Daddy Was a Drunk

by | May 21, 2007 | Salvation, Witnessing

I was an only child and I came from a family that drank and cursed, the women as well as the men. I remember as a boy I could hardly wait to get old enough to drink and curse in front of the older folks in my family. I felt it would be a coming of age. I thought that when that day came I would be a man. My cousin and I would go down to the woods or barn and practice our cursing as young boys. We became very proficient at it.

I remember when we would makes black berry wine, or at least we thought of it as wine, in reality it was crushed wild black berries mixed with stolen sugar and we allowed it to age for about twenty minutes, so you can see it was simply crushed berries and sugar. Nevertheless we drank it and pretended to be drunk.

Have you ever smoked what we called rabbit tobacco rolled in brown paper bags, or corn stalks? We did.

We wanted to be like daddy and his brothers.

I remember the big augments and fights that made the rounds of the whole family. It seemed that one of the sisters or brothers would be mad with some of the others all the time. Never can I remember total peace at family gatherings.

I remember the nights of listening to the fights after I would go to bed and later as I grew older the cursing and fighting came to literal blows being landed. Some of those blows, I caught.

Then a strange thing happened when I was about ten years old. One of my grandmothers was an old time holiness Christian. I would not see her but about eight or ten weekends a year and then for two weeks in the autumn. We lived a good hour and a half away and traveling was not as easy as today. The strange thing was that she gave me my very own bible with my name in golden letters on the front, as a Christmas gift. With the receiving of the gift there was one promise she had me make to her. I was to read that bible from front to back at least once in the next year. I made and kept that promise. Each night after I would go to bed I would read until my mother would have me turn the light off or I became sleepy.

This wonderful Christian grandmother had unknownly to me, prophesied with her hand on my head that I would one day preach the gospel. I must have been about four years old at the time and to this day I don’t remember it.

Who would have believed the product of that gift and promise?

Another thing that happened to me as a child, was that even with the lack of attending church my mother still taught me to pray this little child’s prayer at bedtime.

Now I lay me down to sleep,

I pray the Lord my soul to keep.

If I should die before I wake

I pray the Lord my soul to take

God bless mama and daddy

and everybody


I can look back now and see the great influence that those two things had, not only in my life, but in the lives of my entire family.

At he age of twenty-one, my grandmother’s prophesy came to be, she was gone and did not live to see the fruit of her prophesy or her gift, but she now waits over on the other shore and will one day be reunited with me and quite a few others that came to Christ because of a gift of a bible and a promise taken from a little boy that she loved and prayed for.

I am now getting close to sixty years old and am a medically retired preacher. I have preached the gospel for over thirty years and continue to preach both in the pulpit and in personal work when I am able.

I have a thirty-five year old son who preaches the gospel now.

Oh and don’t let me forget, Mama sits beside me in church now every week. Oh how I would like to tell you about the night just a year ago when I watched Mama go to an old-fashioned altar of prayer, but that is another story.

Oh Yea, I said daddy was a drunk, well not anymore, for you see a man that I won to Christ, with that old bible, drove six hundred and fifty miles with a burden on his heart and lead my daddy to Christ. Daddy died five months after receiving Christ as Saviour. Now daddy is over yonder with grandma, waiting for his son, the preacher to join him at the Thorne of Christ.

Daddy, Grandma, because of Christ and an old bible I will be there soon!

James Avery


Daddy Was a Drunk