Despite Threats, Man Continues War Against Drugs

By: Dara Rees Email
By: Dara Rees Email

The war against drugs may seem like a never ending battle, but one local pastor says he is not backing down despite threats and even gunshots fired at his car.

Pastor Stephen Wilson works with UNITE and the Leslie County Drug Court to bring a change to their community, helping people overcome drug addiction. With a desire to reach out to those struggling with addiction, just as he once did, Wilson ministers in peoples' homes and communities and now he claims some of those he's helped are the ones making threats against his well being. Though he's thought about pulling back his efforts, Wilson says he will not let them win.

Sunday morning, songs and prayers continued at the Middlefork United Methodist Church despite intimidation to the Leslie County native.

"I was very excited to come back to the community hoping to make a difference, hoping to share the knowledge that God had given me and work hard in the community," Wilson said.

But not everyone appreciated Wilson's charismatic outreach to the community.

"My daughter and I were sitting at our kitchen table, our oldest daughter, and we were praying. No longer had I said amen, I heard a shotgun blast," he said.

No one was injured, but the windows of Wilson's car were shot out and bullets grazed the roof.

"If we're going to make Leslie County and Eastern Kentucky the kind of place we all want to live in, he's the kind of people that we need and we appreciate him for that," said UNITE Deputy Director Paul Hays.

Wilson's message against drugs is frequently a part of his sermon.

"This man is really doing a good job in his area in trying to help rid his community of a really serious drug problem. That is destroying the children and the future of Leslie County," Hays said.

Wilson says most are thankful for the community's support to overcome addiction, yet he is still apprehensive of a select few.

"It's not fun to live in a house with your lights off and you worry about every vehicle that goes by," Wilson said.

With support from his family and congregation, Wilson does not intend to back down.

"Nowhere in the scripture does it say it's going to be easy," Wilson said. "I'm going to be here as long as God lets me."

Wilson says he has no anger toward those who made the threats and he will continue to reach out and pray for those involved.

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  • by tim Location: pikeville on Feb 18, 2008 at 03:14 PM
    unite is a joke. I seen where that karen engle makes 160000 a year. thats right and then they keep begging for more money, is it to help people or to pay their salary?
  • by Jeb Location: Ky on Feb 18, 2008 at 10:40 AM
    Sounds to me like denny from lagrange is upset because someone is trying to infringe upon his illegal livelihood. How can you support someone who is making a living selling drugs? Let's hope someone in your family doesn't overdose on illegal drugs obtained by one of these dealers because if they do, I don't want to see your mug in the news crying your eyes out. It's the attitude of ignorant people like you that makes Kentuckians look like backwards hillbillies. My guess is you are a person who deals in drugs and that is the reason you can't stand UNITE. You can run but you can't hide Denny; they'll get you sooner or later. And if they don't, the drugs will.
  • by Randall Location: Pineville on Feb 18, 2008 at 07:35 AM
    Our lawmakers should do what? Make more laws? Maybe if they just make drugs illegal that will stop it. Uh huh. The war on drugs involves all of whether we like it or not. Just a matter of picking which side you want to be on. Making a living off hurting other people suggests you need a different line of work.
  • by B Location: London on Feb 18, 2008 at 07:34 AM
    Keep up the great work preacher!!! I used to live in that area and know how it is! Drugs are rampant and have taken what would otherwise be an intelligent, productive group of people and turned them into common thugs who would rob their mama for a pill. Many people there are good and honest but there are those who need treatment and need to be stopped if they are dealing drugs. Way to go UNITE and way to go PREACHER!!! May the GOOD LORD watch over you and keep you safe!
  • by Goebel Location: Lexington on Feb 18, 2008 at 06:20 AM
    If all the money that was spent on anti smoking commericals had been used to fight illegal drugs everyone would be better off.
  • by Bill on Feb 18, 2008 at 03:54 AM
    It can only get worse,this war on drugs is not isn't going to work.Our law makers need to step up with something beside locking up whole communitys.
  • by denny Location: lagrange on Feb 18, 2008 at 02:46 AM
    We'll I can say is if you support a band of thugs like unite, then you get what you sow. I do not feel sorry for him because this is these peoples way of making a living, so back off and just preach and leave the drug war up to the real cops, K.S.P.
  • by bo Location: nearby on Feb 17, 2008 at 10:30 PM
    i'm all for cleaning up the drug problem along with all the other problem's in our county's. but i think that GOD want's us to use wisdom in all thing's the word say's to go into the highway and hedge's and compell them to come in. and some things that we take upon ourself's to do need's to be done through prayer and fasting. but if GOD speakes to your heart to do something then do so that he (GOD) gets the glory. don't get me wrong i'm not trying to take anything away from this man i'm just saying that GOD want's us to use wisdom and he gave us our family's to take care of. i don't know the story behind what this pastor is doing or what he is doing in the community in which he lives but there is a lot of way's to help. and again GOD want's us to use wisdom in all things. everyone just pray GODS blessing's and protection for and upon this man and his family.
  • by Duncan Location: Georgetown, Ky on Feb 17, 2008 at 08:21 PM
    My thoughts and prayers are with the pastor as he embarks on a very difficult sounding journey. I hope and pray that he (by the grace of GOD) can help put an end to a very widespread drug epidemic. Too many lives are being ruined by drugs. GOD BLESS this man and everyone else for that matter.
  • by Randall Location: Pineville on Feb 17, 2008 at 06:59 PM
    It only takes a few good people standing up to really put a scare in the folks causing all this misery. Keep after them!


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