by: WSBTV.com<\/a> web staff Updated:
STONE MOUNTAIN, Ga. - Just days after cancelling book signings, Michael Vick made a special appearance at a Stone Mountain church Saturday.
It's been several years since Vick was convicted on dog fighting charges. He's since worked to try to change things, and Saturday he brought his message back to the Atlanta area.
Vick received a warm reception at the victory for the world church, where he stopped by to encourage teens to make the right choices and avoid having to get second chances.
"I'm glad to be back," Vick told the congregation. "Every decision counts, it's very important to think before you speak, think before you act and kind of depend on the people who really believe in you."
Vick was invited by Team Freedom Outreach, a program that works with teens in youth detention centers.
The appearance comes days after Vick cancelled book signings in Atlanta and two other states. He's been promoting his autobiography, "Finally Free."
Afterwards, Vick addressed the cancellations and threats that were made to him.
"That's a very selective few of people, very small, selective few
people who still have their own form of hatred, but I think the most important thing for me to do is to continue to stay positive. Continue to do the right things because that's what's going to make a difference," Vick said.
Vick's message resonated with mother Natalie Harris, who brought her two boys to the event.
"I really appreciate him coming out today and just letting the kids know that even though you make mistakes in life, you can still bounce back and be successful," Harris said.
Channel 2 Action News reached out to PETA for its reaction to Vick's appearance.
A spokesperson sent a statement saying, "PETA believes that Michael Vick should be banned from owning dogs for life. Just as convicted pedophiles aren't allowed free access to children, anyone who is responsible for hanging, electrocuting, or shooting dogs or who has caused them to suffer in other unimaginable ways should never again be allowed access to dogs.
"It is too great a risk to allow Michael Vick to have a dog, and it will take more than his word to convince PETA that he is a changed man.
"All things considered, forgoing the privilege of having a dog in the house is a very small price to pay for the suffering that he inflicted on the many dogs he abused and killed in the Bad Newz Kennels."
Late last year, Vick confirmed his family now has a dog.