SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Drugs. Violence. Prostitution. A Savannah man who was involved in all three for almost 20 years says he just walked away.
But what lead him to a new life? It all started at the Old Savannah City Mission. Former pimp and now pastor, Glenn Paddock, calls it divine intervention.
He came to Savannah nine years ago and began working at a local gentleman's club. For Paddock, his days as pimp involved helping to sell women for sex, which went hand in hand with the business he was in.
After an arrest in 2008, Paddock claims something pulled him away.
"I didn't know what it was. I didn't know what it was about when I came to the door. I got lead here," Paddock told WTOC.
After 20 years of working in strip clubs, dealing and abusing drugs, and much more, Paddock found his way to the Old Savannah City Mission.
"I felt this huge weight lifted and I felt love and warmth I have never felt before," Paddock said.
He described the darkness, which took over his life from the time he was 21 years old.
"For the better part of my life, running adult entertainment, strip clubs, things like that," Paddock said. "With it comes girls. Drugs. Guns. Gambling. Just the whole gambit of the underworld."
"Were you a pimp?" WTOC asked him.
"I was," Paddock replied. "It seemed to go hand in hand with the strip club. There always seemed to be guys who wanted a little more. They would pay $1,000 for an hour."
For Paddock, the money was his biggest temptation. He claims his escorts were not from the club, but local students looking for extra cash.
"I tried to keep them separate. That would keep me from having girls who though they had a leg up on anyone else," he said.
Paddock was working as the night manager at Uncle Harry's Gentleman's Club in Savannah. In early January 2006, the day manager, Gregory Blake, was murdered at the business, but it wasn't enough to sober Paddock up.
"I was doing enough drugs and enough alcohol. At that time that I didn't realize what was going on," he said.
Starting in 2005, driving under the influence charges were followed by possession of cocaine charges, suspended license and probation violations and then jail time. Paddock claims a higher power lead him off his dark path.
"I got arrested for possession. I lost everything I had. I went to collect money owed to me," Paddock said. "In the middle of waylaying this man, something yanked me off and threw me against the wall, 10 feet across the room. There was no one else in this house except me and this man."
"I left the house and four blocks later I am in front of the Old Savannah City Mission," Paddock said.
"Glenn is a very intelligent guy but it wasn't intelligence that walked him through these doors," Rev. Jim Lewis, Old Savannah City Mission, told WTOC.
Lewis immediately took Paddock under his wing at the mission.
"He is always a can-do guy," Lewis said.
Interning under Lewis, Paddock went back to college and received his degree in urban ministries.
"It took me 19 years to get it, but I finally graduated," Paddock, who dropped out of college in his senior year, told WTOC.
Now, he dedicates his life to God.
"I'll guarantee you, anyone who knew Glenn before, their jaw will drop," Lewis said. "Some of those girls who were used and abused and sold and all kinds of stuff, they need to know they are worth the life in the son of God."
Paddock's transformation from pimp to pastor wasn't overnight. Paddock says he's worked every day, for three years, to fight his demons.
"If you are fixed in your misery and sick and tired of being sick and tired, just ask God and he will fix it," Paddock said.
Paddock is still working with the Old Savannah City Mission. Lewis calls him his righthand man and thinks Paddock will one day follow in his footsteps as a director at a city mission of his own.