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Industry Folks - Larry Means, Vital Steel Erectors

image Larry Means, Head of Estimating, Vital Steel Erectors, Houston, TX

HOUSTON - Larry Means is not your ordinary ironworker. At first glance, you might want to turn and walk the other way, but there is a draw to this bear of a man. A draw that few can explain.






    “I came from a good family. My mom and dad were good people. Dad had a good reputation, not only in the business world, but also the Christian world. My mother was your typical good woman.  She was always faithful to my dad and did what my dad said, just like the good book says. They were married 67 years.”
    With roots like that, it’s hard to believe that anything but good would come out of Larry, but as Larry puts it, “I did a lot of bad things.”
    Around the age of 13, Larry got involved in drugs and was addicted for 35 years, to include heroin, meth and cocaine.  He sold drugs, collected money for drug dealers, took young ladies off the street and filled them with heroin.  And all during that time he worked for a living.  He was an ironworker and a supervisor by the age of 19.
    “I started working in 1965 after school and during summer vacation with my dad.  He worked for B&C Construction at the time, one of the first erection companies in Houston. I know this trade.  I’m good at this.”
    In 2001, at age 49, Larry hated himself and everyone in his life.  Everyone that is except his mom, but he hated his dad more than anyone else.
     “I didn’t love or care for anyone because I hated myself and you can’t love anybody if you hate yourself. I actually had a plan to kill my father. I hated him because of who he was and what he stood for. He had everything and I had nothing because of the life I lived.  My dad was a good man who was successful.  I did not believe in God back then. It didn’t happen, not the way I thought it would.”
    It was during this time that Larry’s dad had a stroke. He hit his head and hemorrhaged at his temple. After receiving a call from his mom, Larry took his father to the hospital. While he was there, he did something while waiting in the ICU.  The doctors said his dad was going to die and needed surgery.  For the first time in his life, Larry started praying. “That night I accepted Christ in the name of Jesus.  My dad died while on the table but his heart started beating again. He lived another 12 years teaching me how to love people the way our Lord does.  He became my best friend and mentor.
    “It’s a very strange, unusual story. But my faith has grown like you wouldn’t believe.  I know when I pray for people, God heals them. I know when I talk to people, God saves them through me. It’s been a very crazy ministry. I am now the Rev. Dr. Larry. I earned my doctrine two years ago. I never finished school and don’t have a GED. I’m also a Chaplin through the same college.
    “God has opened doors for me. I was a counselor for the school district of Spring Branch for a while.  I’m able to council in schools to teen and gangs on gang awareness.”
    Larry ministers all over the county, and still works 40 hours a week at Vital overseeing the company’s estimating department.  -cmw

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Carol Wiatrek meditor@constructionnews.net