Little Star, the grocery store where clerk Sonny Covington died in a botched robbery January 17th, is now closed. "So now four lives are gone: Sonny's because he's dead and these three individuals," said Delvin Lane of Streets Ministries.
Just two blocks down Vance Avenue from the grocery store sits "Streets Ministries," a place for youngsters the same age as the Little Star suspects. It's a safe after-school hangout for playing games, doing homework and studying the Bible. It's where Delvin Lane, the exboss of the local Gangster Disciples, now works as another kind of disciple. "Not all kids go straight, everybody knows that but I think a lot of kids are being changed. A difference is being made in this neighborhood," said Lane.
Delvin works as Streets Ministries high school outreach coordinator. He's also assistant football coach at nearby Booker T. Washington High School where he was a star senior in 1995. "The teachers at this school knew me but they didn't know me. I was an honor student. I was quarterback on the football team. Played basketball. Ran track. Did everything a good student would do.
You can learn more about Streets Ministries here.
"During school hours, I was a model student. My troubles came after the bell rang," he said. Delvin drove us around Foote and Claiborne Homes where he grew up. While his Mom, a single parent, worked three jobs to make ends meet---Delvin had a lot of free time to rise in the ranks of the Gangster Disciples.
"We sold all kinds of drugs. We made anywhere from 1 thousand to 5 thousand dollars a week right here on this drug track," said he.
But on May 14, 1999, Delvin Lane bottomed out on the gang life. He says he turned his life over to Christ. Some of his fellow gang members had a surprising reaction: "They came to me and said we want to tell you something and I said, what's that? They said don't forget about us. Tells us how to get right with God, too. So I stick to my word," said Lane.