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Progress 2018

Goldsboro News Argus - Progress Edition

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T he Rev. Marvin Alexander knows he was one step away from going to prison because of some of the choices he made in life. He was lucky but knows that the help of posi- tive role models made a world of difference in redi- recting his life. Today, when he looks in the eyes of people coming out of prison, he has compassion. He knows it could have been him. "The only difference between me and somebody who's really doing a 10- or 20-year bid in prison was grace," said Alexander, founder of the Mephibosheth Project, a nonprofit that works to help former offenders successful- ly transition back into society. "(It) was the grace of God because I made some dumb choices. I participated in some things that could have gotten me in a really bad way, and I believe that grace was bestowed for the purpose of me understanding that I'm no better than anybody who has done time or is in the system now." Alexander had several people, at different moments in life, have a positive influence on his decisions and, ultimately, his life. The first was a Boy Scout leader when he was young. In high school, it was a coach. Then, there was a first sergeant in the military. Alexander struggled in his younger years living in a home with four brothers and four sisters and only having a biological connection to his mother. His siblings reminded him often that he was different, which The Rev. Marvin Alexander was one step away from going to prison. He could have spent the better part of his life in a correction facility had it not been — as he puts it — grace. Now, with the Mephibosheth Project, Alexander is extending a saving grace to other people who need it. 6C — Goldsboro News-Argus Friday, February 23, 2018 Board Certified in Nephrology & Internal Medicine R.David Kemp, M.D. Ajay I. Shreenath, M.D. Michelle Toler, AGNP-C Accepting New Patients Most Insurances Accepted Open Mon-Thurs 7am-5pm Friday 7am-Noon 2 Convenient Locations 1704 A Wayne Memorial Dr. • Goldsboro 331 North Blvd • Ste #40 • Clinton (919) 580-1026 19DCT0218T© 3DCB0218C© New Wayne Montessori licensed child care center for children ages 3&4 currently enrolled in the morning Montessori. 103 New Hare Dr., Goldsboro, NC 27534 FOOD - RAFFLE - FUN Phone: (919) 734-0051 www.wayne-montessori.org Enrolling Children Ages 2.5 through Fifth Grade Active Military Discount Come See the Difference! OPEN HOUSE Saturday, March 10, 2018 10:00am - 1:00pm Now accepting The North Carolina Opportunity Scholarship Show of grace At the table 'Don't be afraid,' David said to him, 'for I will surely show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan. I will restore to you all the land that belonged to your grandfather Saul, and you will always eat at my table.' — 2 Samuel 9:7, from the story of Mephibosheth "Truly, the population that we work with here have been dropped, stigmatized, ostracized and a lot of them have a very low self-esteem, a very low sense of believing in themselves because, for the most part, nobody believes in them." — THE REV. MARVIN ALEXANDER D errell Sutton spent time in prison rethinking his decisions and consider- ing his future following a felony con- viction. His family offered consistent support as he served out his time — 25 months in the Wayne County Detention Center — after a 2015 arrest. "When I ended up getting locked up, I had time to sit down and reflect and actually think about what I was doing and not only what I put myself through but my family as well," he said. "So when I came home, I was really just more focused." After his release, Sutton worked a part-time job at a fast-food restaurant but didn't work Rev. Martin Alexander Marvin Alexander introduces the class to the mentors, pictured at right, that will assist them throughout the process. Derrell Sutton Story by Rochelle Moore Photos by Casey Mozingo See Page 7 See Page 7

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