MADISONVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — From escorting families of fallen heroes to funeral services on his motorcycle with the Patriot Guards Riders of East Tennessee to building a shelter for the homeless, you’re just as likely to see Pastor Morgan Clough out in the community helping others as behind the pulpit.
Saturday, the Outreach Across America Worship Center pastor released a book that he wrote called “Renegade Preacher: From Rape to Recovery.” Pastor Clough hopes by sharing his deeply personal story and message of forgiveness he can help others.
“For me, I had to forgive the man who raped me 52 times and that was almost insurmountable,” said Clough. “How do you forgive somebody that does that? But, it was only in that forgiveness process that I found my freedom.”
While the book took him seven years to write, Clough says it has been a lifetime in the making.
“I was a victim of rape as a kid and turned to a life of drugs and alcohol and the whole genre. For my healing, I actually sat down and wrote out my whole life story,” said Clough.
Initially, Clough said he wasn’t going to publish his book. He says his sister changed his mind.
“I just wrote it for my own healing and my sister put it to me this way: there is a story in the Bible about a little boy who had lunch and he gave up his lunch to feed 20,000 people,” said Clough. “My sister looked at me and said ‘that’s your lunch, go feed some other people.'”
The Madisonville preacher says he hears stories every day about the heroin epidemic and drug abuse in East Tennessee. He believes many people just throw money at the symptoms of drug and alcohol abuse but don’t actually treat the core issues.
“Drugs are not the problem, alcohol is not the problem, food addiction is not the problem, the problem is we have a root cause issue deep inside of us that causes us to self-medicate,” said Clough. “This book is totally about how I found my way out of that self-medicating process because there was no one there to help me and I had to find it on my own.”
The preacher hopes people will not only buy a copy of his book but buy a second copy to give away to somebody who needs help. Saturday, Pastor Clough said someone wanted to buy 10 copies of his book to give to inmates at the Monroe County Jail.
He says he visited the jail and spoke with 200 inmates. He asked others on his Facebook page to donate $15 so he could put a copy of the book in every inmate’s hands. Sunday, he said he had received 72 book donations.
“I hope that somebody takes away from it that the alcohol or the drug abuse is not the problem. Look to God for the real answer for healing,” said Clough.
Books are available through Clough’s Facebook page, the Renegade Preacher. He plans to make them available for purchase through Amazon in the near future.