At the age of ten years, I was the youngest person in South Florida to go into a drug program for smoking crack. It was called "freebase" back then. I ran away from the program and went to "Fort Lauderdale Strip." I was picked up by the police and taken home. I ran away again. This went on until I was 13 years old.
I hitch-hiked to Maryland (where my father was from) and met a man named "Biker Bobby" or "Big Nose Bobby." He had just got out of the state pen and he was tough and cool and he took me under his wing, so to speak. He knew all the strippers in all the strip joints or "nudey" bars and all the bartenders, so I always got in and was able to drink. I drank whatever he drank: Blackberry Brandy & Budweiser. He sold, bought, and used drugs and that was the first time I ever shot up heroin. For the next year, I thought I was a king. "Sex, Drugs, & Rock and Roll" ~ what an understatement!
Then my idol, my hero, or so I thought, Biker Bobby, overdosed on heroin and died. This is when things started happening. After Bobby's death, I was so sad that I went to Cathy's house where we were staying and got her gun. I went out on 36th Ave. in Hamden and sat down in front of a church; not on purpose ~ it's where the bus stop was. I put the gun to my head and pulled the trigger. Nothing. The gun which Cathy kept loaded, rain or shine, was empty. After this, I asked her why the gun was empty and she said she had a bad feeling. She didn't know that Bobby had died.
I went drifting around for I don't know how long, getting drunk and high, sleeping wherever I laid my head. I met a guy in a place called "The Little Tavern" and I bought 20 Xanax from him and went and bought a pint of whiskey. I took all 20 pills and woke up in Johns Hopkins Hospital. I had overdosed. I left the hospital and left the State. I hitch-hiked all over the country, ending up in Eugene, Oregon. From there I went back and forth to Hollywood, California.
I had found a new drug called Crystal Meth. I was injecting $300 to $400's worth a day. I was only 16 and I was going to a place to rest called the Los Angeles Youth Network. Now all this time I was supporting my habit through various ways which I am too ashamed to mention even now, but in L.A. I could do the things I was doing to get money. So I was with another guy who set up a deal for me with a drug dealer. I was to buy two ounces of Meth. I went to meet him and tried to rob him. He beat me nearly to death. I have scars on my chest where he stabbed me and I lost half of my bottom lip. Somehow, I made it back to the Los Angeles Youth Network and then to the hospital. Not one month later, in Eugene, Oregon, I robbed a man named Monty for 6 ounces of Meth. I got away, but barely.
I made my way back to Baltimore, Maryland and called my mom and went home. Two months later, I was in prison in Baltimore. I used drugs the whole time I was in prison. After I got out, I went home and stole everything I could worth something and off I went back to Maryland. There I got so bad on heroin that I actually walked into a black neighborhood and robbed the guy who had the dope. He also had a gun and I was grazed in the arm. Again, I put it off to luck. I robbed and stole, cheated and scammed until I finally went to prison for 25 years.
I was in my cell going through very painful withdrawals when I tried to kill myself. I slashed my arm from the wrist to the elbow, about a four inch gash, then out of nowhere this old man walks by my cell (another inmate?) and tells me God isn't going to let me die, that he has a purpose for me. At that moment, the guard came to my cell to give me a lost piece of mail or something. I went to the hospital and got 40 stitches inside and outside my arm.
The next day I went to look for the old man. I knew him from somewhere, but it did not dawn on me until years later that he was the old man sitting on the bench when I attempted to shoot myself after Biker Bobby died. I looked for him but couldn't find him anywhere. After that, I slowly but steadily came to the Lord Jesus Christ, and in 1998 I was saved. Since then, there has been no looking back.
In the story of my life, I have left out a lot. I have only spoken of the things that I believe were the most influential in my coming to our Lord Jesus Christ. I am here only because God wants me here, and every day that I wake up I thank him for that. I have been blessed 1,000 times over, and I tell you now that if I had the choice to live a nice, "happy" life where I would grow up with no drugs and all the money in the world bout not receive Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior OR live the life I have lived and die knowing that I have been saved, I would gladly take the life I have.
In October of 1999, through the Jerry Smith Gospel Ministries, I was ordained and have worked hard to tell my story of salvation to anyone and everyone who will listen. I preach the Gospel of John and Psalms almost every night at our own self-held Bible study class. I am finally on the right track.