By Darryl McBride
Today I share my story with the intended purpose of letting the world know in general, and fathers, of the importance of keeping God as the focus in all that we do. To let fathers, know that with God there is nothing that we cannot do. But without Him there is nothing we can do.
I am a former Wayne County sheriff’s deputy, having worked for the sheriff’s department from 1988 until I caught a case in 1991. I was convicted in 1994 and paroled from prison in 1996. As a deputy I was part of what was called the “goon” squad, which was a team of deputies where if inmates were fighting or ad deputy was assaulted, the goon squad went in and took care of business, if you know what I mean. I was exceptionally good at inflicting pain on another man and earned the dubious nicknames such as Robocop, Boogie Man, Devils Nightmare. I was what was known as the last resort. If I had to respond to a situation, it meant that the only recourse was the use a violence to subdue an individual.
In 1991 I committed a crime while I was on duty that resulted in my being found guilty and sentenced to a term of 3-15 years in the Michigan Department of Corrections. Keep in mind that when I was sent away, I was not put in protective custody nor was I sent to a federal penitentiary, which was the normal protocol for a cop convicted of a felony. I was put in general population with ALL these men I had beaten up while I was on the goon squad. Indeed, I should not have survived prison. Now comes the testimony to God’s grace and mercy.
Not once did I get in a fight while incarcerated. I ended up teaching the GED program to inmates that staff gave up on and had 100% graduation rate. Isn’t it so ironic that the very individuals I used to beat on I now had to serve? My nickname went from Robocop to Teacher. I read over 120 books because it was a lack of knowledge that led to my incarceration. This entailed lack of knowledge of myself and of God. I thank God for having enough mercy on me to allow me to be set aside so that I may develop a relationship with Him and myself. 25 years later I am back in corporate America working as a quality engineer. Let the world tell it, I would never be in this position with a felony conviction. I am sharing my story because of my vow to God to let the world know what He has done in my life.
I want fathers to know no matter the situation your light is as bright as you and your willingness to allow God to work His purpose through you. It was by no merit of my own that judgement was withheld. If the world had its way I would still be incarcerated. It was by His grace that I received undeserved mercy. You cannot give a testimony without having gone through something. When you come to understand that Christ paid the ultimate price, you will no longer let the world dictate to you who you are.