I grew up in a house that never went to church and we never talked about God. The only time I remember going to church was a Mormon church and that bored me so badly I couldn’t stay awake. Looking back, I thank God because I might have started to believe their false doctrine.
The only contact I had growing up with Christians was twisted. My parents would have these wild parties and my sister and I would pretend to go to bed. When it would get late and loud we would sneak out and watch the festivities. It got wild in there, a lot of the worse activities that were happening was by stuff going on was by the deacons and elders of churches in my neighborhood. So my idea of church-life was twisted from the beginning.
Later on when I was about 9 or 10, our family moved to a town in California that had about 700 people and a small Baptist church. This was the only church. One day someone invited me to a special event at that little church.
I visited and I hung on every word the visiting preacher was saying. I was under such conviction for my sin that I did not know what to do. When he gave the altar call I went up to the front and prayed with him. Without question, I know for sure I was born again right there. I was changed. From that moment I felt like God was calling me into the ministry. I told everyone I am going to be a missionary (Not that I knew what that was.) I wanted to learn about God so I started to go to church. That little Baptist church had very little Bible that was being preached. Most of the kids there were “Christians” on Sunday but doing other stuff on Monday (if you know what I mean).
I really wanted to serve God but my parents didn’t care at the time about God and did not want to go to church.I decided to get myself to church and went every chance I could. I even attended the midweek prayer service. Usually, the pastor himself did not attend this service. It was usually just a few old guys around the ages of 50 or 60 and then there was me, a 10 year old little kid. I was hungry for God and got very close to him when I went to special church camp. But, when I got home I had no support.
I had no Christian friends and my friends all began to drink smoke cigarettes and pot. I tried to say no but over time my stance began to slip. When I was about 12 years old a neighbor boy who was about 18 to 20 started taking to me. He led me up behind my house on the hill. All the sudden he just dropped down on his knees and unzipped my pants. I had no idea what he was doing, because I had not reached puberty yet and knew nothing about sex. But he began perform oral sex on me. I was confused but in a way curious. He did that for a while and stopped got up and walked away. It was strange. I know now a devil came into me right then. It was a sex spirit.
Then this pervert asked my mom if he could have a sleep over with me and my friend. She let him. I didn’t know what to do. I wouldn’t let him touch me that night but had to sit there and observe my friend who had reached puberty and this man have oral sex with each other.
I was very freaked out by the whole thing and I knew it was wrong. The next day I told my mom. But she didn’t believe me. This hurt. I already had a great deal of anger and it got worse with her denial and rejection. I decided to take things into my own hands. I went up to this pervert and said, “If you ever set foot in my yard again I will knock you out or worse.” He must of beloved me because he never came near me again.
Another memory that added to my rage was a party at my friend’s house. His parents were always gone and his big brother had parties with drinking and drugs. I was there and a fully developed girl came and sat down next to me. She said come here and took me in a private room. She was a few years older than me. As I layed down on the bed and she began to make fun of me. I can still remember her taunting me “Tommy doesn’t know what to do. Tommy doesn’t know what to do!” I didn’t. I had no idea what she was talking about but she embraced me so bad. I can remember thinking, “I’m going to find out what to do. No girl will ever say that about me again.”
Another moment that affected my life deeply, was the day I started smoking. I was walking up a hill. I looked down and saw a pack of cigarettes. I picked them up and I remembered thinking, “ Wow I wish I had a match. I would like to try one of these. I looked down again and there were some matches. I picked them up and decided to smoke one. My parent did it, why not? I reasoned with myself. So I fired one up.
I remember how the evil seemed to grow stronger in me doing something I knew was wrong. I kept the smokes and cut a whole in my coat to keep a pack with me all the time. After school we would all smoke on the way home. I would enjoy a cigarette right in the parking lot of the church. I began to get in fights all the time at school. I really hurt some kids and I enjoyed it a lot. As all this was taking place I drifted far from church. They didn’t get me filled with the Spirit and never taught me the word.
One day I went to the beach and an older girl gave me a bottle of wine. I drank it and felt so good I thought I have found the greatest thing in life. Now I understood why my parents drank so much. I thought, “I will drink wine but never smoke pot.” Here I was only 12 years old drinking and smoking.
One day I was at my friend’s house and he was having a party again. There was pot available and I just started smoking some. I didn’t know what I was doing. It was real good pot .I didn’t know one hit was enough to get me real high. I must have taken 10 or more. All the sudden I started to feel funny. My legs felt like rubber and all of a sudden it felt like a million bees were bussing around on the inside of me and Everything went into slow motion. I heard people talking in slow motion moved in slow motion my whole word was slow motion. I remember the people looked like giant dolls that were not real and they were walking and talking in literal slow motion .It was like a bad dream where you are trying to run from the bad guy but can’t because its all in slow motion. I freaked out for many hours and almost lost my mind. When I finally came down I swore I would never do that again. But sometimes out of know where that same feeling would come on me again like a flash back. It scared me. But it didn’t stop me from doing it again and again until I got used to it. I really started to like it.
Through the years my addiction to drugs and alcohol grew. I started on the weekends but soon I was doing them during the week and finally it became an every day habit. I started to have a hot temper and became addicted to all my vices.
Then, I began to use girls for sex. I would pick them up and get what I could from them— sometimes everything and then I would dump them. I was mean and heartless when I did it. Some of these girls really like me and I hurt many pretty bad. Some times I would be with two or three women a night. At times, I had many women at once.
It seemed like my whole life was consumed with sex, drugs, and alcohol and just was just one big party. I began to have black-outs. I could not remember what I had done for days and even sometimes weeks. I would hear from other people about the strange activities I engaged in when I was sober. I didn’t remember I realized years later I was demonized and when I would drink enough they would take over.
My lifestyle carried on like this until I was the age of 22.I found myself beaten-down and sick of my life. I could not believe what had I turned into. I was sick and tired I went to visit my parents. While I was staying with them my sister who became a “Jesus freak” witnessed to me and gave me my first Bible.
I began to read it. I devoured the New Testament and called out to God for help. The sin lifted and I became a new person. Over a three -month period God delivered me from all my old habits. I got filled with the Spirit and again and felt new and fresh. I felt God’s calling on my life again. I was to minister to others. I began to prepare my life. I was sad that I had wasted all those years. For the first time in my life, I was experiencing real joy and peace. I had a new addiction, and it was actually HEALTHY for me! I would spend hour after hour reading the word praying and worshiping my God.
Later I met my awesome wife Stella. We had our amazing daughter Jennifer and we began our ministry. It has got better over these 30 plus years of ministry. God has allowed us to plant and pastor churches, travel, to teach, and to preach and do mission work. I now author books, have TV and radio programs, and minister to people through www.faithalivefellowship.org and I post tutorials on how people can be free from the strongholds of addiction on youtube. Look under Tomas C. Terry. I also do a live radio show daily on Spreaker. Just search The Tomas Terry Show.