My name is Ray A. Daniels. My parents divorced when I was 4. My mother worked to support us, so my brother and I were shipped from place to place to stay with different relatives and acquaintances. We were abused, physically and sexually at some of those homes.
I didn’t trust people in authority as a result of that and I was always in trouble at school with teachers, bus drivers, etc.
My father died of a drug overdose when I was 8.
Most of my relatives were involved with drugs and alcohol. So, as a teen I also started drinking and using drugs. I was a violent person and got into fights often. I took up boxing and was pretty successful. I was the NY state regional Golden Gloves Champion and New England Golden Gloves Champion and Outstanding fighter of the tournament.
When I was in my early 20’s, two young Navy guys knocked on my door and spoke to me about Jesus and gave me a Bible, which I started reading. I was interested in the Book of Revelation, but as I had no one to help cultivate my interest in it, I continued down the wrong path.
My life revolved around drinking beer, smoking and growing weed and relationships with women. I got a job at a car dealership and worked there for 20+ years.
When I was in my early 40’s I went to the funeral of my friend’s 20 year old son. When the pastor gave an invitation to accept Jesus as my Savior, I raised my hand, along with a number of others. The church had a baptismal service for all who had accepted Christ, but they neglected to call me. So, I didn’t pursue it until my Aunt’s funeral the following year. I saw my wife-to-be there. She was a member of the church. I called her the week after the funeral to ask about getting baptized.
I got baptized and started attending church regularly, reading the Bible and listening to Christian radio programs. My wife and I got married two years later. We started attending her former church, Greater Grace Community Church of Malta, where Pastor David Moore is an excellent teacher of the Word of God.