From Reggae to Jesus

Growing up in New York City, Roy was a mischievous kid who was always getting into trouble. Even though his parents made him attend church, he never really connected with God.

High school for Roy was filled with fighting, alcohol, and “weed.” After being arrested for trespassing and robbery, his lawyer recommended he enlist in the Air Force, which let him escape jail time and gave him the opportunity to straighten out his life. Roy explains, however, “In basic training I got into a fight my first week. I hadn’t even received my uniform.” His next six years in the service didn’t change him much. Now the drugs and alcohol simply happened in the different places he was stationed—Colorado, Florida, and Germany.

After his time in the service, Roy moved to New York. He had given up drinking and drugs, but he still struggled with fighting. Not long after, a new and seductive opportunity arrived in his life. “My family is Honduran and Jamaican, so I grew up loving reggae music,” Roy explains. “I had been a deejay for years, so when my partner at work mentioned he was also a disc jockey, I joined his team.”

Roy loved his new side job, and he served at several big clubs and mingled with popular hip-hop artists. He also worked at one of New York's largest radio stations. He says, “I interviewed people like the Marley family, Buju Banton, Beenie Man, Shaggy, and Lauryn Hill of The Fugees.” While his regular day job paid well, his acquaintances in his music business brought him many privileges. He could get into just about any club or concert in the Big Apple and says, “I really thought life was good.”

But something was still wrong, and he knew it. “On my bucket list I intended to someday find a church to attend. The few I visited I didn’t like. Besides, I was too busy partying and having a good time. Deep down inside, though, I knew something was missing in my life.

Providential Encounter
One early Saturday morning, Roy left the club where he was working and went home to watch music videos on TV. It was something he did to unwind. He shares, “I turned on BET only to find an older white gentleman speaking. I almost changed the channel, but the things he said were so captivating that I found myself glued to the TV for the next 30 minutes.”

The man was Joe Crews, Amazing Facts' first speaker. Roy watched him for several months and eventually mailed in to receive free Bible studies. “I began learning so much about the Bible. I even tried to keep the Sabbath, but not very successfully.”

“Sometime later,” Roy continues, “this new white guy comes on one Saturday morning.” He explained that Crews passed away and that he was the new speaker for Amazing Facts. I was devastated,” he admits. “Who could possibly know the Bible like Joe Crews?” But Roy says, “I grew to like Pastor Doug Batchelor,” who soon invited people to attend a new evangelistic series. “I intended to go only one night and had no intentions of becoming part of a church," but Pastor Doug's “preaching was so captivating that I came every single night.”

Just a few months later, Roy was baptized. He quit his job in the music business and never looked back. Roy became an active member of Christ's body and was soon serving as a personal ministries leader and sharing his faith with others. “One of the main resources I use, even now, is the Storacles of Prophecy by Pastor Doug.”

Roy has enjoyed many more resources from Amazing Facts to help him share Jesus with others, including many of the booklets written by Joe Crews. Roy is currently an elder in his church and serves the Greater New York Conference as a youth director. “I work with about 23 churches to help keep youth active in the church. We do a lot of community service projects as well.”

Having been involved in the music entertainment field, Roy has a heart for youth interested in contemporary music. “There’s a lot of alluring and captivating music that sounds good,” he warns, “but the pictures they paint are not as beautiful as they might look on the surface.” He encourages youth to go to the source. “These artists are real people and have problems. They are motivated by fame and fortune. I think we should look more deeply at what drives the creation of music, movies, and television programs. It’s not as good as we’d like to think.”

Another resource Roy has found helpful in his spiritual life is Sabbath School Study Hour. Roy shares, “I not only enjoy watching Pastor Doug teach, but have directed many others to his resources. I have just about every major series that Doug Batchelor has conducted and use them in giving Bible studies to others.” He especially finds to be an excellent place to go when people ask Bible questions about everything from jewelry to marriage and divorce. “I can’t thank God enough for Amazing Facts. It literally saved my life. Thank you! God is good. Keep up the work.”
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