I was born and raised in Southern California (pray for me) my family was split up due to a divorce when I was 9 years old, leaving me to grow up with my father as a single parent. This traumatic experience caused my father to trust in Jesus as his Savior changing his life and our household. This resulted in him dragging me to church whether I wanted to go or not. This was all new to me because we were not really a church going family before. During this time I started rebelling at school and home and within a few years (that’s right 12 years old) I was smoking marijuana. My life was completely changed, wishing to become enveloped in this new lifestyle which gave me a purpose, mission, and friends (or so I thought). All the while my dad, even though he knew I was doing wrong, would continue to drag me to church and pray out loud in the mornings for me. This taught me, even in my rebellion, that God existed I just didn’t know what exactly that meant to me.
My drug use progressed to other substances (marijuana is a gateway drug, contrary to popular opinion) and alcohol the biggest killer of them all finding myself going to church on Sundays and Wednesdays and doing drugs any other time. I began getting very heavily involved in Punk Rock Music which is demonic no matter what the words are saying. This quite literally became my religion, where I would study the lyrics and bands, record labels, the history, and performing it myself as well. When I got saved in 1999 I was 17 years old at a youth camp that Calvary Chapel was holding. My dad took me there and I went with the determination that I was fed up with the world and everything that the world had to offer me and I wanted a change. I received Jesus Christ as my Savior asking Him to forgive my sins (which were many) and I came back home from that weekend trip different than I went up. My dad noticed, my friends noticed, everybody noticed. I didn’t want to smoke any more, or cuss, or do drugs. I wanted to read the Bible, and pray, and go to services whenever I could. It was different to say the least.
After salvation, my pastor at the time, encouraged me to start a Christian Punk Rock Band so I did and we even played at the church for the youth there a few times. This unfortunately led me into the lie that the words were everything and that the method didn’t matter. I kind of liken it to selling Christian CRACK with a tract. It didn’t make sense. Yet I didn’t have enough sense to know that even my pastor could be wrong. I changed churches a few times to lead there “rock and roll” in the service songs and to look for a group that was younger, forgetting that the older Christians normally have a bit more sense about things than newer, younger, greener Christians.
Well since I did get saved I started going to the Men’s Meetings and Prayer Meetings. So I started listening to what they were talking about as reading the Bible and how you should take it literally and seriously. Then by God’s grace I started slowly applying all that I learned. This led to me finally getting out of the “Christian Punk” bands and into a Bible Believing Church, which was once again completely different than anything I was used to.
God gave me a beautiful godly wife on July 7, 2007 who has helped me also to stay on track with serving under Pastor Audie Yancey as a Youth Director for almost 5 years, preaching in the local prison, and retirement home, learning to be a soul winner, a street preacher, and now a pastor of AVKJBC. I am a graduate of The Bible Doctrine Institute under Pastor David Peacock in Jacksonville, FL. What a miraculous thing is Jesus’ love. I never will deserve what he did for me on the cross of Calvary; I never will fully comprehend what his blood did for me that day, until I see him in glory. May we all try to take as many with us as we could AMEN!!!!
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