Pastor Jerome Rhyant
Rev. Jerome Rhyant is not your typical pastor. He has often been referred to as straight-forward and controversial …and at times, he can be somewhat confrontational. But his heart is pure gold and his motivation for “tough love” emanates from a deep passion to help hurting people transform their lives.
“I’m going to keep it real; the streets are real…the problems we’re facing today are real!” says Pastor Rhyant. “People out there are hurting:
- People are losing their homes because of the economy and the lack of integrity and stability of the banking and mortgage industries;
- People are divorcing at a higher rate than ever before in history
- People are losing their families because of drug and alcohol abuse
- People are losing their lives because of the choices they are making
“People are hurting, and my job and my vision is to restore men and women and their families, and give them the life skills and tools they need to stay, clean, sober and live productive, abundant lives,” says Rhyant .
“You can’t be passive when someone’s life is at stake. Passive approaches have their places…but not when it comes to people at life’s crossroads. I’m hard and deliberate in my approach to recovery because I CHOOSE to be,” says Rhyant.
Rhyant should know. He wasn’t always on this path, in fact, what makes him an expert at seeing the devastation and cycle of addiction and knowing what is required to get out, is not just from a book, class or lecture, but from his own life.
At 30 years old, Rhyant was a successful business man and entrepreneur with; from real-estate, to financial investments, painting, and contracting, he did it all, and he did it well…especially singing, music and entertainment promotions.
Rhyant was a national recording artist and had been singing from the age of 5. Rhyant was raised in a loving, spiritual home by his father, Pastor Thomas Rhyant Sr. and his mother Odessa. Thomas Rhyant Sr., an anointed singer himself, and in his wife Odessa, saw something special in their four boys: Thomas, James, Jerome and Tyrone.
In fact, Thomas Rhyant, Sr. had a vision of his four sons, singing and touring, before they were even born…before he even married Odessa. Thomas Rhyant Sr.’s dream came to pass soon after they got married. By the time Jerome Rhyant was 9 years old, the boys, managed by their parents, were singing together as a quartet, touring and recording records.
The four brothers performed locally and nationally, until 1980, when they all went different ways. At 18 years old, Rhyant focused mostly on building a financial portfolio for himself and his future family. He seemed to have the “Midas Touch”, with everything he touched turning to gold…that is until he touched cocaine.
In hindsight, Rhyant would say back then, he was a fully-functioning cocaine addict. His habit averaged thousands of dollars a month, and yet, he never missed a beat. Deals were made; money was won and lost; life had its challenges, but he, was able to overcome them all…so he thought.
After battling his addiction for over 10 years, one night he was at a crossroads. Rhyant was 30 years old, and as describes it, had an experience with God that would forever change his life and his destiny. After partying hard for 2 days straight, God showed him a vision of his life to come, that if he did not change his ways, he would die. The Lord showed him that throughout his life, GOD’S HAND OF PROTECTION had been on him; at the age of 11 he accidentally shot himself in the leg; he had 14 vehicle accidents; and narrowly escaped arrest and death due to his involvement with drugs.
Yes, God’s hand of protection had been on him. But this night, God showed Rhyant he was lifting his hand of protection, and that if he didn’t stop using and selling drugs, stop his wicked living, and re-dedicate his life to the Lord, he was going to die.
The very next day, his brother Thomas called him and said, “Jerome, the Lord told me to tell you that you DID hear from God, and that what he told you last night, was going to come to pass. You’re going to die if you don’t change your ways.”
Rhyant never told his brother that the Lord had in fact, shown him that vision; but that phone call from his brother was exactly what he needed to break the spirit of pride, break the bondage of addiction, finally fall on his face before God, and repent. And that’s exactly what Rhyant did.
For 2 days, Rhyant lay on the floor of his apartment; he had lost his house, his possessions and his 15 year marriage, and was desolate before God. On the floor, repentant before God, Rhyant saw a mist, a type of fog, throughout the room. He knew the presence of God was in that apartment, and he yielded. For the first time in his life, he yielded. For 2 days, he took no drugs, drank no alcohol, took no phone calls, and saw no one, but stayed in the presence of God.
While he was in that place, the Lord told him to open up the Bible, and he opened it up exactly, precisely to this scripture: Psalms 40:2
2. He also brought me up out of a horrible pit,
Out of the miry clay,
And set my feet upon a rock,
And established my steps.
3. He has put a new song in my mouth—
Praise to our God;
Many will see it and fear,
And will trust in the LORD.
When Rhyant put the Bible down and got up, he knew he was a changed man from the inside out, and he has never looked back! He has been clean and sober for over 18 years, and has dedicated his life to serving God with his songs, his testimony and his ministry. After Rhyant was delivered, he was presented with many opportunities, but he KNEW that there was call of God on his life to the streets of Fort Pierce, and was not willing to focus on anything else. So much that he turned down million-dollar secular music contracts, national tours and many lucrative business opportunities in order to purse the purpose, the plan and God’s will for his life. And he has seen the fruit of his dedication.
One day, the Lord inspired Rhyant to build a men’s ministry for drug recovery, prison aftercare, and the homeless. He sought the help of long-time friends and business partners who were eager to help him, especially after seeing his transformation. He received over $2 million dollars in donations from individuals and companies, over $1,000,000 in grants and gifts from the City of Fort Pierce and $100,000 from St Lucie County, in order to complete the restoration of a building that “used to be” one of the most violent, gang-infested places in the city of Fort Pierce.
Together, through prayer, determination and focus, a dedicated Board of Directors, and active Advisory Board, a wonderful staff, and literally hundreds of volunteers, Rhyant’s vision of the Love Center came to pass in 1995!
“I couldn’t do what I do, without the Team God has given me. I always say, Teamwork makes the Dream work. I am living proof of that. Without God, his protection, his mercy, unconditional love, wisdom and direction, without my family, without my mother’s constant intercession and prayer for me, and without the people He has put in my life, I would not be here! When I sing and praise Jesus, and you see that look on my face, these are just some of the thoughts and emotions that go through me! Oh, what an Awesome God I serve!”
Rev. Jerome Rhyant received his Associates Degree in Biblical Studies at Logos Bible College; trained at NET Institute for CAP Certification; and continued his professional education at Harvard University, Divinity Department, specializing in Community and Economic Development.