I owned my own highway construction company in Oklahoma. I was 2 million dollars in debt when God told me to turn my weekend stress relieving race car into a ministry. I was 36 years old and living a dream. I told God that I was too busy and I didn’t have time for Him. Three months later I lost everything I owned. I lost my company, my farm and my wife who also took my son. I left Oklahoma in a borrowed old U-Haul truck full of my tools and pulling my race car. I didn’t even own a vehicle. I sold some of my tools when I got to Texas and paid for the old U-Haul.
For the next 3 years, I lived in a beer and whiskey bottle. I breathed very few sober breaths. I worked just enough to stay drunk, race my car and chase women. During this time, I married my 4th wife, while drunk, and 8 months later she divorced me saying that I was evil.
After that 3 year period I wound up in Lakeland, Florida drunk. My dad, a woman I was sleeping with, and I started buying old houses, remodeling them and selling them. I ended up in jail for assault. I was living on alcohol and borrowed time.
I got a job running a crane for a company in Florida setting sound walls for subdivisions and highways. I was living in motels and traveling all over Florida. One night I was lying in my bed in the motel room and I cried out to God. I raised my hands and said “If it’s not too late, God, I would like for You to save me. If it is too late I would like for You to kill me because I am sick of this life. If you will save me I will give you all of my life and do whatever you tell me to do.” I knew God was real I was raised in a Pentecostal church and had seen several miracles in my life.
Nothing happened that night, so I went to work the next day as usual. They had moved us to another location where they got me a motel room in downtown Sarasota, Florida. God had not shown up to save me so I figured it must be too late. When I got off work, I found a bar within walking distance of my motel. We were in the hood. I went to the bar and had no intention of leaving. I was just going to drink myself stupid or dead. After I had 5 vodkas, I got up and walked to the door. I don’t know why I got up. I had no intention of leaving.
The front door was a big, heavy, thick, extra wide wooden door. I will never forget that door! When I opened the door, the wind hit me in the face. There was no wind blowing outside. I started laughing and crying profusely. I couldn’t stop. The people in the bar were staring at me, so I walked outside and crossed the street. It was around midnight in the hood of Sarasota, Florida. I stepped up on the curb on the other side of the street and the Lord spoke to me and said for me to turn right. My motel was to the left. I just wanted to go to bed, but I obeyed. There was a giant black man walking towards me and God told me to talk to him. I was still laughing and crying a river of tears. I asked God what I should say to the man. He told me that He would tell me what to say. I walked up to this man and said, “Do you know your momma is praying for you?” He said, “Did my momma send you?” I said, “No, but the One she is praying to sent me.” He started weeping and confessing his sins right there in the street. He bear hugged me so tight that I thought he was gonna squeeze my guts out. We hugged and wept together like two lost brothers. He told me that he had to go to Georgia because his momma would know what to do next.
I continued walking and came to a red light. God told me to turn left and then at the first street He told me to turn left again. This was a long dark street. It had houses half way down and the rest of the way was vacant lots with only one street light at the very end. I walked all the way to the end of the street and God told me to turn around and go back, so I did. A black man was walking towards me. All that was behind me was a dead end road. There was no way out. God told me to talk to this man. Again, I was still laughing and crying. I asked God what I should say and again He told me that He would tell me what to say. So, I walked up to this man and I asked him if He know Jesus. He said, “What took you so long?” With a puzzled look on my face I asked, “What do you mean?” He said that two weeks ago he was lying in his bed and he cried out to God and said, “If You are real, send someone to tell me.” We stood in the middle of the street and laughed and wept and hugged like two more long lost brothers.
I shared the Lord with a couple of other brothers, one black sister and a white gay man that night. I had called my mom on the phone while I was walking through those streets and through the tears and laughter I told her what was happening. She was ecstatic that I had sincerely given my heart to the Lord and He had shown up. She prayed for me as I was walking through those streets.
I went to bed laughing and crying and woke up laughing and crying. I ended up quitting my crane job. I was sitting at my kitchen table in Lakeland, Florida reading a book. When I turned to the last page, God showed me a picture of a man’s face. I knew the man. I had wrecked him on a race track in Texas one night on purpose because he was in my way and I had been drinking. God told me that He wanted me to give this man my racecar, trailer, spare parts and all my tools. I argued a little and then agreed. I called him and told him what God had told me. He knew that I had been a womanizing drunk. He said, “If God spoke to you, it is a miracle and if you are giving away your sprint car, it is another miracle. If you are serious, I am on my way.” So, he came and I gave it all to him. I had around 75,000 dollars invested in all of that. It had been the only thing I had left after losing everything in Oklahoma. God told me that He had bigger things for me to do.
God told me to find a peaceful private place where I could get alone with Him to fast, pray and read. I had found a little Assembly of God church in Polk City, Florida not far from my house. I went there and asked the pastor if he knew of such a place. He told me that he knew the perfect place. He took me to the place where he often went to get away and be alone with God. It was an orange orchard by a small lake on private property where no one could see you. I began to spend days sleeping in my old Ford pickup fighting mosquitoes, fasting, praying and studying God’s word. The Lord gave me a vision of me racing NASCAR. The car was purple with the number 7 in red and Jesus on the hood surrounded in white. I went to the pastor and told him about the vision. We laid that vision on the alter and he prayed with me over it.
The day after we prayed over my vision, the Lord told me to go to Daytona Speedway. It was about an hour from my house. This was in February 2005 during speed week just before the Daytona 500. The cars were practicing on the track when I got there. The Lord told me to go to the pit area. There was a car there with Jesus on the hood and another car with the #7. I was just a new born baby in Christ and didn’t understand much, yet. I got mad at God and said, “How can this vision be true when these cars already exist?” I left and went home and got drunk.
The next morning when I woke up, the Lord told me to go back to Daytona. I argued and said that it didn’t make any sense. God reminded me that I had told Him that I would do whatever He told me. So I went back to Daytona. When I got there, I went to the pits and the Lord told me to go and stand at the garage of the car with Jesus on the hood. I was to stay by the window all day. The driver of the car was Morgan Shepherd. He would take the car out on the track and bring it in and work on it etc. all day. He had noticed me standing there and later in the day he walked over to the window, opened it and asked if he could help me. I had no clue what to say but said, “I am a Christian sprint car driver from Texas and I want to be on your team.” I didn’t have much money because I had quit work and we hadn’t sold our remodeled house yet. I was going through fines with a lawyer and going to classes from being in jail. Morgan told me that they barely had enough money to make it to Daytona and that they didn’t have any sponsors. I told him that I didn’t need any money and I just wanted to be on his team. He went and got me a business card and put his cell phone # on it. He said for me to call on Monday when Daytona was over.
I left the pits and walked up into the stands. I was standing in turn one when God spoke to me and said, “Next February you will race this track.” I was stunned and I wanted a witness so I called my mom and told her what God had said to me. After that, I went back home.
I called Morgan on Monday and he told me to come to Hickory, North Carolina to his shop and he would put me to work. He had a little bunk house they called the Lug Nut Hut. I stayed there with his crew chief, Gramps. Gramps didn’t like me but Morgan did. I helped work on the car and kept the shop spotless and prayed over the cars and tools. Morgan would take me to breakfast and lunch every day and took me with him to church on Sundays and Wednesdays.
We didn’t get the car ready in time for the next race which was in California. Somebody gave Morgan a tractor trailer to haul his race car. He had been pulling it with a pickup and trailer. He found out that I had a CDL so he took me to pick up the tractor trailer and get the decals and wrap put on the trailer. We got the car ready for the Las Vegas race and Morgan asked me to drive his hauler.
When I got to Vegas, I was instructed to drive the hauler down the strip and pick up a man and his wife who were paying for our trip; the fuel, motels for all the crew and plane tickets. I picked them up and took them with me to the track. We only had one racecar in the hauler so I had our drive around car in the hauler with the race car. I got the hauler parked, picked up Morgan and the team from the airport and went to the motel. That first night, I walked up and down the strip passing out tracks and witnessing.
The next day we were practicing, trying to get the car ready for qualifying. We were one full second slower than the last place car in practice. Morgan was mad and griping and said that we had driven all this way and were not even going to qualify. They went in the hauler to discuss strategy and I got on a creeper and crawled up underneath the car. I grabbed ahold of the truck arms and began to pray. I told God, “I don’t know why I am here, but we drove all this way with a car that has Your Name on it, so tell these boys what they need to do to get this car in the race.” When they came out of the hauler they changed the truck arms and made some adjustments and Morgan qualified 43rd. We were in the race.
Sunday came and Morgan asked me if I would be his spotter. I had no clue how to spot, but of course I said that I would be glad to. The crew chief was too busy getting the car ready to race to go to the driver’s meeting, so Morgan asked me to go with him. We walked in the driver’s meeting and sat by Dale JR, Tony Stewart, Jimmy Johnson and Jeff Gordon. I know enough to know that you don’t just walk off the streets and sit in a driver’s meeting in NASCAR and sit by the top 4 drivers. At this point, I was kind of in overwhelm mode with God. I had been saved about 2 months at this point. I was 39 years old. We left the driver’s meeting and I got my headset and went to the spotter’s tower.
I spotted for 22 laps then Morgan brought the car to the pits and said that he had a vibration. He said, “Load the car up boys, we’re going home.” I was so mad I couldn’t even talk. I took them to the airport and wouldn’t even look at Morgan. The team explained that they can’t afford to race the whole race. Morgan knew I was upset but he didn’t ever explain anything to me. I knew then why we didn’t hire a pit crew.
I drove the hauler back to Hickory through a blizzard and arrived back at noon on Wednesday. Morgan was mad because I didn’t call and keep them posted on my trip. The cell phone that he had given me had broken. He fired me on the spot. I just shook my head and asked if he could give me gas money to get home on. He said that he didn’t owe me anything, so I left Hickory with a full tank of gas and 20 dollars in my pocket. Before I left, I prayed over my truck, my20dollars and Morgan. I made it all the way back to Lakeland and pulled in my driveway on empty. Another miracle from God.
I went back to my orange orchard and fasting and praying. While I had been gone, my dad and our woman partner had found a buyer for the house. I gave all of my furniture away and God told me to give my share of the money from the house to our partner and walk away. The Lord told me to give my pickup and the rest of my belongings to my dad and take off walking. I left with the clothes on my back, my Bible and my journal.
My adrenaline was pumping hard and I was walking very fast. I walked all day, night and the next day making it approximately 50 miles. I made it to the interstate and was so tired that I laid down on a park bench and slept. My feet were killing me. They had blisters that had popped and more blisters under them. After a nap, I walked on the entrance ramp of the interstate and tried to hitch a ride. Nobody would stop. After several hours I started crying and I asked God what He wanted with me. He said, “Are you ready to listen?” I said that I was. He said, “If you will listen and follow Me and obey what I tell you, I will take you to NASCAR, put you in the winner’s circle and on the championship stage and you will speak My words. Now pick up your phone and call you mom and tell her you need a ride to her house.” I was 39 years old and had never asked anybody for anything. I had worked for everything I had ever done and had and I told God so. He again reminded me that I had told Him that I would do everything He told me to do. So, I called my mom and she told me to find a bus station and she would buy me a bus ticket. It was another 17 miles to the bus station. I had no money so I took the 3 day bus ride from Florida to Texas without any food. When I finally arrived my mom took me to eat and then to her house. When I took my shoes off, the skin on the bottom of my feet came off with my socks and my feet stunk so bad that I had to go outside. I took a bath and my mom rubbed my feet with oil and prayed over them. When I woke up the next morning, my feet were completely healed. The Lord told me to sit at my mother’s kitchen table and fast, pray, read and study His word and He would teach me His ways. My mom fed me, clothed me and housed me while the Holy Spirit taught me.
Four months after I was saved, my old high school buddy’s little brother got hit by a train in his pickup. They life flighted him to the hospital and told him his neck was broken and he would have to have emergency surgery. They said without the surgery he would be paralyzed from the neck down, and with the surgery there was still a 50% chance he would be paralyzed. He told them he had to think about it. The Lord sent me to him and told me to lay hands on him and pray for him. He gave his life to Jesus and I prayed for him. He was totally healed and the doctors told him that he did not need surgery any longer and he was free to go.
My whole life was devoted to fasting, praying, reading the word and studying. Eight months after being saved, I had preached in my mother’s church several times and the power of God fell. People were falling out in the Spirit without me even touching them. They were weeping and laughing. Those were very awesome services. The pastor was in awe of what God was doing through me and I had never wept so much in all of my life.
God told me to shave my head, and then hurricane Katrina hit and God sent me to New Orleans to do hurricane relief work with Friendships Ministries. My mom loaned me a pickup and a gas card to get there. That is where I met my wife, Renee’, and married her 6 weeks later. While in New Orleans we ministered to so many people and saw so many miracles and the hand of God so powerful. Many gave their lives to Jesus.
I had told Renee’ my testimony and told her how sorry and worthless I had been and that I had been married and divorced 4 times. She never told me anything about herself except that her husband had died and she had two daughters. One was married and the other was 15 and with her in New Orleans. Before I asked her to marry me, God told me to ask her if she would stand broke and homeless withShe financed me to race Daytona in February 2006 just like God had told me would happen.
We came to Mooresville, NC and God opened all the doors. He led us to Freedom Christian Center in Mooresville where we met Pastor Gary and Rendie Kolstad. Most of the church went with us to Daytona and we preached an 8 day tent revival during the time of the Daytona 500. People got saved and filled with the Holy Spirit. God touched a lot of lives that week. I had been saved one year at this time. We sent out sponsorship letters all over the country to thousands of businesses as God directed. We eventually traded our jeep for a Suburban which was a lot more comfortable to live in.
For one of those years, we followed the NASCAR circuit broke and homeless. We went to each track and prayed over the track and fans that were in the stands. We cast out demons, healed the sick and raised the dead. Many people got saved and set free from drugs and alcohol. We went hungry and dirty, were laughed at and made fun of, we were condemned by our own families, threatened by the cops, had newspaper articles written about us, etc.
We woke up in Michigan one day and God said to go home. We didn’t know where home was. He told us to go to Time Square Church in New York City. We went there and they had a guest speaker from Alabama that day. He preached a message about Jairus’ daughter and Lazarus being raised from the dead. He said that there is somebody here today who is so tired from chasing a ministry with all of your heart. He said that God says it is time to go home and let it die. He said that God cannot raise it up until you let it die. He said to let it die and God would raise it from the dead.
For the last five years, we have been sitting still doing very little for God and working for the world. We have prayed, read the word, studied and fought for our lives during this time. It has been the hardest time of our lives.
God has told us to come back to North Carolina because it is time to raise this ministry from the dead. He said we are to get ready. me on the streets and preach the gospel with me and she said yes she would. After I asked her to marry me, she told me that she had enough money to start my ministry in NASCAR.
When we came back from Daytona, God told us to sell everything, buy a jeep and a tear drop trailer and give the rest away to other ministries. For five years, we traveled around the country and preached the gospel in churches and in the streets. We gave our testimonies and vision in churches and homes all over Am