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'We Are Walking, Talking Miracles': From Drug Dealers to Disciples for Christ, Ministering God's Power to 1 Million Plus

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Two former drug dealers are working to tackle the drug epidemic in West Virginia telling CBN's the Prayerlink they went from being a "public enemy" of the state to now serving as a "pillar of the community."
"We'd spend hours even days bagging up dope to be distributed all across our state," Rich Walters wrote on Facebook.

"Ten years ago, if we crossed paths, I'd have a throwaway pistol, a knife, a pile of dirty cash, and a few ounces of dope in my pocket," he added. 

Now, Rich and his wife, Shay, share how God set them free from a life of addiction that kept them in and out of prison, depressed, and near the brink of death. 

"For the longest time, I was in this never-ending cycle of drug addiction and alcoholism," Rich told the Prayerlink. "I just couldn't seem to step out of it. I was living a life of complete and total failure and desperation. It was so, so, so, bad. It was to the point where you overdose multiple times and there are times that you are literally welcoming death."

West Virginia ranks among the top states with the most annual drug overdose deaths. In 2021, overdoses nationally increased by 30 percent and in West Virginia  that number jumped by 62 percent. 

By the time Shay was 25, she had survived numerous overdoses and multiple suicide attempts.

"I felt like I didn't have any reason to even be here on this earth," she told CBN. I just had no hope."

In October 2015, Shay was arrested on nine felony drug charges and faced 22 years in prison. But that also became a turning point in her life. 

"I could not imagine my life the way that it was anymore. And that is when I had a genuine and humble moment that I cried out to God and I asked Him to intercede in my life," she said. 

"When God is the only person in your cell with you," Shay added, "that led to a very special bond with Him."

Rich says God has completely turned their lives around. 

"For whatever reason, God continues to sustain you and keep you alive long enough to get you to a place where this miracle can take place in your life," he explains. 

The couple now run Peer Solutions Behavioral Health in Parkersburg, West Virginia, and minister to more than one million people combined on their Facebook pages. 

Their message is simple: God is a God of second chances. 

"I was essentially public enemy number one here in this community, and since that time I have now become a pillar of this community," Rich said. "Now, the court system actually sends people to us. They trust us to help their people when they're in trouble and they need help."

"The healing that we've seen take place, the chains of addiction being broken over people's lives, that's not us. That's because we have God going into every situation with us," Shay said. 

The couple recently saw a former Satanist give his life to the Lord.

"God has a habit of recruiting from the pit and taking two low bottom violent drug-addicted criminals and turning them into disciples," Rich wrote on Facebook. "God has a habit of equipping the worst society has to offer and using them to win souls. God has literally done the miraculous in our lives. We are walking, talking miracles."

The story was originally published on February 8, 2022. 

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About The Author


Talia Wise has served as a multi-media producer for, CBN Newswatch, The Prayer Link, and CBN News social media outlets. Prior to joining CBN News she worked for Fox Sports Florida producing and reporting. Talia earned a master’s degree in journalism from Regent University and a bachelor's degree from the University of Virginia.