In 1960, Dave was born in Camden, New Jersey. His family moved all the way across the country to the rural valley of Irwin, Idaho. Not surprisingly, the sparsely barren country of Idaho proved to be too much of a culture shock for Dave’s mom; so the family moved back to the East. Dave’s father believed in the LDS faith, while his mother felt comfortable in the Episcopalian denomination. Because of the scarcity of LDS wards in New Jersey, the family settled into a local Episcopalian congregation. And at the age of one, the bishop anointed Dave with water from the baptismal fount.
Dave’s parents separated when he turned eight-years-old. Back and forth from Idaho and New Jersey, he transitioned in family living. Dave’s residence in Idaho finally became permanent in 1976. He went to Bonneville High School.
As he approached his senior year, a traumatic event occurred. On May 3, 1978, his mother at the age of 52 died of cancer. In light of this, he didn’t graduate at the appointed time but finished his classes with some summer school. It was hard transitioning from adolescence to the adult world without the presence of his loving mother. His father remarried which greatly extended the number of siblings.
Dave started drinking at the age of 13. He smoked marijuana, too. After high school, he became the average working Joe, busy on the job during the week and then spending the weekends watching sports – baseball in the summer and football in the winter. For the majority of his career year in the work force (1990-2014), he spent as a machinist for J.N.S. Precision Products in Medford, New Jersey. Drinking became more and more a part of his life. He lived to drink. He loved to drink.
Unfortunately, the law caught up with him. He received D.U.I’s back to back in the years 2006 and 2007, while vacationing in Green River, Wyoming. And yet even with the legal record, Dave kept on drinking. When his brother toppled over and died in front of him on a tragic day in 2013, this did not deter Dave’s alcoholism. For the past two years, he lived in an apartment above Ford’s Bar in downtown Idaho Falls. He couldn’t sleep at night unless he would pass out from drinking. His sister broke off her relationship with him because of his lifestyle. Sadly, he drank even more. It became habit to drink two fifths of whiskey every night. But when his brown bottle would become a clear bottle, the depression would settle around him like a dark, heavy cloud. He was all alone.
Things had come to a head. He had no more money to buy whiskey or to pay rent. One night, he sat on a bench in the Idaho Falls greenbelt along the Snake River. His plan to drink himself to death had not worked, so he thought about slitting his wrists and falling into the river. It would simply be another sad statistic in the local Post Register newspaper.
But God had other plans. God’s pursuing love kept him from ending his life that night. The next day he stepped into the front door of the Idaho Falls Rescue Mission. This became the catalyst for everything changing in his life. He started attending the 8:00 am Bible studies. And later in the week, on Thursday, June 29, Dave prayed, asking forgiveness of his sins and committed his heart and soul to Jesus Christ. On that day, he felt wrapped in the love of God.
Since then, he has been battling temptation with victory. He has begun a reconciliation process of asking forgiveness of his family members. He has new desires of sharing with others about God’s goodness. He has been fellowshipping faithfully in Sunday morning services and weeknight small groups with the Emmaus Road Church family. Recently, the Emmaus Road brothers and sisters celebrated with Dave as he was baptized in the Snake River. He loves his new church family. And he thanks God for the goodness and mercy shown to him every day.
Here is another interesting tidbit. June 29 was his birthday. He turned 57 years of age. But this was the best birthday – the day that he gave his heart to Jesus! Now, he has been born from above!