A brainiac in school, he dreamed of becoming another Thurgood Marshall, but when his mother was murdered when he was only 14, he turned to stickups with a gun on the mean streets of College Hill, Tampa Florida.
“That’s when I changed my concept of life and became a totally different person,” David White says on a Manifestations Worldwide video. “My dreams and aspirations were totally killed. The idea that there was a God in Heaven was over for me. I declared that night that if there is a God in Heaven, then you’d better stop me because I’m going to hurt all these people.”
He went from a gifted program at school to fending for himself on the streets. Filled with rage, David “pimped” himself out to older women to have a place to sleep and food to eat. To get a little extra money for himself, he became a trigger man robbing people at gunpoint.
“I was a little stick-up kid,” he says. “I was a wicked young kid. I was known to be a shooter.”
Because he was so dangerous, the cops wanted him off the streets, so they planted drugs on him, accused him falsely and locked him up, David says. He was labeled “a threat to society.”
“I was innocent of the charges I was in prison for, but I wasn’t innocent,” David acknowledges. “I had done a lot of worse things. They did what they had to do get me off the streets.”
A God-hater, David despised “jailhouse religion.” While Christianity turned him off, he like the white-hating religions of the Black Panther Party, the Nation of Islam, or the Hebrew Israelites.
“I was trying to prove that the Bible was full of falsehoods and contradictions and that Christianity was the white man’s religion,” David says. “But then I found that the things I was taught to battle Christianity with was actually a lie. I found that Christianity was established in Ethiopia since the year 84.
“As I was reading the Bible, I was changing,” he adds. “The book changed me.”
Then he stumbled on Gideon, who put tests on God to find out his will and purpose.
It occurred to David to likewise test God – in a “weird way like a child would.”
“If God is real, send a bird to touch this window pane,” he recalls. “It was raining out. When I called on God to touch a window pane, amazingly a bird touched that square. I was an intellectual and it didn’t make sense. I thought it was coincidental. So I chose numerous other squares for the next hour and a half, and every square I chose telling God to prove himself to me, (the bird touched.)
“I realized the God I had been hating was a God who is real. He played tic-tac-toe with me to prove he was real to me and that he had a purpose for my life.”
Tears streamed. David pledged to never kill anyone again. But he came up short of making a full repentance. When he was released, he fell back into hustling to survive. He was in a time of transition in which God was calling him out of the world, he says.
Eventually, a repented convict introduced him to a pastor and he saw a good example of a man who had overcome a terrible past and became a man of integrity and a good husband. It showed David that he could and should live for God.
Since starting church, David has become a beacon of light and voice of wisdom for myriad young people. He has rediscovered his purpose of doing good and helping people. He’s not Thurgood Marshall, but he’s making an impact.
“The greatest influence I can have over people I relate to is the power of a changed life,” he says. “It’s the sustainability that God and Holy Spirit bring. People ask me questions: How do I remain steadfast? How do I stay out of the street? This attests to the supernatural change that happened in me.”
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About this writer: Michael Ashcraft is a financial professional in California.