Rick "Angel" Kensler's Testimony
I was born in Huntington, West Virginia. At the age of six months, I was taken to Ohio where I was raised by my aunt and uncle. They became my new mom and dad. We were poor; however, we had the basic necessities of life. I was not brought up in church, although my parents did instill a strong sense of morality and ethics into my life. Unfortunately there was no mention of Jesus.
By the age of 13, I became rebellious and began to steal and fight. I became involved in a street gang. After repeated incidents, I was expelled from school by a judge who claimed I was "a menace to society". By the age of 17, I had been to court 17 times and was put in jail a total of 21 times. The court finally committed me to the Boys Industrial Center. I was sentenced to six months to a year. After serving only three months I escaped. I couldn't handle their rules and regulations. They told me that I couldn't escape, but I considered myself smarter than the average boy and I proved that they couldn't catch me. I remained free for over a year. I finally called them and convinced them to send me my release papers since their attempts to rehabilitate me had failed. They agreed that I was the only one who could change myself.
By the age of 18, I had a good job, a wife, and my own dump truck, which made me a comfortable living. This lasted a little over a year before I got rid of the wife, job and dump truck.
At the age of 20, I became involved with a motorcycle club and got shot by a nine millimeter pistol in a bar. The bullet entered above my heart, went through my lung, and exited a fraction of an inch from my spine. This resulted in a paralyzed arm and a sense of vulnerability.
After leaving the hospital, my motto became "You can't kill Superman without Kryptonite bullets." The rage and violence inside me ballooned for the next seven years. My involvement in crime also progressed to include prostitution, drugs, and strong arming for hire. I also became involved with numerology and demonology. There was even a time when I considered myself to be the devil himself.
During this time, my mom became confined to bed. I would sit with her while dad worked. Toward her last days she found Jesus. I was convinced that her illness and the drugs were making her crazy. I could hear her in the other room thanking Jesus and asking to be taken home.
A few years later I quit drinking, taking drugs and hanging with the motorcycle clubs. I quit the motorcycle clubs because I kept seeing demons instead of brothers. After about six months of sobriety, a couple of guys started coming to my motorcycle shop to tell me about Jesus. They aggravated me by telling me that I needed Jesus. This made me want to punch their face.
A year later, at 3 o'clock in the morning, I was at work when God spoke to me in a small voice telling me that I'd lived wicked all my life and unless I changed I would spend an eternity in hell. It was like a mini video playing back all the evil things I'd said and done. I was scared for the first time in my life.
That evening I called Mike, one of the guys who had witnessed to me at the shop. I hadn't spoken to him in about a year but he knew who I was immediately. He said that God had just shown him that I wanted to start going to church. That was the beginning of a whole new life and nothing has been the same since.
I thought I would just sit in church till Jesus came back, but it didn't work that way. He began to open doors. I became director of a Bible Rescue Mission where I counseled and housed transients. God directed me back into the streets where I had come from to minister to the hard core unwanted class of people.
I returned to school to obtain a high school diploma and went on to earn a Bachelor's and Master's degree. I continued my studies to earn a second Master's degree. I say this not to brag but only to point out that this has been accomplished because of God's direction and blessing.
As never before, God has placed in my heart a burning love and compassion to reach people of the street and all those in need. Since my conversion experience eight years ago, I have been involved in rescue missions, street, and jail ministries. In 1987, I began R.C. Crusade, which stands for "radically concerned," to reach the outlaw bikers and street people.
Although I am an ordained minister, the Lord has impressed upon me the need to continue my education. Even though I currently have two Masters degrees, one in Psychology and one in Guidence and Counseling, I am currently pursuing my Ph.D. in Biblical Counseling.
Remember also that Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:6