My name is EJ and this is my story. I grew up in a broken home. My father left my mother, sisters, brother and me at a truck stop in Florida when I was 5 years old never to see him again. 

I guess I was kind of a troubled kid growing up. I was the youngest out of 6 kids being raised by a single mother that had lots of addictions. By the age of 9 or 10 I was doing meth and smoking weed. Mom tried to keep me off of them, only to end up enabling me. By the age of 14 I was a drug addict. I was doing hard drugs in every way imaginable. It didn’t take long before I started going to jails and prisons.

I’ve been in 6 prisons and 6 county jails for a total of almost 14 years.  I found a family in an organization called Rebel Cause Brotherhood. I fell in love with the Brotherhood and put it before everyone and everything else in my life. I loved the power and respect that came with it and the principles and laws it stood on. I was a rebel for almost 10 years.

I ended up in the Elkhart County Jail in 2013. I knew who God was but I didn’t have a relationship with Jesus Christ. I met the Chaplain one day! I think he seen something in me that most people would not take the time to see. I was broken and in need of a higher power. He looked past all the tattoos and started talking to me about life, the things I was going through, about God and how to overcome the past. Over time, this led me to start questioning my life. What I’ve been through, where I’m going and how I got where I’m at.

Today I no longer live in the past. I’m not a Rebel today, I’m Brother EJ. That was something that was really hard for me to do. It took a lot of courage to retire my Rebel Cause patch. I can’t be the driver anymore. It’s up to God to take the wheel. Things are going good. God has provided me with a peace of mind and a purpose of being.

Sometimes I get anxious thinking about all the unknowns…Will I be able to find a job, or be accepted in a church? I used to think I just need someone to give me a chance and believe in me. Now I realize Jesus has been there the whole time. I might be a baby in my walk, but I’m walking in the light and it feels good. I read my bible a lot and try to talk to more and more people about Jesus and how much He can change us if we just let Him. Thank you for reading my story.

God Bless You,