A Memphis native, DeAndre split his time growing up between inner city Memphis and rural Arkansas. A gifted student, he spent two years on a pre-med track at Rhodes before being lured by the “easy money” of being a career criminal.
Before prison, he ran a janitorial service as a cover for his criminal enterprises. During his nearly two years in prison, he learned about landscaping, found his Christian faith and became a “jailhouse preacher.” After prison, he returned to the cleaning business legitimately. But it wasn’t long before his past got in his way again.
Leaders at the area hospital where he had a cleaning contract asked him to act as a volunteer chaplain as well. When their routine background check turned up his felony, they hired his crew away and terminated his contract.
The experience was devastating, he says. But it also led him to start connecting the dots—connecting his passion for preaching with a community of ex-offenders in need of re-entry support…connecting his janitorial and landscaping endeavors with those ex-offenders looking for work.
DeAndre also serves as pastor of Lifeline to A Dying World Ministries. He and his wife (and Day of Empathy co-lead) Vinessa have eight children. He enjoys singing in the LeMoyne-Owen College Gospel Choir, teaching Bible studies and playing the piano. His passion is assisting and guiding those that are lost and searching for acceptance.