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Quilt a reminder of changed life for Sissonville man

SISSONVILLE, W.Va. -- For Benjamin Lambert, a new quilt made especially for him is a visual reminder of the recent changes in his life.

A former drug and alcohol addict, Lambert credits God and treatment at the LEARN program in Beckley for his recovery.

"God is good," Lambert said. "And he's not done with me yet."

The quilt, covered in 32 Bible verses, hangs in the foyer of Allens Fork Community Church, where he attends. It was made by ladies at the church who call themselves the Stichin' Sisters.

"They have been a tremendous help to me," Lambert said of the women. "I'm an honorary member. I love them to death."

Lambert, 50, of Sissonville, was addicted to drugs and alcohol from the time he was in middle school. His life changed in a jail cell when he prayed to accept Jesus while he served a term for a probation violation for a dirty drug screen.

Lambert, who owned a landscaping business, had pleaded guilty to felony fraudulent scheming for price gouging, he said.

He'll be 42 months clean April 15 and now works for the Parks and Recreation Department for the City of Charleston.

Lambert said he wanted the quilt as a way of keeping the Word of God close to him.

He specifically asked that John 3:16 be on the quilt, but "all of [the verses] are good," he said.

Peggy Boggess, of Sissonville, made the quilt top. The Stitchin' Sisters quilted the rest over the course of about a year. The quilters meet at the church every Tuesday, weather permitting, for some quilting and a meal. The group started quilting together in 2002 and has used the proceeds from selling quilts to buy things for the church and its activity building, where they meet.

Boggess has been sewing most of her life -- ever since her aunt gave her a sewing machine when she was 12.

She enjoys the challenge of stitching a quilt, she said.

"When I start something I don't want to put it down until I see it completed. I've always been like that."

Lambert wants the quilt to hang in the church for a while, he said.

After that, he wants the quilt to continue to be a reminder of the things God has done for him.

"As long as it's a witness for what the Lord has done," he said. "The Lord's got an enormous amount of power."

Reach Lori Kersey at lori.kersey@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1240.


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