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Real-life stories: Perpetrating violence or crime

From Gangland To God


Davey Falcus

By age 7, I was regularly smoking, drinking and stealing. It seemed like I’d already been through hell. My mother died when I was a baby, and at six weeks old I was adopted. Five years later, death struck again; I lost my adoptive mother.

My adoptive father and I didn’t get along. I was angry and hated the world. In my early teens, I got involved with the organised crime families of Newcastle’s notorious West End. By the time I was 18, I’d been in jail twice -- once after an armed siege with the police and once for dealing heroin.


Violence was a way of life; I was known and feared throughout ‘club land’. At age 21, I worked for ‘The Geordie Mafia’, the ‘firm’ that controlled Newcastle. I’d been shot at and stabbed.

 Over the next several years, I blew fortunes on drink, drugs and high living. I began to feel out of control and desperately unhappy. I’d overdosed more than once. By age 29, I’d had enough.

 Desperate for a way out of my problems and addictions, I moved away from my friends and associates. I turned to Hinduism, then Buddhism, but found no peace. I heard voices raging at me, telling me to kill myself. And I almost did so.

On 16 August 1995, I picked up a Bible that had been left in my house by a friend. I opened it and read a sentence: ‘He who seeks finds.’ It was something Jesus said. Desperately, I shouted, ‘Fine! Jesus, if you are really there and you are God, and if you come now and help me, then I’m yours!

To my amazement the room seemed to grow brighter. Waves of joy rolled over me. I felt I could see Jesus standing over me and I heard him say, ‘Son, your sins are forgiven, go now and sin no more’.

Suddenly, my desire for drugs and alcohol -- which I’d abused for nearly 20 years -- seemed to lift from me. I heard no voices; all was quiet. And peaceful. There’s no other way to describe it: I felt born again. It was the most beautiful and terrifying experience in my life.

Everything changed. I’d made my living from crime. I was used to having everything I wanted at my fingertips. I walked away from it all. Even though I had nothing, I’d never felt so happy.

It was about a year before I ventured into a church. During that time, I read the Bible, starting with what’s called the Gospel of John, which is almost like having a love affair with Jesus.

As exhilarating as it was to know that God loved me and had forgiven me for all my bad actions, it was even more astonishing to feel he may actually have a purpose for me-to help others.

I may not look like much of a pastor to some, with my tattoos and my shaved head, but in 1999, at age 33, I became a minister. When I look at my wife Kath and our kids, I sometimes still can’t believe how my life has been transformed. I pray every day that God will keep working to make me a better father and husband.


Davey is senior pastor at Ashington Family Church, Northumberland and has travelled throughout the UK and overseas, sharing his story. Davey can be contacted via his website:     www.lakeshore.co.nr

Davey Falcus, 2007

Story and photo by courtesy of Challenge Newsline

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