Taking It To The Streets

by Terry Watson | September 14th, 2015
Randall Phipps and The Taking It To The Streets Outreach Ministries, Inc team (Photo by Mykel Media Company)

Randall Phipps and The Taking It To The Streets Outreach Ministries, Inc team (Photo by Mykel Media Company)

Taking It To The Streets Outreach Ministries, Inc. is a nonprofit ministry organization whose sole purpose is taking the love of Christ to the streets and spreading the gospel, in order to reach a lost and dying world. It was founded by Reverend Randall L. Phipps, a Greensboro, N.C. native, who describes himself as a “just keeping it real kind of guy”, whether in ministry, work or at leisure. His journey to the pulpit was not a simple one. In fact, one could say he’s been to hell and back and lived to tell about it.

This God-inspired vision began as a seed planted in Phipps heart and spirit nearly seven years ago. God revealed to him the need for a ministry within the streets that is focused on the people who are less fortunate, often forgotten, and even feared. The seed lay dormant until January 1, 2015, and has been going strong ever since.

Phipps says that it is only by the grace and mercy of God that he is alive today. “It was by His power that my life was transformed. Now I live to bring God glory. I’ve had guns drawn to my head, I almost committed suicide and I have walked the streets of Greensboro with nowhere to live and eaten out of garbage cans. Addiction had gripped my life for 20 years…but God,” he confesses.

Until his mother returned into his life, he was primarily raised by his grandparents in a Christian home; Phipps says his grandfather became his role model, teacher and inspiration. Yet, he tested the limits and succumbed to a life filled with destructive decisions and behavior. He started smoking at the age of 14. By the time he was 16, he was drinking every day, attempting to drown away inner pain. “My life began to spiral out of control. By the time I was 18, I was doing cocaine,” says Phipps. He moved from using to dealing, while along the way he had caused his family to distance themselves from him. However, Phipps says he had a praying mother and grandmother who never gave up on him. Finally, after 10 arrests for numerous counts ranging from drug possession to assault, to burglary and worthless checks, he knew he had hit rock bottom.

After a dozen attempts to get his life together through several rehabs, Phipps entered into rehab at Greensboro based Malachi House, where he found help, healing and hope. He began the long journey of recovery from all his hurts, habits and hang ups. “I experienced the forgiveness of God and began training in ministry and forged a relationship with Jesus Christ,” he says.

The road to recovery was not always easy. There were slips and falls along the way, but he gathered an understanding that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). “When we fall, we get back up again. We serve a God of another chance, not just a second chance,” says Phipps. “For a righteous man falls seven times, he rises again” (Proverbs 24:16). He fell more than seven times, but says God was truly merciful and patient with him.

Having been stripped of everything and homeless for a second time, he met Pastor Jeremiah Cole of Mt. Tabor Baptist Church in Newsoms, VA. It was there that he accepted his calling to ministry and was licensed to preach the gospel in 2009. He served as an associate minister until he returned to Greensboro.

Phipps says he is just the vessel and agent for the Lord. He is just trying to share the love of Christ to anybody who will receive it. He has made it his life’s mission to go back and give back. “I understand the needs and the plight of life out there in the streets. I’ve had opportunities to work for the same Christ-centered recovery program that helped me and that is exactly what I want to return to others who may have fallen into similar situations,” he says.

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