A Brief Autobiography

I was born and raised in the village of Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts, the oldest of six children.  My father suffered from a severe form of mental illness that began when I was about 9 or 10 and became progressively worse.  At the age of 12 I became an alcoholic as a means of coping with my family situation.

At 16 I watched my father, in a state of extreme pyschosis, engage in an armed stand-off with the state police in my childhood home, over an incident involving my dropping out of school.  He eventually surrendered and was driven away in the back of a police cruiser, never to return. He spent the rest of his life in the state mental hospital.

I was on my own from the age of 16, finishing my high school credits in a hippie alternative school called The King Philip Project.  I was the first of only about a dozen students to graduate from that school before it closed from lack of funding.  Class of 1, December 1976.

I was an alcoholic and drug addict for 16 years, drifting around the United States, often homeless, sometimes sleeping under bridges and begging for spare change on street-corners.  I visited every one of the 48 continental states and logged over 25,000 miles by thumb, bus and train in my wandering.  I didn’t learn to drive a car until I was 25.

On February 1, 1986 I surrendered my life to Jesus Christ on my knees by myself in an alcohol treatment facility in Portland, Oregon.  In an instant I was completely healed and delivered from my bondage and I felt the rush of the Holy Spirit through me.  It was a miracle which completely removed my desire for alcohol and drugs — something I had been unable to do for myself over several years of a desperate futile struggle to find some way to freedom.  I have never since had the slightest desire to go back.

I was married by then and had two children, but it was only after accepting Jesus that I learned how to be a husband, a father and a provider.

In 1987 at an intersection in Portland I encountered my former drug dealer and partner in partying and occult circles.  He pulled up next to my pick-up truck on a motorcycle and took off his helmet.  I literally waved him off, saying “I don’t do any of that any more.  I’m a Christian now.”  He got a big smile on his face and said “So am I.”

That Sunday my former drug dealer took me to a Bible-believing church for the first time.  I had been going to AA meetings instead of church, and Jesus was my “higher power.”  But as we walked through those doors and I experienced the spirit-filled worship in music, I felt instantly at home.  I didn’t miss a single service there at Portland Foursquare Church for the next five years.  Within a few weeks I reunited with my wife, from whom I had been separated for about three months, expecting to divorce.  (We will celebrate our 36th wedding anniversary in June of 2016.)

In 1988 I received my ministry when a pro-life activist showed me pictures of aborted babies.  I was both horrified and outraged.  How could this be happening in America?  Within a few months I became a full-time missionary for the unborn.  I didn’t join any group, I just started doing it on my own: picketing, protesting and educating the public.

In 1989 I met Pastor Lon Mabon and got involved with his organization, Oregon Citizens Alliance, the largest state-wide Christian political group in the nation.  Within a few weeks, having no formal education or experience, I became the State Communications Director. We were running a pro-life ballot measure for the 1990 election.

In 1991 OCA shifted from the abortion issue to homosexuality due to the rapid advance of that agenda in Oregon.  I knew very little about the issue but over the next several years had my eyes opened to things very few Christians have ever seen or experienced.  I realized that homosexuality was even more destructive to society than abortion.

In my advocacy of the Biblical position re homosexuality I came under serious and sustained attack, the like of which has driven most pro-family defenders off the cultural battlefield.  Determined not to be silenced in my advocacy of Biblical truth, I accumulated skills and credentials over the next dozen years that equipped me to be a prominent leader in the now global pro-family movement — attempting to reflect the love of Christ to homosexual sufferers and His example of long-suffering, despite severe and malicious persecution by LGBT activists and their allies.

At the same time, however, my primary purpose and goal has always been to advance the Kingdom of God, and so throughout my career I have interwoven evangelism and discipleship with Christian activism.

In 2008, following a 50-city speaking tour through eight countries of the former Soviet Union, my wife Anne and moved into the inner-city of Springfield, Massachusetts to launch a seven-year campaign to created a model for re-Christianizing America’s “post-Christian” cities.  That unique inner-city mission is now thriving under local leadership and we are working to recreate the model in other cities.  (See www.redemptiongate.org).

Today I am able to wear various hats as the circumstances dictate: attorney, pastor, apostle, author, public speaker, missionary and international human rights consultant, with service in more than 30 countries.  We now travel the world under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, seeking fellowship with like-minded believers, and open doors to advance the Kingdom of God.

Feel free to contact us at sdllaw@gmail.com if we may be of service to you.


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