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From Honored Officer to Dirty Cop

Shannon Woodland - 700 Club Producer
Caleb Wood - 700 Club Producer

“And I heard this knock on the door in the morning,” said Anthony, “that's the knock of law enforcement. And they said ‘We have a warrant for your arrest.’”

Anthony never thought much about growing up in the projects of Savannah, Georgia, or that his family was poor. His parents were devout Christians, who took their eight children to church every week. They worked hard to make sure they had enough to get by. Then in high school, Anthony saw another side of life.

“When I began wanting to date girls that were not from the project area, I began to notice that ‘hey, there's a big, major difference,’ Anthony realized. “I gotta do better."

He worked hard in school, hoping it would open doors to success. Then in his senior year he got his girlfriend pregnant and married her. Needing a job, he followed his older brother’s example and enlisted in the army. He earned a position of trust, handling highly classified information. It was a boost to his self-confidence…and his ego.

“I took great pride in that uniform and I kept it in pristine condition,” Anthony said confidently. “That power came in and it's just unreal.”

Eight years later, he traded in his fatigues for a new uniform with the police department in Chatham County, Georgia - again following in his brother’s footsteps. But soon, his brother, and his family were the last people on his mind.

“Failure definitely wasn't an option,” proclaimed Anthony. “My focus is my job, going to the next level professionally and just being self-absorbed with Anthony.”

Anthony became an exemplary officer. With his success came respect, accolades and pride. But his focus on ‘reputation’ came at a price, as his personal life began to suffer.

“Still a good provider, but just not a good husband,” Anthony admitted. “As you build up power, you build up ego.  You build up ego, you build up self-reliance on you.”

His self-absorption led to having affairs and living a double life.

“It was all appearances,” said Anthony of his esteemed persona. “You played a part, you show up for work, you do your job and if you do it really well, then no one is going to question it.  Not going to question it at all.”

Sometime later, his older brother had a proposition – to escort some drug runners through town.  But Anthony never worried about getting caught because in his mind, he was – untouchable.

“You have that superman complex. ‘It can't happen to you.’ And you begin to justify things within your mind.” Considering his brother, Anthony said, “I looked up to him and felt a type of allegiance towards him to say ‘okay, I’ll do it.’”

News Report

Thirty-year-old Anthony Bryant is admitting that he attempted to aid and abet the distribution of cocaine.

“Very humiliating. It’s just indescribable, to know that you go from one extreme to the next extreme,” recalled Anthony. “It was the beginning of the fall for me.”

Awaiting sentencing, Anthony decided to give his life to Christ, but on one condition…

“I'm going to try this God that my mom raised me in. ‘Okay, God, I gave my life to You, now don't allow me to go to prison,’” said Anthony trying to bargain with God.

Two months later, he was sitting in a cell with a twelve-year prison sentence - but Anthony couldn’t understand ‘why.’

“‘God? You did not hear anything I said,’” said Anthony exasperated. “‘My kids are going to grow up without their dad." My wife, at that time, within a year she filed for divorce. So I’m like, ‘No. I'm done. Cashing out. Suicide. Suicide.’

For weeks he hoarded aspirin from the infirmary and other inmates.

“I was just going to take them all and just go to sleep and never wake up again. That was my plan,” Anthony said soberly.

“I heard this voice, and the voice said, ‘look under the mattress,’” said Anthony curiously. “And I pulled up the mattress and I saw this Bible. Took me to that scripture, where it talks about ‘Better is the ending of a thing than the beginning.’”

Finally, he understood that it wasn’t all about him.

“I said, ‘you know God, I’ve tried it my way and I’ve failed.’ And I flushed all those pills down the toilet,” smiled Anthony. “And (now) I can focus on what You need me to do while I’m in here.”

Anthony spent the rest of his time in prison studying scripture, leading prayer groups, and sharing his testimony. Since his release in 2008, he’s continued to pursue the Lord and gives back to his community.

“I teach Ethics and Responsibility classes to law enforcement and through that, I use my personal testimony. That moment when I gave my life to Him, it was a true transformation,” Anthony beamed. “God began to start working in my life even then. I can see where now God has placed me on an even higher platform, but the difference now is with Him, I know how to exercise humility. God has definitely done a mighty work in my life and, you know, I’m grateful.”

For more information on Anthony and to access his book, check his website below!

Link: www.split2nd.org

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