It was still dark outside at 6:00 a.m. on October 30, 1990, when a large number of men armed with M-16 rifles quietly and cautiously surrounded my house. I was awakened suddenly by a loud, and repeated smashing sound. I jumped out of bed and ran to the window to see what was going on. As I opened the curtains, I saw that there were cops everywhere, and a number of them had their weapons pointed at me. They shouted, “Freeze; keep your hands in the air; this is the Police!” This was the beginning of a series of events that would literally change my life from that of a bike gang member and criminal to that of a Christian.
I was born in Lawrenceburg, Tennessee, in 1953. My father went to Ohio to seek work and eventually moved the family to Lucas County, outside of Toledo. My dad worked very hard, and mom cared for things at home. We went to church every week, but I do not recall ever being told that salvation came by way of a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. When I was sixteen, I was glad to get my driver's license and break out of the country to see the “bright lights” of the city. That's when the rebellion in my life really began to show. I argued frequently with my dad about things like hair length and my lack of motivation to work a regular job. I soon started drinking for the “buzz” that took away the cares of the world. I was a very irresponsible teenager.
I joined the U.S. Army in 1971 in an attempt to be free, and to prove myself to my dad. I became a weapons specialist like he was in World War II and then I went to airborne school, jumping out of perfectly good airplanes to prove I was tough. I partied, though, hanging out with the “cool” crowd, drinking and smoking pot, thinking I was having a good time. I am happy to be able to say I received an Honorable Discharge in August of 1974. I traveled around the country for the next six months, enjoying not having anyone telling me what to do.
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