Deaths, drugs, gangsters – but Bible gave me hope

Deaths, drugs, gangsters – but Bible gave me hope

A former drug addict with a gangster’s price on his head has told how a neighbour’s gift of a Bible helped him become a pastor.

John MacInnes, pastor of the Grand Hall Christian Fellowship in Kilmarnock, tells how he became embroiled in a dark underworld of drugs, clubs and violence when he began working as a bouncer to fund his love of bodybuilding and martial arts.

“It gave me the money I needed, but it also opened my eyes to a new way of life,” says John, who had grown up attending church in Scotland.

“It plunged my life into darkness. The first time I was offered drugs I thought, ‘if I don’t like them, I’ll just never take them again.’ I didn’t factor in what would happen if I did like them … and I did.”

Hardened to violence, mixing with criminals and travelling the world with his work, John was wealthy and ‘living the dream’, despite his life being in danger through clashes with gangsters.

But just before he hit 40, the tragic deaths of two close friends within weeks of each other and a major accident rocked his world.

The accident left John bedridden for six months. With severely injured legs, he was unable to walk, wash or dress himself.


“There was a point in my life where everything seemed good. Then the wheels came off,” he says. “I thought my life was over. I had gangsters trying to murder me, my friends were gone and my health was collapsing around me.”

As John lay trapped in his bed, a neighbour visited and gave him a Bible. His childhood church life seemed a million miles away, but desperate for help, John began to read.

“It was the start of a change in my life,” he says. “As I read the Bible, I began to have an understanding of the message of hope it was carrying.”

From there, John set out on a different path. He went to church with his neighbour, where he met his wife Danielle, and felt God call him into Christian ministry.

Today, he leads a church in Kilmarnock.

“We’re reaching out through the love of Jesus to folks in our town. It’s a hard place, it’s not easy, but I know if God can work in my life he can work in lives in this community too.

“If you’d given me 1,000 lifetimes I couldn’t have unravelled the mess my life was in. But God worked miraculously and transformed it in a really massive way.”

From New Life Newspaper issue 325.


Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.

Read more great stories from New life Publishing...

News| Real Life| Views| Sport