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Inner City Mom Fights Off a Gang

Mary Thomas was a single mom of nine children living in Chicago's rough West Side neighborhood. Seven of Mary's nine kids were boys, young men constantly stretching the boundaries of their tired mother's authority and patience.

One day in 1966, Mary opened her front door to find 25 street thugs on her stoop. The men, members of the notorious Vice Lords gang, had come to recruit her seven sons. Mary, hearing their intentions, dropped her gaze, said "Oh, okay. Hold on just a second," and closed the door.

When the door opened again, the first thing the Vice Lords saw was the barrel of a loaded shotgun. "There's only one gang around here, and that's the Thomas gang."

With that same fortitude, Mary Thomas ushered each of her nine "gang members" to their high school graduation. You may have heard of her youngest son—pro basketball player and Hall of Famer Isaiah Thomas.

Possible Preaching Angles: (1) Families; Mothers—Family is worth fighting for. A family that is fiercely defended provides a safe haven for kids to grow and find their place in a chaotic world. Protect your gang. (2) God's Motherly Love for us. (3) Leaders; Pastors—This is what leaders and pastors do: they protect their flock.

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