After leaving school that day, Hicks returned home. Him and his father got into an altercation.
“I called my father a b**** when he approached me in my room,” Hicks said.
Hicks’ father said he was ready to kick his son out the house because he was ready to fist fight.
“I was about to take him out,” said Hicks Sr., referring to knocking-out his son.
Hicks said while laughing that the fight was tie.
“That brother [Hicks father] worked me,” Hicks said.
Once being kicked out of his parent’s house, Hicks said he was homeless. No friends would take him in and he was doing odd jobs just to survive.
“I sold weed, but honestly, I smoked more than I sold,” Hicks said. “I even tried selling coke [Cocaine], but that was just too dangerous for me. Too many strange people deal with that.”
About a week or two later, Hicks’ father went to find his son.
“His mother was worried. I found him, brought him back and told him, you don’t have to go to school, you don’t have to get a diploma, but you will work,” Hicks Sr. said.
Hicks chose to go back to school. It took him five years to graduate when normally it takes four.
After graduating from Ed White high school in 2004, Hicks was not interested in going to college. He had other plans.
“I ran a club in Jacksonville that was located on the north side of town,” Hicks said. “I was a promoter.”
The club, which Hicks wishes to not have disclosed because of the club’s reputation of violence, was about the size of a Winn-Dixie supermarket.
Using his gift of gab, Hicks was able to talk other promoters into bringing live entertainment to the club promising them sold out shows.
“I called my boys, and said we were on. We made it. Imagine me straight out of high school working at Best Buy and an opportunity like this comes about. This is every young man’s dream! I’m just thinking I’m Scarface,” Hicks said.
Hicks’ night were filled with dancing and drinking, but from what he could remember this was not the life he wanted at all.
“It was something to do instead of school and honestly, I didn’t like it. There were always gunshots being heard outside the club and I didn’t want to be the owner of an establishment that took lives,” Hicks explained.
One situation Hicks remembers vividly that confirmed his choice to leave the nightclub business was seeing a 16-year-old boy almost die from a gunshot wound to the head.
“It [The shooting] was right outside the club and as I saw this young man hardly breathing. All I could do was feel responsible for placing him in this environment,” Hicks said.
“Thankfully he lived, but man, that could have been me.”
So within a year, Hicks gave it up but was still confused on what to do, until he met whom he called his angel, Kerri Alexander.
“Kerri encouraged me to get a higher education. She told me that I was smart and that I could make straight A’s. No one has ever told me that,” Hicks said.
Hicks claims that Alexander is the reason he decided to change his life.
“Different people have their own stories about how they found Christ, but myself, it was this girl that I met and she was the real deal. This young lady did not play the radio sideways,” Hicks said.
Hicks went on to describe her.
“She was fine too. She was bad. Dime, top of the line, she was right,” Hicks recalled. “This young lady, I wanted her…bad. But she would not compromise and I had to jump through so many hoops to attain this young lady. And a lot of hoops I had to jump through, she didn’t really put on me but I just knew by the way she carried herself, what type of dude she would accept in her life.”
Noticing that Alexander would not accept him for who he was, Hicks began a transformation on his life.
“Quickly…I mean quickly, I stepped up and realized she was worth my time,” Hicks said.
It was love found through Christ.
“I had never met a young lady that I had wanted to gain access to so bad,” Hicks said. “Its like I shifted my whole world to gain access to this young lady. Reading the bible, trying to learn about it so I’ll have something to talk about with her.”
And as a result of changing his ways like going to college at Florida Community College of Jacksonville and being on the Dean’s list, Hicks life changed seriously, not just for the girl of his dreams, but for himself.
Hicks did not only fall in love with Kerri, he fell in love with God.
“The more I read and learned about God, the more I wanted to know and the more I wanted to do,” Hicks said.
Hicks became a man on fire for Christ, something that even his dad could not ignore.
“He has a zeal and a fire I never had at that age,” Hicks Sr. said.
Soon enough, Hicks began to believe that his passion for Alexander was outshining his passion for Christ, so he drew back from her to focus more on God.
“He felt he needed to draw back from Kerri,” Hicks Sr. said. She took his decision as a rejection and they stopped talking for two years.
Hicks remembers that moment and he remembers when he told Alexander that everything had to change for him to focus more on God.
Hicks regrets the decision, but felt it was necessary for bigger plans in his life.
Since then Maurice has started a T-shirt company called “Without Jesus I Suck.” And has drawn a massive following.
“People always follow Maurice. He was always around popular people. He didn’t follow the crowd. The crowd followed him,” Hicks Sr. said.
Hicks’ shirts have been featured on CNN and worn by major gospel music artists both in the USA and in Africa.
Hicks started the phrase as a joke at first, but realized that the phrase was an excellent conversation starter to witness to people about the glory of God.
John 15:5 reads: “Without me, you can do nothing. Hicks said that in laymen terms,
“Without Christ, we suck as a person.”
Although successful, Hicks still takes the time to reach out to people in the community to help them in anyway possible.
“He is a very passionate person,” said Olean McCaskill, owner and operator of Olean’s Home cooking restaurant.
Hicks recently started repainting McCaskill’s restaurant for free.
“Miss Olean is a very sweet person and I was eating there one day and I noticed that the building could use a touch up. I told her I was going to get a group of people to help me paint it,” Hicks said.
“Sure enough, that boy came back with a about seven other guys to repaint this place. We’ve been open for seven years. I could use a touch of paint,” McCaskill said.
Cecilia Wilson, who has known Hicks for a few years, said that Hicks calls himself a ‘sowing machine’ because he sows blessings in so many lives.
“He helped me become a better person for Christ, and inspired me to do more with my life,” Wilson said.
When asked if he misses all that he had before he was transformed, Hicks answered with, “Sure, but now I have so much more and more is to come.”