Chef Richard Rouse— Second Chances, New Beginnings

November 2016 - Cover Story
by Aïda Rogers

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November 2016 - Cover Story

Starvation and abundance—Richard Rouse has known both. Right now the abundance is immense. His marriage is solid, his children are thriving, his finances are stable. As executive chef at Columbia’s First Baptist Church, he feeds hundreds several times a week. As an entrepreneur, he and wife Louise own and operate a catering company featuring his native Charleston specialties. A fitness buff, he’s a certified Les Mills body combat instructor.

“I’m in the best shape of my life,” he declares, but he might as well be talking about his mind and spirit too. The fact is, nobody knows better than he how starved you are when your main sustenance is beer and marijuana. Years of addiction, joblessless, and family discord were bringing him to ruin when Louise told him she couldn’t continue. “I looked in her eyes and saw she was serious about it, and right then I called Faith Home and enrolled into the program.”

Based in Greenwood, Faith Home provides Christian rehabilitation for addicts and alcoholics. Never a serious Christian, Rouse spent 90 days there, reading scriptures, praying, learning about sobriety. “The light just came on,” he recalls. “I decided I’m going to fight for my life and my family.”

Sixteen years later, Rouse is doing for others what Faith Home and subsequent employers did for him.

Why did Christ die for you?

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