Cathy Mann loves to share what God has done in her life. She is a woman full of joy and extremely grateful for God's grace and forgiveness.
"I am a drug addict and a convicted felon." This is often Cathy's humble and sincere opening statement when sharing her testimony in churches and conferences. Cathy emphasizes that what she shares is GOD's story not her own - a story that could have taken a very different turn had God not intervened.
Christian parents raised Cathy in a loving church family where she came to Jesus Christ at an early age. But, as an adult, she was not prepared for the heartbreaking end of an extremely difficult marriage which led her into a double life. Cathy masked her pain by smoking crack cocaine while maintaining appearances with a lovely home, nice car, fashionable wardrobe, and beautiful jewelry.
She began selling drugs to support her own habit which often totaled several hundred dollars a day. She says, "The dope dealers and users used to love to see me coming. The dealers liked the money I paid them. The users liked the dope I smoked with them. They knew a 'free high' was coming." Ultimately even the dealers and users had no use for Cathy - she had gone from living the high life to wallowing amongst the lowest of the low.
All the while Cathy's Godly parents were interceding on her behalf. Her mother prayed without ceasing and her father literally went and found her more than once when she was in filthy places where her life was in danger. She has been in rehab at least four times and has spent time in every jail in Atlanta and every women's prison in Georgia.
Through it all, Cathy did not forget God - sometimes she hated Him and sometimes she desperately cried out to Him. She begged Him to let her die. And when she finally begged Him to help her, He did. But not before she got so angry with Him that she threw her Bible on the ground and stomped on it. She realizes now that she was physically standing on His Word - 'standing on the promises of God,' just like the words in the hymn she sang as a child.
She shares her story not to glorify herself or any aspect of her former sinful life, but to give every bit of honor and praise to God.
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Cathy was a good Christian girl dearly loved by Godly parents, and she became a successful adult enjoying all the worldly possessions anyone could desire. This could be anyone -- anyone in our church pews, anyone who attends our banquets and conferences -- a person who by all outward appearances has it all yet they are hurting so much that they are spiraling downward. Maybe their downward spiral does not include drugs, maybe it does -- but they are secretly desperate to the point of hopelessness.
Cathy Mann's story - or God's story about Cathy - is a testimony that opens hearts to God, to healing, to prayer, to rededication, and to new life in Jesus Christ.
A personal story like Cathy's leads to true ministry -- to hearts that are ready to receive Truth and healing.
Every audience includes men and women who personally relate to Cathy's story and those whose eyes are opened to opportunities to reach out in Christian love to friends and family who may be living in secret desperation.
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Cathy has been clean for years now. She loves to sing, create art, and make people laugh. She is grateful for every blessing, but she still lives with consequences resulting from her past. She apprciates her job and does not take it for granted because it is difficult to find a job with a felony record. She appreciates her parents welcoming her back into their home. She often says, "Everything I own fits into my bedroom in my parents' home - but, like the songs says, 'I have a mansion just over the hilltop!'"
There is much more to Cathy's story - then and now. She appreciates every opportunity to share what God has done and continues to do in her life. She reminds her audiences that whatever their circumstance may be, God is forever faithful and no one is beyond redemption.
Testimonials . . .
We are writing this letter of reference for Cathy Mann whom we have known for the last forty plus years. Cathy was raised in our church and her Mom and Dad were two of our best friends. We have been involved with them in ministry through the years and we praise the Lord for the blessing this family has been to our church. We know all about Cathy's twenty-five years of drug addiction and when she came to our church recently to share her testimony, it was dynamic and our people enjoyed it so much that I had her come and give her testimony on a Sunday night. Cathy sang some beautiful songs and conducted herself in a tremendous way in expressing her burden for those who are going through drug addiction and how the Lord has delivered her from this. I believe Cathy is going to be a mighty instrument for the Lord through the years in helping others. She has a tremendous heart and a love and compassion for others. She comes across genuine, and her testimony is very effective. ... [In my 43 years of ministry] I have head many testimonies and Cathy's rates among the best that I have heard.
Glen Haven Baptist Church
It is our sincere privilege to write this letter of recommendation on behalf of our dear friend and sister in Christ, Cathy Mann. We have been members of Glen Haven Baptist Church since 1990, and at that time and for a number of years, Cathy's parents and family were also members of Glen Haven. We did not know Cathy very well at that time, but we did know that she had some difficult times in her life in which she chose to walk paths that led her away from the Lord, away from the church, and away from her family. We know that she has made a 180-degree turn in her life and has completely committed her life to the Lord and to serving Him. She has a very dynamic testimony of God's saving Grace, and his restoration from a life of alcohol, drugs, and crime. She is being used mightily of the Lord in many places to tell her story of God's amazing grace in her life. She is very effective wherever she ministers. Cathy also has a wonderful gift of music. When she sings, her songs reach into the depths of hearts to bless, inspire, and encourage. We have had her at Glen Haven both in our Sunday School class to minister in a very special way, and also at a Sundy night service. Cathy was able to sing and share her wonderful story of God's saving grace and His miracle-working power in her life. She was a true blessing both times and hearts were touched with many people responding by coming to the altar on that evening. Cathy's testimony can be very helpful and effective to any group or congregation today as so many have family members who are struggling with drug and alcohol abuse. She has been there. She knows what these people are going through. Better than that, she knows WHO can save, rescue, heal, and restore them to a brand new life of victory through Jesus Christ!
Roger and Cheryl Mullins
Hope For The World Ministry