Jason Shipley Story

My name is Jason Shipley, and this is my story.

I had little contact with my birth dad, so the majority of my childhood was spent with both of my grandmas and my mom. My mom was always working.   She always made sure that we had the best clothes and shoes.  My mom knew Jesus, and we would pray together in our apartments just about every night.  

I did whatever I wanted because nobody was watching.  My grandma Barclay would always make sure we got up bright and early every Sunday morning and wore our Sunday's best.  It was there where I learned all the basics about the Father and Jesus.  During that time, I had a lot of confusion and sadness in my heart.  My dad wasn’t there at all. The only time I would see him was when he was high or drunk. Sometimes when I was up with my grandma he would bring other women to the house.  He was very abusive and did what he wanted without caring about whom he hurt.

At the age of twelve, we had moved from St. Paul to Maplewood. My life started to change for the better.  Pastor Paul Strong and his family, along with others, mentored me.  As they reached out, I fell in love with the Word of God and the people of the church.  About six months after being in the church, I gave my life to Christ and became a leader in the church. I was the sound system guy, and also played the drums at our church. We eventually expanded and had teen church on Wednesdays. During this time, my walk with Christ was the most important thing in my life. Pastor Paul had a ministry that was perfect for me and my family. It was called Parenting with Purpose. They had bible studies once a month that basically hooked up kids who had a parent in prison with a mentor.  At the time, mom was dating a guy in prison; his name was Melvin. He was a good influence on my life, and was like a dad to me. I never saw him because he was in prison in Illinois. He called every time he got the chance. He would write letters to me every week.

After about three years of being at the same church, the church closed due to financial issues and my mentor Brian decided that it was too much to keep mentoring me. I switched schools and it was extremely hard for me to find a crowd that was right for me. Eventually my walk with God plummeted and I was more rebellious than ever. I lost my fire, stopped reading the Word, and lost my confidence. At this point and time in my life, my family was torn up because of me. I became like a tyrant in my house. I knew it wasn’t right, but I couldn’t shake it off.

I was sixteen when I smoked my first joint of weed. My grades dropped and I was always out late. I started going to clubs and doing every bad thing under the sun.  I needed to cut ties with my friends that were influencing me to do wrong and shameful things. My grades were so bad during my senior year that I didn’t think I would graduate with my class. I was in JROTC for my whole high school career. My mom had it with all of my garbage and called up my Master Sergeant and made an appointment with my family. He was a Christian and told me that I disrespected authority. He pushed me throughout high school to be a better man. I always had my ears plugged towards what he had to say until in my senior year; my heart changed. I remember praying at night that God would just send me new, godly friends. Most importantly, I started to trust God and let go.

In November of 2010 God had answered my prayers. I met this young woman by the name of Victoria Adofoli at Redeeming Love Church. She urged me to come to the small church group, but I would always brush her off.  Vick kept inviting me, and I finally said yes.  I met lots of other people deep in their faith. They became my best friends.
During this new season of my life, God really started restoring me. I did better in school, and was able to graduate with my class. After graduation, God provided me with amazing opportunities. In mid-August I went to a summer camp called “Shekinah." God completely showed me something new. God didn’t want us just to be in harmony with one another as Christians, but in peace with the whole world. God became my Father.  He delivered me from pornography, anger and took away the shame and the guilt. I became a new creation in Christ Jesus.

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Do you need forgiveness like Jason experienced? Check out the Salvation - Coming to Jesus teaching, or our survey to find out for about the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. Also see Mentoring the Joshua Generation.