Witness of teenage girl led Elvis’ stepbrother to faith

EULESS?Growing up in an abusive foster home, Rick Stanley would crawl on his stomach in the night to console his crying younger brother, trying to assure him that things would get better.

Then one day Stanley’s mother showed up to retrieve her boys with her new husband in tow. They were off to their new home in Memphis, Tenn.

“My mother introduced me to a wonderful, wonderful stepfather,” Stanley recalled. “‘This is Vernon Presley, Elvis Presley’s dad,'” Stanley recalled his mother saying. “And I thought, ‘Great, who is Elvis Presley?'”

After arriving at Graceland, “There was this guy just standing there, just singing these gospel songs,” Stanley recalled. “He snapped his head toward me.? He knelt down and he said, ‘You know, I always wanted little brothers and now I have three.'”

“I saw the wonderful side of him,” Stanley said of Elvis. “I saw the good side of him. I can’t tell you what that meant to me as a little boy who had been pushed away.”

Stanley told how he had been raised by the Elvis’ entourage, the so-called “Memphis Mafia,” “some of the meanest, roughest guys you’ve ever been around.”

As for Elvis, Stanley related warm memories of “the most generous person.”

Being Elvis Presley’s stepbrother, Stanley had access to worldly pursuits at a young age.

Eventually, life in the fast lane threw him into a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center.

“My god was people’s opinion of me,” Stanley recalled.

“Fortunately for me, I met a young girl who started talking to me,” Stanley said of the girl who led him to Christ seven years after he met her and whom he eventually married.

Her persistent friendship and prayer for Stanley and her merciful actions?”She goes over to those kids [at school] who have learning disabilities that nobody wants to be around,” Stanley recalled of one event that impressed him.

Speaking of teenagers, whom Stanley speaks to often, “Folks, listen to me ? they can tell when they’re welcome [at church] and they can tell when they’re not.”

In August 1977, not long before Elvis’ death, Stanley’s future wife told him: “Ricky, I had a terrible dream ? I dreamt you died and went to hell.”

Relating the dream to Elvis, he told Stanley, “You know, Ricky, those are the people who care.”

TEXAN Correspondent
Jerry Pierce
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