Profile of Brian Preston

brianAs published in Society South magazine.

At the young age of 26, Brian Preston was building an empire, flying high, ginning cash. This homebuilder had it all: the big house, fancy car, and beautiful wife. In 2008, the world crashed, and so did Preston.

About the time Brian was holding yard sales to make ends meet, he stumbled upon a tent city of homeless people, many former construction workers, living in Douglasville, Georgia. Through the lens of his own despair, he viewed their poverty with new eyes.

By 2010, he and a group of people began to minister to the homeless, but he soon realized simply meeting the community’s practical needs wasn’t a long-term solution. At this point, Brian—inspired by his wife’s interest in DIY projects on Pinterest—had also started building tables in his garage. His tables sold out on Craigslist.

One day, lost in thought as he worked, he experienced his “aha” moment: He would create a business building tables using reclaimed wood and employ homeless men.

Without capital or a viable business plan, but full of passion, he started Lamon Luther, named in honor of his grandfather, a farmer who taught him how to use a handsaw, a man who understood the practical art of building.

In 2012, Brian picked up his first employee, TC. “I saw him come alive that day,” he says. “He was like, ‘Somebody’s talking to me; somebody’s listening to me.’”

Today at Lamon Luther, men who’ve graduated from recovery programs discover hope with a handsaw, find strength in fellowship, and experience purpose through transforming broken pieces of wood, once viewed as disposable and unworthy, into beautiful tables.

These rehabilitated craftsmen give new life and love to discarded pieces of barn wood much the same way Brian has given these men, once deemed worthless by society, a new purpose.

Brian no longer calls himself a homebuilder in the traditional sense, but he still builds homes—reclaiming lives and families one reconstructed table at a time.

See the complete “The Craft of Brotherhood” feature online»

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