Rasheed Terry ‘22 says he wasn’t anti-God.
“But I was a potty mouth. I listened to whatever I wanted to. I didn’t respect anybody. I just had no respect; I rejected Him in that way.”
And he had no plans to change any of that.
Around the World and Back
Rasheed Terry was born in Queens, New York, and raised in Brooklyn. After two years in college, he spent 11 years in the US Army, having served two tours of duty overseas. A partying, drinking, and unhealthy eating lifestyle caught up with him, and he was honorably discharged. Rasheed and his wife, Michelle, passionate about health and fitness, moved to Orange County, California, to open Point Target Fitness. But their dream was short-lived; after only a year of building the business, they ran into financial trouble and found themselves homeless. Rasheed, Michelle, and their 13-year-old son spent some time in hotels, but eventually they moved into the gym, with no heat, no shower, no kitchen.
“This is where doubt and depression began to set in,” Rasheed said in an interview with VoyageLA.com. “We had no idea how much God had his hand over our lives.”
God was at work. They survived the winter, and worked long hours to dig themselves out of the financial mess they were in. They spent three years living in their own gym before finding an opportunity to manage an apartment complex and live there. Life was back on track.
Then sorrow struck.
An Unlikely Altar
When a close family member died suddenly, it hit them hard.
“We were really broken from it,” Rasheed says. “It was just out of nowhere. We saw him one week and he was fine. Next week, he was gone.”
But it was there, at that funeral—perhaps the last place anyone would ever expect joy and excitement to run rampant—they were captivated by a message.
“I’d never heard the Gospel spoken about in that way,” Rasheed says. “I don’t even remember if I’d ever heard the Gospel.”
After the service, Rasheed and Michelle had dinner with the preacher and his wife, who didn’t pressure them for a response to the Gospel.
“They just ministered to us, and man, it made such an impact,” Rasheed says. “The very next week we went to church and we ran to that altar.”
The Gospel changed everything. Suddenly, they were eager for more. So they found a church, engaged in discipleship, and discovered a preacher online who they like to call “Bible Study John.” Rasheed wanted to learn and become competent in spiritual truth and Bible study, and he began to build his spiritual life with the same rigor and determination as he did his physical regimen.
“I was just so hungry for the Lord, so overzealous,” Rasheed says. “I just want to serve God the best way I can, and learn as much as I can.”
A Google search led him to Grace Christian University, and after a phone call with admissions, Rasheed decided Grace was the place for him: he would attend online, meanwhile continuing to build Point Target Fitness. And though now he definitely wasn’t anti-God, he was “anti-reading and anti-writing.” But not for long.
“Grace taught me how to love school,” Rasheed says. “Grace helped me develop great writing skills, which is something I never did. I was never good at putting my thoughts on paper.”
But Rasheed grew to love writing—so much so that he recently completed a manuscript for a book about spiritual health and fitness. He finished a bachelor’s degree in leadership and ministry in the fall of 2022, and now, Point Target Fitness isn’t just a gym or a business, it’s a ministry.
“As Christians, we now have the tools to give them something that provides life,” Rasheed says. “It’s not forcing it down their throat; it’s conversation and opening them up to the idea that Jesus is the Son of God, and that He saves the lost.”
A Transformed Heart, Life, Business
Now, Rasheed and Michelle are outspoken Christian business owners, and they’ve seen God change the lives of their clients just like He changed their own lives. One client, who knew the Terrys before they were Christians, noticed the radical transformation. And on the last day of her ten-session package, she wanted to become a Christian, too.
On top of running the business, praying for clients, writing a book about spiritual fitness, and sharing Jesus and joy on Instagram, Rasheed also ministers through Union Rescue Mission, focusing on Los Angeles’ Skid Row, a large homeless population. Rasheed knows what it’s like to jump from hotel to hotel and live without essentials. His past homelessness wasn’t just something he had to overcome, but rather a tool to help serve others.
“If it wasn’t for Grace and the people that just poured into me, I wouldn’t have the confidence to even do half the stuff I’m doing right now.”
Although Rasheed was never anti-God, today he’s more outspoken than ever. Using his gym-turned-ministry and social media platforms, Rasheed’s mission is to “make sure the Gospel goes forth every day.”