he met his wife, Chelsey, and they married in December 2018. Both lead the church youth and are part of the Praise Team, which leads church music.

“Pastor Sam Evers and I became very close, and he really invested in my life,” Chris said. “He helped me through the process of becoming a licensed minister in the Church of God, and I became youth pastor at the church.”

Chris said he will miss The Dream Center, his church and all the friends he has made while here.

“My years in Deport and Paris have been full,” Chris said. “It didn’t happen all at once; but God has been so faithful, and I’ve enjoyed the journey.

“I’ve met amazing people all over our community,” he said. “I’ve grown in my faith and found my passion and my purpose, along with my wife.

“We will miss this community, our church and Texas Dream Center deeply. Paris will always be part of who we are.”

Mary Madewell is a staff writer for The Paris News. She can be reached at 903-785-6976 or at mary.madewell@theparisnews.com.

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