Bryant Collins had served 10-years in a federal prison for drug dealing, while serving his sentence the Georgia native had promised himself that once he became a free man again he would turn his life around. He promised to never again sell cocaine or any illegal drug ever again. Little did he know at the time that God also had plans for the former ex-con.
Collins had kept his promise to stay clean for nearly 5-years working as a skilled auto mechanic. On this particular day Collins was in his truck on busy interstate Highway 72 driving southbound, when something suddenly caught his eye at the edge of the highway.
At first, he couldn’t make out the object moving slowly towards the highway and then he realized that the object moving perilously close to the highway was a baby. Instinctively, Collins immediately slammed on his breaks, the massive truck shook, burning rubber before coming to a screeching halt.
“I didn’t think it could even be a baby at first,” said Collins.
Adding, “How could it be a baby out here in the middle of nowhere? But at the same time, while I’m thinking that, my foot is mashing the break so fortunately, thank God nobody was behind me because this is one of the busiest highways in the area, if not the busiest. By the grace of God, there was not even a car coming either way.”
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#Hero Bryant Collins scooped up baby (who crawled 1/4 mile through woods) from shoulder of Ga hwy @WXIA pic.twitter.com/Mg2yZ2hmOc— W A L L E N (@Hyacinth39) June 20, 2014
Collins quickly called 911, informing the dispatcher of the emergency, and immediately snatched the baby up from the highway, waiting for the police to arrive. However, it would take nearly two hours before authorities would get to Collins and the baby, informing him that they were investigating the incident, perhaps going door to door searching for the child’s parents within the immediate vicinity.
However, during the long wait the baby began to cry. Collins quickly remedied the situation by playing Gospel music
“The baby started crying. Then I turned my phone on and let the baby listen to some Gospel music, and she calmed back down,” he said. “I know gospel music calms me down.” They bonded over the two-hour wait and the baby became comfortable in his presence. “She looked at me like she knew me or something,” said Collins.
The police finally located the home where the baby lived and immediately took the father into custody for endangering the child’s life. They surmised that the baby crawled 300 yards from her home, through heavily dense underbrush and finally onto the highway which miraculously didn’t have many vehicles at that time on the highway.
Sheriff Kip Thomas acknowledged that perhaps divine intervention prevented a harrowing incident into becoming a tragic incident, exclaiming; “that a 15-month-old can go that far from her house, into the woods, fall down an embankment, wind up near a major highway and really not get hurt that bad.”
However, scripture teaches us that God chooses those least likely among us to spread his massage of faith and forgiveness. Collins had resolved while paying his debt to society, telling those who would listen; “While I was in prison, I decided I can’t come home like I came to prison.”
After his incredible story went national, local affiliate WXIA News, interviewed the affable auto mechanic. Collins admitted it felt good that people now consider him a hero, rather then simply an ex-con adding; “It made me feel good that I could you know be in society and do good,” he said with a smile. “Just as well as you can do bad, you can do good.”
However, Collins’ story didn’t end on Highway 72, it actually began there. Recently local News Reporter Matt Pearl who interviewed Collins back in 2014 did a follow-up piece, and was surprised to learn that Collins continues giving back to society.
“God blessed me with a platform to speak and to spread generosity,” and Collins is doing just that…a couple of weekends a month, Bryant Collins along with family members pop’s up in different urban neighborhoods within his community and cooks burgers and hot dogs free-of-charge.
“Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with him to be executed. When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him there, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left. Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”