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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB)--From the pulpit to the kitchen. A local pastor hopes the answer to saving souls and lives is behind the doors of a new restaurant.
Rev. Barry Washington is pastor of Redeemed Christian Church in the Shawnee neighborhood. And if he looks at home in the kitchen of his new restaurant, it's because it was his home away from home in a former life.
"In all that crazy life that I lived, I also was a chef and had some good cooking skills," says Washington, who is opening a restaurant.
Now Washington hopes to use those cooking skills to help save souls and lives.
He explains, "This gives us another avenue to do ministry."
That avenue is Barry's Cheesestates & more on Preston Highway.
"And I figured well, we'll start putting these kids to work," says Washington.
Kids like 19 year old Santonio Sydnor. Washington admits he expelled Sydnor from summer camp several years ago after a confrontation with another youth.
"You know, he was mouthing off to me real bad about my game and stuff," says Sydnor, local youth.
Washington says, At one portion his family did come up and I'm thinking look we can't have this."
"He started calling people up there so I called my brother and them up there," explains Sydnor.
And that's when Washington says he make the tough decision. "We had to kick him out, had to tell him...look this isn't for you."
But these days Sydnor is on a different path. And staying positive and busy. "I do everything from prep work to cleaning up. I am hear from open to close, he says."
The 19 year old is even college bound. "He'll be going to college in January," says Washington.
In fact, Washington says that's one of several requirements for anyone working for him. "They got to go to school, gotta give a certain percentage of money to the household, we're also teaching 'em early how to put some money into the credit union."
And if the business succeeds...it'll have to be done with the doors closed on two of the potentially busiest days of the week.
"Saturdays we have bible study at church, we won't be open and we'll never open on Sundays," says Washington.
The restaurant is scheduled to open for business on October 5th.