“It’s like I’ve been reunited with Wichita Falls because this is the first place I bought crack cocaine,” shared Keith Blake. The reunion he celebrates is not with drugs but with himself. He is reminded of how Wichita Falls is the last place where he was addiction free before he started a cycle of drug and alcohol abuse and then being sober from all addictions. This cycle continued for thirty-two years.
Keith grew up with a mom and several father figures. His family did not want for anything. They were not rich, but they were not poor. Keith graduated high school in Fort Worth and then joined the military in 1984. In 1987, through peer pressure from an older soldier, and wanting the experience, Keith bought his first crack cocaine. This soon led to drug addiction and alcoholism. Keith kept up with his military duties, but inwardly he was deteriorating. He started hocking and selling his personal belongings and the property of other people. By God’s grace, Keith never failed a drug test while in the military, so he received an honorable discharge in 1990.
Following his military career, Keith moved back to his home city of Fort Worth and obtained employment. He worked for Wal-Mart Distribution Center, G&K Uniform Services, and Amazon. All of the jobs were for worthwhile companies, but his alcoholism and drug addiction always led to his dismissal. His relationships faired the same due to his addictions. Many times over the years he was sober from all alcohol, drugs, and tobacco products, but he always relapsed. He completed many recovery programs, but he continuously fell back into the same destructive patterns. Keith expressed what he believed the key thing missing from those recovery programs was “the God experience.”
In March 2017, Keith visited Faith Mission and spoke with the intake director, Pete Corrales. Pete gave Keith a tour of the facility and then showed him the chapel. Pete, a former drug addict and alcoholic, shared his story with Keith and showed him exactly where he sat in the chapel when he gave his life to Christ. Pete did not know until months later about Keith surrendering his life and will to Christ in that same spot in the chapel.
Keith graduated from the New Beginnings Alcohol and Drug Recovery program in November 2017. He will continue to stay on at Faith Mission to work in Faith Enterprises, a job readiness program for men. When asked why he wanted to continue his journey in the job readiness program he said, “To see what great things God will do for me.”
“My calling and purpose is to give back and do God’s will,” said Keith. Over the years Keith has felt a tug towards counseling. He would like to complete some advanced schooling so he might one day help others overcome their problems. His eventual goal is to “become a caseworker at Faith Mission.”