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To the casual observer, the life of Derrick Anthony Garrett, the pastor of one of Atlanta’s largest churches, seemed to be one overflowing with blessings and grace. But Pastor Garrett was not the loving man of God they thought they knew. He gave everything he had to his church and his duties, and that didn’t leave anything for his family. He was so blinded by ambition that he couldn’t see how his behavior was impacting the very people who helped him shine behind the pulpit. Life in the Garrett home was far from blessed, and he just refused to admit his part in his family’s often violent life. But despite it all, his family members found the strength to help each other, even if they couldn’t help the man himself battle his own demons. His wife and children were forced to dig deep within themselves, within their own faith, to find the courage and strength to go on. They did their best to live by Christian ideals, but his abuse made that a challenge. They struggled to create a sense of love and harmony in their home, but most of all, it was forgiveness that they prayed for. Forgiveness for the actions of the man who was the head of both their church and their family proved harder than they might have imagined, but they did not give up. It would take understanding and most of all forgiveness to restore their fellowship. But they first had to be willing to forgive.

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