My name is Gary Currie. I was born in Chatham, Kent, in 1957. My upbringing wasn’t the best, with parents who did not care and were quick with hand, fist or stick to control us.
There were four kids: three boys and one girl. We boys went through it with the beatings, so we rebelled and quickly started to get into trouble with the police. We became well known to them. Whenever I was in a police cell, I would pray and ask God to help me, but He never did.
We went to several institutions and there also we received beatings. I think that because of that we started getting violent ourselves. In my eyes, God didn’t love us and we were on our own. I must also point out that I was very much a racist and was sure to let them know it whenever I had contact with people of different races.
I married at 18 and had a daughter, Sarah. She was born with Cystic Fibrosis, and at the age of four years and ten months, she died. I knew then that there wasn’t a God – not one for me anyway. Then my marriage broke up and later I met my second wife, Rita.
At this time I was very angry with the world and very aggressive. I trained in boxing, karate and ju jitsu, winning many medals. Then I went into body-building and won the South East championships at the age of forty-three.
I was also a bouncer at various night clubs, which allowed me to vent my anger on anyone who wanted to fight. I felt in full control of my life; I had power, strength and respect.
We then moved to Devon in 2010. I was still subject to fits of anger, and abusive road rage was a big issue. It drove my wife mad and she was always asking me to control myself.
Then, in 2017, I had a knock on the door. It was ‘Bible-bashers’ from the local church. I told them I wasn’t interested in God or the Bible because He wasn’t interested in me and had abandoned me many years before.
They went away, but came back a month or so later. I talked to them a little about my life so that they might understand why I wasn’t interested. I was given a little New Testament by one of them who was a Gideon; he said it might help.
They kept coming back, and I didn’t want to be rude as they were polite to me, but on one occasion there was an Indian guy with them, and I didn’t want him coming near me! But I did start to read the little red book and kept seeing things that were interesting to me.
But I wanted to get rid of these people so I said I would try a Christianity Explored course with them so that I could tell them I still wasn’t interested after trying it. But I actually enjoyed it, and went back for more, and the little red book became quite revealing to me.
I went to the church, thinking that I wouldn’t fit in, and was ready to do a runner, but I was welcomed as an equal and I started to read a lot more. Then – POW! – something happened to me; a wash of my whole body, a sort of cleansing, I wasn’t sure.
I wasn’t trying to change, but it happened! God came into me by his Spirit and my life changed. I was calmer, not angry, happy, in fact. Rita noticed it first. My family are amazed.
God has made me new, given me a new life and a promise of an even better one after this, because Jesus has taken all my sins away when he died for us at Calvary and rose again to be with the Father. I have a new church family and the Indian chap whom I didn’t want near me is now my dear brother in Christ.
I was baptized at Scott Drive Church, Exmouth on 16 September 2018. I have read the Bible through six times in the past, plus all the other Christian books I can lay my hands on.
Praise God, Rita has also come to the Lord recently. If there is hope for me there is hope for anyone. God can and will be there for all who seek Him. Praise be to God!