Durville Patton’s childhood was similar to many young men being raised in a single-parent home in a large metropolitan inner city like his hometown of Houston. He says without much income, numerous months of utilities shut off, disruptive neighbors and gambling there was not much hope of a different future.
Durville explains, “I became a product of my environment and, being easily influenced, was angry disruptive and had daily fights with my 3 siblings. I had no respect for any person over me from a young age. On my 2-mile walk to and from school, unspeakable trouble found me. I became a thief and a liar by the age of 10 because I ran with the wrong crowd. I never met my dad and disrespected the one person who was looking out for me – my mother.”
After a public shoplifting incident, Durville’s discerning mother, Annette, made him take the merchandise back to the store and ask for forgiveness. Because his behavior had gotten out of control, she decided to move the family to the suburbs to help save them from what she thought could be his fate – prison, or even worse, death.
“Praise God for this change in scenery because we were able to live in a home where we could actually play basketball or football in our own yard or street and not in a congested apartment complex. Once I adjusted, I began making new friends and decided to play sports in my spare time. I was 13 and started playing basketball in junior high where I developed a passion for it. I wanted to be the next Michael Jordan! I would walk the streets morning and night dribbling a basketball, shooting for hours and watching every imaginable video to help me become a successful basketball player.
“My high school coach played a big role in keeping me off the streets and away from gangs. He was strict and single-focused. He was the father figure I did not have.”
In spite of basketball and his coach, Durville’s addictions began at 16 due to built-up anger from being bullied on the school bus by boys who were seniors. “While I struggled for acceptance, I was seeking attention in ways God could not bless. I turned to lust, sports, and was busy trying to make the people around me happy, never even knowing there was a God to please and be blessed by”
After graduation, Durville played 2 years of junior college ball and then received a basketball scholarship from Morningside College, a Division II private Christian school in Sioux City, Iowa where he played 2 more years. Durville was a starter and top scorer. He began traveling around the country meeting great athletes and coaches and being on TV shows. This opened his eyes to the truth of what was going on in the real arena of basketball.
“Once I was accepted into college, I saw men sabotaging others to get ahead. They had no time for family. We were fed that we were mini gods. We were brainwashed to believe that if we did not make it in sports, we weren’t going to be successful.
“I became addicted to alcohol, women, illegal drugs, the attention I received from news reporters, and praise from man at an even higher level. This led to many embarrassing nights and headlines during my entire collegiate career. My relationships were unstable and unfit in every way. I was not a people-person due to my selfishness, binge drinking, coveting what others had, lack of contentment and a lack of respect for my life and others. I was EMPTY on the inside but had it together on the outside – so I thought.”
This emptiness led Durville to behaviors that were quickly destroying all that he thought he had gained. Using illegal drugs in his 20’s led to over-drinking, poor grades, pornography, bankruptcy, burglary, credit card and check schemes. His heart became full of pride, greed, rage, judgmentalism, self-focus, and disrespect to all authorities including parents, bosses, police officers and preachers.
Then in 1995, Durville suffered a knee injury which would eventually hurt his basketball career. “My injury opened my eyes to the fact that I was a human being, not a horse.
“At the end of my senior year of college, I was invited to a professional basketball tryout. I remember saying a prayer, but I was not a Christian. The one thing I remember praying was not my will but your will be done, God. The night prior to this tryout, I was partying in the clubs and staying up all night banking that my resume of averaging close to 25 points a game would solidify a position in the NBA. Little did I know, my addictions would ruin my dreams. Even though I had been the #6 scorer in the nation, the tryout looked as if I had not played even high school basketball. It was one of the worst performances of my life in front of hundreds of people and pro scouts from the NBA and overseas.
“After that humiliation, I graduated and decided to leave Iowa and start over. I moved to California because of depression and feeling like a failure. My ‘everyone owes me’ and ‘look at me’ attitude while high on drugs, led me down a life of pain, humiliation, anger, and guilt. The drug use and abusing what God created had landed me in jail. It also led me to very unhealthy relationships with women and my family. I lacked responsibility. I was left broken physically, mentally and spiritually.”
Durville’s heart had become so hardened to others including his family that he would tell lies. He believed Satan’s lie that he needed to take care of himself or no one else would. “Taking care of me was almost the end of me. I finally got sick and tired of being sick and tired. So I started going from church to church to church looking for answers. I visited at least 30 local churches. With every new church, I would get baptized – at least 8 different times! I followed every televangelist on TV at the time and was reading all the Christian books to help me overcome what I was feeling, but there were no answers and no real truth or change. I was desperate for change, homeless – sleeping on my buddy’s couch.”
Durville visited Houston again and ran into a high school friend who used to weigh 300 pounds. She had lost over 100 pounds and said it was because of God and finding a program called Weigh Down. It made such an impression on him that he visited a local church that was holding a Weigh Down class. Immediately, he saw the fruit of the message. Durville returned to California with Gwen Shamblin’s Rise Above book and Michael Shamblin’s True Religion CD.
“I pulled out of the churches I had been attending once I heard Gwen Shamblin speak real truth. God reminded me of a dream I had months prior when I was begging Him for a sign. In my dream, I was told to follow this woman up the holy mountain and when I woke up from my dream I heard Deuteronomy 8. In that chapter God is warning His people that when they enter the land flowing with milk and honey, not to forget Him.”
Durville had met Sara Brooks at a wedding in California – she was the maid of honor and he was the best man. “We laugh at it all now, but at the time, we were not interested in each other. We see now though that it was because God wanted us to build a friendship on Him and His Word. Sara and I visited the Remnant Church in Brentwood, TN and the Weigh Down office in Franklin. Once I encountered the love, the truth, and the leaders, I gently asked Sara to relocate with me. Sara gave up her life and family in California and moved with me to Tennessee to this land flowing with milk and honey just six months later to join the church. In 2005 I married my best friend – my beautiful wife Sara in a glorious Remnant Wedding. Our marriage is based on true love and devotion to God and the blessings have been immense. I feel like I hit the jackpot!
“I had to get to the end of my rope and cry out for help from my addictions. I had to learn to die to the calling of drugs and tune in to a high that surpasses understanding – a relationship with God. No longer do I run to a drug dealer to find worldly pleasures. I learned how to lay down my old life with its selfish desires and vices and pick up a new sacrificial life following the spirit of God, not the spirit of Durville.”
“I had been living a life of sin even while in a church, faithfully proclaiming Jesus as my Lord and Savior. In my heart I know, I was headed to hell with my self-righteous attitude of believing no matter what I did on earth and in my heart, I would get to go to Heaven. Through the teachings of Remnant Fellowship Church, I learned how to really become a Christian for the first time in my life! I learned that to continue to deliberately sin against GOD, thinking that the sacrificial ‘Blood’ of Jesus would cover my intentional sins, was dead wrong—false grace.”
Through Gwen Shamblin’s teaching at Remnant Fellowship I’ve learned that true repentance shows God how much you love Him. All the former churches would emphasize how much God loved me – and rightfully so. But did I love GOD? By my lifestyle – no I did not. In learning how to give up the old me, God has come back in and given me a true relationship with Him.
“I lived a lie for 30 years before facing the mirror, knowing the man who needed to change was me! I knew I had to humble myself before God and man. As a result, I now have a true purpose! My mind is sober and focused on doing the will of God every day. Thanks to Weigh Down I am 25 pounds down and free from addiction! I have been taught that God owes me nothing and that man owes me nothing so I can finally live in a state of humility.
“In the past, I supported ungodly groups, friendships, campaigns, TV shows, athletes, celebrities, musicians and even family members that led me down a wrong path. They were directly or indirectly leading me to hell, misery, self, pride and pain. Now my life is led by the Spirit of God, simply meaning what God wants each day…and I’ve learned that God gives His Spirit to those who obey His every command.” (Acts 5:32)
I fully back up the teaching of the Remnant Fellowship Church – a message of power, praise, refinement, love, answers, training, redirection, hope, how to overcome ALL rebellion to God, and a message aimed to please God and not man. I learned that no form of greed could enter the Kingdom of Heaven.”(Ephesians 5:5) Remnant Fellowship is a true church that teaches and lives out the Bible.
Also, Remnant Fellowship is not money driven to survive—This church hasn’t passed around a collection plate the entire time I’ve attended. Its leaders truly care for the soul of man and not what man has. The needs of the church members are met daily by everyone helping each other. We are all very close locally and with members around the world.”
“I have hope for the children God has given back to me. Our three incredible children have been raised to serve God with pure hearts.” Durville’s mom now lives with them which is such a blessing to be able to honor the woman who sacrificed so much for him. He continues to be promoted in his job. Durville and Sara are shepherds in the church, and Durville counsels and helps with the prison ministry. He has also written and performed songs like Underground Religion with Michael Shamblin.
Another sweet blessing is how Durville is able to give back to the Remnant Youth by coaching basketball while pointing them to good sportsmanship and pointing them to God through prayer before and after games. This children learn from the product that God produced, a basketball superstar whose righteousness shines through more than everything to them!
I am a grateful man knowing that God did not have to choose me to hear this truth. God has replaced all my addictions with a complete peace with Him, this turn out to be the best high! May He be praised forevermore for His Word, His AMAZING SON, and for teaching me how to submit to His will and let go of all stubbornness over to God. His blessings for passing tests and being different are unspeakable!
Now that I have a passion to do what is right, I no longer need man’s acceptance. God is with the Righteous – those who do what is right in His eyes. I praise God for this second life that has been birthed from the teachings of the Remnant Fellowship Church!
Durville’s favorite resources include the Breakthrough Series Week 8 (available on All Access), God-Fearing Families book, The Last Exodus Week 5, Rise Above and The Treasure Series. “These resources are very instrumental in who I am today in my heart and my mind, on my job, in my marriage and as a parent. I’m so thankful to have this truth which continues to teach me how to be ready to meet God. I stay in a Weigh Down class which strengthens my resolve.
“Don’t waste anymore time if you are reading this. God is asking you to go ALL IN today because tomorrow is not promised and here are the answers. You can be totally pure before God no matter what your past failures and former life – none of it matters once you repent. I was baptized in this truth and live out the teachings of Jesus Christ with this whole community. This message of truth is being led by a true shepherd, Gwen Shamblin, with the heart of God and the patience of Jesus Christ. We are very, very blessed and fortunate to have such a leader.
The truth I have learned from Weigh Down and Remnant Fellowship has given me and my family eternal hope that we can go to bed at night knowing exactly what God wants and not have to worry about what I must do to be saved. I know now that God calls us to a relationship with Him and to obey all of His commandments to find His will in all things. This revelation scared me to repentance, and now I can work out my salvation with fear and trembling with other like-minded believers for God Almighty and His Son Jesus Christ. Thank you, Gwen Shamblin, for teaching me how to love and fear God with every waking moment He provides me with! This is life changing!!”
Durville has been a guest several times on the You Can Overcome Show with Gwen Shamblin. This is a MUST WATCH episode of Durville with Gwen Shamblin, Michael Shamblin and Candace Anger in “Resolve to Change” featuring Michael & DP’s song Lately.