The Summit of Fort Payne
A Place of Hope and Healing
Have you lost all hope? Or do you feel as if you are too far gone? I was that girl. My name is Crystal Burt. I am thirty-two years old and I live in Fort Payne, Alabama where I grew up.
I started using drugs and exploring my interest in men at the age of fourteen. Since people and drugs were always in and out of our home, this became a normal lifestyle to me at a young age. I followed this same path of destruction for over 17 years. I became a full blown IV drug user causing my mind to not think rationally. I made the biggest irrational decision of my life; I took a life that wasn’t mine to take. I had an abortion – abortion is murder.
Soon after I had the abortion, I ended up losing my two living children to DHR due to the lifestyle I was living. Andrew, my little boy, was seven years old and Allie, my little girl, was three months old at this time. Little did I know, that this would be the last time I would see them for seven years. This was my life before Christ – a total and complete mess.
I had finally hit what the world calls “rock bottom”, but what God calls “broken”. In order for you to have transformation in your life, you have to come to Christ humbly just the way you are. Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” and Romans 5:8 says, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us”. I thank the Lord that we have a Father in heaven who is mighty to save us from the world, the enemy and most of all ourselves.
In August of 2019, I was arrested for two pending warrants during a road block and was sent to jail at DeKalb County Jail. They were going to let me get out of jail the Friday after I was arrested on an O.R. bond; however, I pled with the judge not to let me out because I needed help and I knew if they let me out, I would be back out on the streets doing what I always do. If you want to change, you have to have faith in Christ, or nothing is ever going to change. Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “For it is by grace you have been saved through faith and not that of yourselves; it is the gift of God not works lest anyone should boast”.
On December 3, 2019, I walked through the doors of the Summit. My life would be forever drastically changed. They welcomed me with open arms and showed me real love that only comes from Jesus. No one judged me or made me feel condemned. I had never felt a presence like this before. I was so overwhelmed with joy. I knew this was exactly where I was meant to be in order to begin this process of change. The Summit had rules to follow and was very structured but not by “worldly” standards but by Biblical “faith-based” standards. The Word of God was taught to me three hours a day in a personal study growth time in various ways, also we did a one-hour group class teaching us how to focus on loving and serving others. In the mornings we prayed, at lunch we had our meal together and prayed and then at night we prayed. My eyes were always focused on Christ.
The Summit gave me a firm foundation for a transformed life because it is a ministry built on the Word of God and following biblical principles. I Corinthians 3:11 says, “For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ”.
Everything I had lost has been fully restored to me. I thank God every day for Jesus dying to forgive me of my sins, for loving me unconditionally and for allowing a ministry such as the Summit to be placed in my path to give me the opportunity to change the self-destructive journey I was on.
I graduated from the Summit on December 3, 2020 and am currently working with the ministry and have the awesome privilege of pouring into the lives of residents who are lost and broken just like I was.