The Cross Christian Youtube channel created by the men of Fort Walton Beach
FORT WALTON BEACH – This isn’t their first time in the Northwest Florida Daily News.
Fort Walton Beach residents Kevin Lynn, Stephen Whitner and Ryan Hamilton have been the subject of numerous publications in the local newspaper before, usually only in the form of a photo or excerpt from a police report. But this time it’s for something they’re proud of: La Croix.
The Cross is a YouTube channel where they recently started sharing their Christian testimonies and spreading the word of God.
âIt’s kind of like a redemption story for me, coming back to the journal for the kingdom of God and not for negative things,â Whitner said.
Watch and subscribe to The Cross at youtube.com/channel/UCfH6niNJEXtkiLu7E_Jjb3Q.
You might like:Gateway City Church will host services at Downtown Music Hall in Fort Walton Beach starting Easter Sunday
God has not always been the leading force in their lives.
They have all been involved “on the streets,” Hamilton said. And when he refers to “the streets” he is referring to whatever comes to mind, which is criminal activity.
âBut God has definitely spoken to each of us at different times in our lives,â Hamilton said. âThere was just one meeting, and now we’re transformed and we’re living for the Lord. “
God began speaking in Hamilton on August 28, 2013.
Hamilton was locked in the Okaloosa County Jail. It was then that he realized that the God of the Bible is real, he said.
âAfter he started talking to me internally, just telling me the truth about myself and the truth about him, then he was using people and stuff like that to confirm everything he was telling me,â Hamilton said. “Which really changed my life, because with my mindset then, I mean, I was an outright thug and didn’t care about God.”
Whitner began to hear God’s voice around the same time. He was also in the Okaloosa County Jail.
Whitner was not only in the newspaper for several felonies, but also for a promising music career in 2014 – a career he later abandoned due to drug-related activity, he said.
Lynn’s story is a little different, he says.
Four or five years ago, Lynn might have told you that he went to church and that he was a “Christian in quotes.”
âBut my life was literally falling apart around me,â he said. âI didn’t really know God. I got to a point in my life, I actually put a gun to my head and pulled the trigger, and it took God supernaturally into my room and my life. And at that point, I really found what I know to be God now.
Lynn knows it sounds crazy and supernatural, but that’s when God came into her life.
âI really got to know the God of the Bible, not the God of the church, not the God of the Christian T-shirt or the sticker,â Lynn said. âThis is something that God has really started to reveal to me in a new way. And that’s when my life changed.
Lynn’s experience is the reason he wanted to join the YouTube channel.
âBetween Facebook and YouTube, there are millions of people who know God, but really don’t know God,â Lynn said. âThe situations we have been through in our lives have really allowed us to really know God, and that’s what we want to get out of.
They call themselves brothers.
The three met in 2012; it’s a long story, they said. But they eventually bonded on common ground.
âWe couldn’t say something like regular acquaintances and be as close as we are,â Lynn said. âWe pray together. If either of us has a problem, obviously that is the purpose of the fellowship, and that is to be there for each other. Our journeys have really allowed us to get closer obviously because we understand the struggle between quotes / not quotes. We have been there.
It has been put in their hearts recently to start The Cross, Hamilton said. They try to produce two videos a week at a studio in Crestview, he said.
The YouTube channel will feature testimonials from people like them, people who are now followers of Christ, Whitner said.
âWe record their testimony and experiences with God in the hope that he will inspire, uplift, and encourage others to truly try God,â he said. “So that was the basis of the page, it’s just to have different testimonies of people who came from a certain lifestyle and who are now really changed by the presence of God and what he did in it. their life.”
Lynn thinks it can be educational too.
âWhen we were going down this route, if you will, we had a lot of questions ourselves,â he said. âWe ourselves had a history that probably many people who have lived the lives we have lived would have questions. So based on our history and the things we have been through, we hope to bridge that gap for some of the questions people are asking.
They want to be authentic in their videos, Lynn said.
âWe are not trying to be something that we are not. And our situations and the things that we’ve been through and the issues that we’ve had in our situations, we know that there are other people who have the same issues.
The chain is built on the understanding that the spirit of God is real and is present inside of them, Hamilton said.
âNot only can we go back and reach people who had the same lifestyle as us, we can also allow the spirit of God to speak through us and to speak to the people who are in the church, even talking to leaders and stuff like that, by trusting the Holy Spirit inside of us, âHamilton said. âWe are already in partnership with a ministry in Uganda. I mean, it’s much bigger than just three street kids who found God.
Their partnership is with a Ugandan pastor whom they met via Facebook.
âHe has an incredible story about his kidnapping, his family was slaughtered and he had to flee for his life,â Lynn said. âAfter that he was in captivity for five years. It’s a story in itself, but that experience is how God intervened in her life. And after God intervened in his life, he wanted to be able to help children who were in the same situation as him.
This man opened an orphanage for widows and children.
âIt’s like the Bible calls us to do, and it’s what it does,â Lynn said. âIt really marked me as a person who really lived it. This is something we want to do. We really want to live the Bible.
They are not interested in being a church or doing what churches do.
“It’s not, far from it, a hit on any of the churches, but there are just things in the Bible that we see that we don’t see in the churches in quotation marks / not in quotation marks, and we want to see that, and we see that in his ministry, âLynn said.
They plan to take the Ugandan pastor to northwest Florida to share his testimony on the Cross.
Lynn thinks Revelation 12:11 sums up their mission: âThey triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they didn’t love their life to the point of shrinking from death.
There is power in their stories, Lynn said.
“This is one of the things that was the basis of our departure, it was because we all went through hell,” he said. âThere are so many people who struggle, but they don’t realize that their struggle is actually their breakthrough. If we hadn’t been through the issues that we have been through, there are a lot of things we couldn’t necessarily talk about. We know there are people out there who are struggling right now, who have been through addiction and struggles that the average person just wouldn’t understand.
To share a testimony or a prayer request, feel free to contact The Cross on Facebook.com/TheCrossisLife.