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David Meece- abuse by hs father and forgiving him Testimony of David Meece From a Jun 5, 2004 interview Christian music artist finds forgiveness, turns misery into ministry Songs like “No Other Hope,” “Dancing With the Enemy” and “Raise These Arms” mean a lot more than words and music to Christian music artist David Meece. They’re actually part of his autobiography. Such songs tell the story of a man who survived a troubled childhood, found a Savior and learned to forgive the father who tried to kill him. For Meece, reviving such memories brings a mix of pain and relief. But, he also sees it as an opportunity to minister to other people. In a telephone interview from his home in Nashville, Meece shared some of the details of his early years. “My father was an alcoholic and a drug addict. He was a very violent man,” Meece said. “On several occasions, he tried to kill my mother, and on at least one occasion, he tried to kill all of us. My older brother was 13, I was 10, and my sister was 5. Fortunately, God intervened. My mom was able to get a restraining order and then divorced him.” Born and raised in Humble, Texas, Meece was a child prodigy touring as a concert pianist by the time he was 10 years old. He remembered the day his father drove the family car through the wall into his bedroom, pointed a gun in David’s face and said he was going to kill the whole family, starting with him. Before he could pull the trigger, the police entered David’s room and pulled his father away. But, for years to come, Meece would recall his father’s last words to him, “You’re worthless.” Though the words of condemnation hovered like an invisible weight for years, Meece continued his studies and entered the Peabody Conservatory of Music in Baltimore. While there, he became interested in Christianity and began to read the Bible. He turned his life over to Jesus Christ and started recording Christian songs. Meece released his first record album in 1976 and in a short while began playing to sold-out audiences. Now that Meece and his wife, Debbie, have two children, Christopher, 22, and Kelly, 18, he said he wants to be the kind of dad his own father was not. “I’m a person who believes that a family needs both parents,” Meece said. “After my father was gone, it got rid of all the violence and all the alcohol and all the drugs, but what we got was we had an empty hole there. I was torn between wanting my father to come home and not being able to stand him, because of what he did to my mother. So, as a kid I grew up with that constant battle in me. “It wasn’t until 1986, when I was a major Christian artist touring, that my father passed away and I realized how much it was still affecting me. I went to the funeral and felt nothing. That was the biggest tip-off God gave me. I was one of the biggest Christian artists of that time, singing in front of thousands of people, and I suddenly realized that I hated my own father, even as he lay in his grave. I realized I needed to forgive my father.” From that moment, Meece began to include a message of forgiveness in his concerts. He said he would like others to experience a similar healing that comes from forgiving others. During performances, Meece interacts with fans and he hangs around afterward to sign autographs and sell his recordings. “I want to minister to them so when they walk out the door they’ll say, ‘You know, I got something from that concert that will help me for the rest of my life.’ ” Meece said. “In order for your misery to become your ministry, there is a wilderness you have to go through, where God takes that pain and works it out in your life, so it becomes your greatest source of power.” To the people who coordinated Meece’s local concerts, it’s an opportunity for their churches to reach out to the community.“I just feel it’s something we all need to hear. I’m sure along the way there are people we need to forgive and have not forgiven. There are people who are going to be there that David’s maybe going to talk directly to them. It may be something that person really needed to hear.”