‘William Taylor, Come Forth!’

Taylor’s story was part of a feature, ‘God Is in This New House,’ about the Southeast Michigan Adult Rehabilitation Center (ARC) in Detroit.

William “Billy” Taylor, once a fifth–round draft pick for the Atlanta Falcons, was injured in the first pre–season game, then learned his girlfriend had been stabbed to death. He began drinking and drugging to numb the pain. For 30 years, he was a hard–core addict.

Billy was invisible to most people, just another scrawny addict. But as he sat on the steps of an abandoned building with a liquor bottle in a brown paper bag, this addict heard someone call out to him in a loud voice: “William Taylor, come forth!”

Billy jumped straight up in fear. He ran through an alley and through some high grass looking for the man who had called his name. Then he realized that the voice may not have been human.

WilliamTaylor2“God, is that you?” he cried out. Then, trembling in fear, he ran out into traffic on busy Jefferson Street. Miraculously, no one hit him.

“I haven’t had a drink or a drug since that day,” he says.

Within eight hours of hearing that voice, Billy Taylor had a place to live, which included board, and a job at Family Ties, a group home.

Billy was more than qualified for that job. A former three–time All–American football player from the University of Michigan, he also held a master’s degree from his alma mater. … Today, he has a doctorate from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. But he says it’s his “street doctorate” that makes him credible with the men at the ARC.

In his life–coaching clases, he tells the men, “This is spiritual warfare, and we’re losing. … We have got to have Christ to overcome.”

Taylor now runs a comprehensive residential recovery facility called Get Back Up, Inc., in Detroit. For his story, go to

by Linda D. Johnson

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