My name is Candace Benton-Lawson. I am a member of The Dwelling Place, a Foursquare church in Inglewood, Calif., pastored by Carleton and Catherene Lincoln. I have been a part of this church family for five years.
I was born in Mansfield, Ohio, and enjoyed a spiritually and emotionally stable and nurturing life. My mother and father were strong Christians and raised us (my seven brothers and sisters) in the fear of the Lord. I was active in our church body and always enjoyed church, church people and church activities.
In my late 20s, my life took a drastic turn, as I was confronted with situations I was unable to successfully negotiate. In my desperation, I made the mistake of turning to drugs and became addicted to crack cocaine for what would be 14 long years. Those years took me in and out of jail, prisons and near-death situations. For the first time in my life, I found myself overtaken in a bondage I could not break free from.
In 1999, while fighting yet another criminal case, by the grace of God a judge saw fit to sentence me to a drug program instead of eight years in the state prison. At that time, The Dwelling Place had a ministry called Broken Chains.
Finding myself on the right track for the first time in many years, I began to reconnect myself to godly principles and draw strength both from the past teachings I had grown up with and from my new church family. Little by little, as I redeveloped my relationship with God, my life began to change for the better. Because I had left all of my old friends behind, I had a lot of time to spend in prayer and fellowship with God. I began to evolve into a more mature Christian.
Today, I am happily married and work closely with my pastor and the ministries at The Dwelling Place. I take no credit for where I am today. All praises belong to and go to Jesus Christ. I recommend Him to everyone for any situation. A relationship with Him can and will make all of the difference in your life. He alone has the ability to renew your mind, your life and your destiny. He did mine, and I am truly grateful.