Pastor Mayo Sowell, a former NFL player and Auburn linebacker is making Atlanta home for his new church, LIIV Atlanta. LIIV which stands for Love, Integrity, Influence and Victory will open its doors at the Sandy Springs City Center on September 18, 2022.
Mayo and his wife, Kai, were previously pastors at Alabama's largest church, Church of the Highlands, where they served on staff for the past nine years. Together they oversaw one of the church's campuses and Mayo led the student ministry as an Executive Pastor. But having once lived in Atlanta, the Sowell's felt a strong calling that God wanted them to return to the ATL and start their new ministry here.
"I used to call this city home," Mayo says. "It's where I met my wife and made some of my life-long friends. But it's also a city where I experienced tremendous pain in my life that led me down a very troubled path."
Prior to his time in Atlanta, Mayo was a part of the 2004 SEC Championship team at Auburn University and was selected to play in the NFL by the Buffalo Bills. But after sustaining a torn ACL, he was cut from the roster and moved to Atlanta to start his new future.
"I tried to keep up with the fast-paced lifestyle of the circles I ran with. I wanted to express success no matter the cost and it led me to selling drugs in the streets and across state lines. I thought I was living the life, but I was so dead on the inside," he says.
Ultimately, an FBI investigation would lead to his arrest and being sentenced to five years in federal prison for the intent to distribute drugs. What seemed to be the end of the road for Mayo was just the beginning of a remarkable journey of transformation and redemption after finding his faith and calling to minister while behind bars. "The day I got arrested was the worst day of my life. But God knew what He was doing. He knew that's what it was going to take to make me see, He had a better plan for me," he recalls.
Mayo's hope is that his story and new ministry will help others in Atlanta flourish and find a life worth living for. "My prayer is that LIIV Atlanta can be a place that brings life to a city where I once died. I want others to walk through our doors and find love and hope to start living their best lives."
LIIV Atlanta is a non-denominational Christian church located in Sandy Springs, GA. Founded by Pastor Mayo Sowell and his wife Kai in 2022, LIIV Atlanta stands for Love, Integrity, Influence and Victory. Their mission is to love people, display integrity, influence to help others and to live in the victory of Jesus Christ. For more information visit, www.liivatl.com or visit their social pages on FB and Instagram @liivatl.
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