The Rev. Ty Coke has lived on the dark side of life and a big part of his ministry at The Rock Church Odessa is devoted to rescuing others who have had the same troubles.

The 1998 Odessa High School graduate attended Angelo State and UTPB before working in financial services, gaining his sobriety in 2008 and graduating with a degree in Bible from Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va.

In 2016, the Rev. Coke started The Rock Church Odessa at 4803 Plaza Blvd., where 10 a.m. Sunday attendance was averaging 125 before the pandemic reduced that to 50-75. He and his wife Tonya have two children.

“I had been baptized at age 12 and I finally got real serious at 28 and told God, ‘Either take this addiction away from me or take me out of this world!’ I was a full-blown alcoholic, hiding it and drinking by myself, but I was done. I woke up the next day and have never touched a drop of alcohol since.”

Coke’s favorite scriptures are Matthew 22:1-14 and Luke 14:15-24, often known as “The Parable of the Great Banquet.” “The master threw a banquet, but a lot of people didn’t want to go,” he said.

“So the master sent his servant to the fields, highways and alleys, brought all these people in and gave them the banquet. So it doesn’t matter where you have been, what you have done or how many skeletons you have in your closet. God has a place for you at his table if you want it.”

Coke has written a book titled “30 Days: a Bold Journey into Recovery” that is available on for $11.99.

Noting that Associate Pastor Simon Cross holds a “Reach Recovery” meeting each Monday at 7 p.m., Coke said, “We use the example of having a void inside you and we say that to recover you need to fill that void with Christ, be truly recovered instead of just hanging on for dear life.”

Cross said Coke “is an amazing man.

“I have been in recovery for four years and I just stumbled into Ty’s church when I was looking for a church,” he said. “He spoke about his own personal recovery and his battles with addiction. I got with him after the service and we saw the need in our area for recovery options for people who were sober and trying to maintain their recovery.”

Cross said Coke “is Biblically sound and doesn’t take any liberties.

“He brings the real world perspective to how the Bible relates to people who have been down some dark paths,” he said. “In some of the other churches I had been to, my past was something that got me dirty looks. I was pushed to the back of the room in a lot of instances.”

With Coke having done missionary work in India, Moldova, Kosovo and the Mideast, at times smuggling Bibles into places hostile to Christianity, Cross said the pastor “talks a lot about the missionary field right here in Odessa and Midland and how many lost people are here.

“Ty says Jesus came to save the sick, not hang out with the perfect,” he said. “He says we have been to Hell and we’re ready to go right back in there to pull people out.”