By Lortourme Hang’andu —
As a biker in the 1960s, Joe Campbell always carried a gun with him. He had gotten into many fights and stolen from people. He needed to be ready for anything.
“I carried a gun around,” he said, “because of the amount of people I had wronged.”
His life was a chaotic mix of violence, drugs, alcohol, gambling and other biker gang activity in Illinois, and he knew it “would destroy my marriage,” Campbell says.
When his wife Connie got saved, Joe didn’t immediately join her. In fact, he mocked her and constantly hounded her to return to their former sinful lifestyle.
After six months, Connie invited a church couple over for lunch and when they skipped out on the date, Joe got mad — mad enough to go to the church of 25 members and find out why they were a no-show. (At the time, Joe and Connie didn’t have a landline phone to call and find out.)
But instead of confronting the couple for standing them up, Joe got confronted by the Holy Spirit in the sermon. At the altar call, the lanky, longhaired, rough and tumble character responded to the invitation for salvation.
At 29 years old, he didn’t immediately feel any different. But Jesus had come into his heart at that moment in 1971.
The next day, two of his friends came to visit and asked him if it were true, according to word on the street, that he “got religious.”
Yes, he said.
They invited him to their normal routine of parties, but instead of using and abusing drugs, Joe witnessed to all his old friends. He was a changed man.
This was the 1960s, a time when it wasn’t uncommon for churches to hold revival services every night for a month. Joe’s church was in the midst of one of those extended revivals, and he attended faithfully.
After a month, he poured his Jack Daniel’s down the drain and disposed of his drugs. Nobody knew about his stash, so nobody told him he should do this. It was simply the Holy Spirit who convicted him, and he spontaneously responded.
“I didn’t have a real problem turning away from the drugs and alcohol,” he said. “It was just such a powerful experience that my wife and I just walked away from.” Read the rest of biker to Jesus.