- Faith & Family
Reverend Wayne Gary Mason is not someone who is prone to making rash decisions.
“I always prayed about it, fasted and got counseling first,” he said. “And those are things that I recommend anyone do.”
For almost 17 years he has led the Prayer and Outreach Ministries Church in Miami. With over 150 members, the church offers several popular ministries from the more traditional such as Bible studies to the more contemporary like their mentoring program and dance and mime ministries. But the church’s main focus has always been outreach ministries — offering meals and clothing to those in need.
“We feed the needy, the greedy and those who just want something to eat,” Mason explained with a laugh.
This past summer, Prayer and Outreach Ministries fed an estimated 300 people and the church held another feeding event on Saturday, Oct. 15. After receiving their food, attendants also receive gospel tracks and can listen to various testimonials and sermons.
“It gives us an opportunity to minister to them, so if we get just one soul to become saved, it was worth it all,” he said.
The 51-year-old minister understands how much people benefit from receiving a helping hand.
Raised in a dysfunctional home, he frequently witnessed his common-law stepfather physically abuse his mother. And while he never suffered the same fate, witnessing these violent episodes profoundly affected him.
“One day the devil told me to come home and take all the pills in my house,” recalled Mason who was in the fifth grade at the time.
Mason survived his suicide attempt, but it wasn’t until he was 15 that his spiritual life and mental health truly improved. At that time, a neighbor whom Mason now considers to be his spiritual mother, invited him to a revival.
Afterwards, “everything looked new to me when I gave life to Christ on that Friday night,” he said.
“One week later, I began to preach in these streets and the only thing that I could preach to the people was how the Lord had changed my life.”
Since then Mason’s faith and devotion have helped him overcome many of life’s trails and obstacles.
Now the married father of three sons whose wife is pregnant with a fourth, finds himself juggling the regular duties of a full-time pastor. But he also finds time to serve as a caretaker for the person who helped him become a man of honesty and integrity, his ailing 74-year-old mother.
“I do everything for my mama because I told her I’m going to be her nursing home,” said Mason, who handles everything from doing her laundry and cleaning her room to bathing her.
“It’s been a lot for me to deal with,” he admitted. But, “by the grace of God — He carries me on the wings of His love — that’s how I’m able to handle it all.”
Prayer and Outreach Ministries is located at 4407 NW 17th Avenue in Miami.
By Kaila Heard