Salute to Brother Wayne White

wayneOn February 28, 2012, I lost one of my best friends, Wayne White, founder and director of Footprints, Inc. of Kansas City, Missouri. Better known as “Brother Wayne,” he started the organization in 2001 and served as director until his passing.  He was a Missouri Certified Substance Abuse Counselor at the highest level, with over eighteen years of experience. The name of his organization came from the devotional poem, “Footprints in the Sand.”

For ten years he operated the Footprints Life Change Station a Christian counseling center located on Troost Avenue, one of the toughest streets in town.  It’s doors were open seven days a week so those struggling with addiction to alcohol and drugs can have a safe place to begin a new life.  The program included one-on-one counseling, spiritual development and recovery classes and therapy groups, plus support groups for both recovering addicts and their family members.

As a Vietnam Veteran, his compassion for his fellow veterans led him to establish the emergency shelter, Heroes Homegate, in 2010. Brother Wayne devoted much time and effort to professionalizing faith-based efforts to reach the hurting and addicted. He was an active participant in several statewide organizations and received a number of awards for his work with Footprints, Inc.  He was also a popular spiritual motivational speaker.

Wayne was a passionate life change agent in the urban community, as well as a pioneer in substance abuse recovery. His dedication and commitment to the healing of people was paramount. Most of all, he was a brother in Christ with whom I shared a nearly twenty year relationship that went back to my earliest days as Director of Education with the Association of Gospel Rescue Missions.  It was my work with the Alcoholics Victorious network that initially brought us together.  He went on to establish several AV support groups in the Kansas City area and throughout the states of Kansas and Missouri.

I have had the privilege of serving as his friend and adviser; as well as as a member of the  Footprints, Inc. board of directors.  Mostly, we walked together through years of joy and pain, praying and sharing with one another at a level well beyond mere acquaintance; but rather as dear friends and brothers in Christ.

In his life time, he went from the mean streets of Newark, NJ to a distinguished career in Corporate America.  But drug addiction finally landed him back on the mean streets – this time in Kansas City.  But, thanks to the miraculous work of God, his life was transformed.  In the end, God lifted him up to the place where he held important positions of leadership and gained deep respect in both the church and the professional recovery communities.

Brother Wayne is a trophy of God’s grace and certain evidence of how He can use a man who has truly yielded his life to Christ.  Hundreds of people who are sober today can credit him as being the instrument God used to bring them to recovery and salvation. A great leader in the community, he will surely be missed.

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