From felon to faith - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

From felon to faith

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Gregory Knott starting a painting with religious verses in the Art Park in downtown Albany Gregory Knott starting a painting with religious verses in the Art Park in downtown Albany
Brother Larry Hample, Albany Rescue Mission Brother Larry Hample, Albany Rescue Mission
Some of the reprinted paintings used to raise donations for the Albany Rescue Mission Some of the reprinted paintings used to raise donations for the Albany Rescue Mission
Gregory Knott's painting, which he calls "Natural Beauty," of a figure sitting near a waterfall Gregory Knott's painting, which he calls "Natural Beauty," of a figure sitting near a waterfall
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ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

An Albany man who spent nearly two decades behind bars for taking a man's life found a new path through faith and art.      

Now Gregory Knott helps others by using his paintings to raise money for the Albany Rescue Mission.   "The good Lord does inspire me in every brush stroke," says Gregory Knott.   

The lines created lush waterfalls on another wall, and patriotic images with religious verses.   "I feel like a lot of time I'm in a state of meditation.  A lot of times I'll be praying," said the 48 year old Knott.  

Art connected Knott to a deeper spirituality years after he took another man's life during a heated argument between his ex girlfriend and her brother.   "I jumped in the middle of their fight with a knife intending to cut the guy, not to kill him, but the knife wound was fatal."     

The LaGrange native was convicted of voluntary manslaughter in 1986 and spent 18 years behind bars.  He said alcoholism and unemployment plagued him when he was released.   

"Three years ago I came to the Albany Rescue Mission, just out of the blue I found them on the Internet and they said come, we have a bed and you don't have to have insurance, and we'll put you through rehab with the word of Jesus Christ."   

"He had a lot of problems, and emotional, but then we realized he was a painter and had talent," said Brother Larry Hample, of the Albany Rescue Mission.     Talent which he put to use around the mission with bible-versed images now reprinted and used to raise money for the mission.   

"Now he's out not only witnessing for the mission and everything, but he's selling them for whatever they give him for the painting out in the street when he's running into people,"  Hample said.  

But some paintings like a painting of a waterfall in the Art Park in downtown Albany aren't for sale.    "If you look at it, it's flamboyant.  Real carnival style.  That's the joy within me.  And I wrote on that painting my name is Gregory Knott, I'm proud of myself now," said Knott.  

In it Knott is sitting along a river, finally happy with where his life's river has taken him.   Knott is planning another painting at the Art Park dedicated to the Albany Rescue Mission and his faith. His reprinted paintings are available at the Rescue Mission.

 

 

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