ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – In 2009, Dennis Chappell was booked in Taylor County jail for attempted robbery, spending 22 months in the cell where he realized his 35 years of drug addiction and felonies had to come to an end.
“It was on that concrete floor that I said, I can’t do this anymore,” said Chappell.
Chappell decided that moment to make a change and put his faith in a higher power.
“I cried out to God. I just figured they’d send me away forever but I said it doesn’t matter I’ll serve you no matter where,” said Chappell. “It was in that moment that I remember as it was yesterday, that I knew things were going to be different, I didn’t know what it was but I knew it was going to be different.”
After Chappell was released from prison he decided to visit Fountaingate Fellowship Church, finding the person that would help him see the light, Pastor Scott Beard.
“That Sunday morning I came in and I saw this guy on a ladder in an orange jumpsuit,” said Chappell. “That’s the kind of clothes I wore in jail was an orange jumpsuit so I felt like this was my home. I knew it instantly.”
Beard recalling the moment he met Chappell, saying he knew he was meant to be a leader.
“I saw a hunger in Dennis and just this new lease on life,” said Beard.
Dennis now spending his Friday nights speaking to hundreds about the road to recovery.
“If you fit anywhere, I’m talking about you fit a niche, that’s the niche, that’s where he fits because he gets it,” said Beard.
Chappell acts as a state representative for Celebrate Recovery, helping others make a change in their life. It’s something he says he’d never dreamed of but is proud to be a part of.
“I still wake up in the morning and just shake my head,” said Chappell “I wonder when the joke is going to be over. You know I can’t get a job at McDonald’s because of my felony past but a pastor hands me the keys to his house and so by that, it just shows me the heart of God, how he loves us.”