Heavy metal rocker Kirk Martin made a pact with the devil. But then one day a mysterious stranger pinpointed Kirk’s deepest secret and Kirk began a journey to God.
“The greatest thing was being on stage and having control, the awe of being worshipped, having folks say, ‘Wow, I want to be that,” Kirk Martin said.
As leader of a heavy metal band, Kirk projected an angry, wild image on stage.
“And getting thousands of people to scream profanities, that was the biggest rush for me,”Kirk said.
Off stage, people just found him mean.
“I was so filled with hate that I would project that hate at a lot of people. Two band members, when we were on the road, just decided they were just sick of me and they couldn’t take me any more and they actually decided to leave the band,” Kirk said.
But the message in Kirk’s music captured the minds of his young audience.
“My whole intention was to tell people to believe in yourself. Follow your own visions, your own dreams and crush whoever’s in the way,” Kirk said.
Kirk had no illusions about where his growing success came from.
“I got on the ground and clawed the earth. I told Satan, ‘If you give me what I want, if you make me a God; if you give me the women and the drugs and fame and if you give me the power to crush people, I will serve you until the end of time,’” Kirk said. “Within two days I was offered a recording contract.”
While Kirk pushed for fame and fortune, he tried to keep a secret bottled up inside.
“A couple of older boys in the neighborhood started molesting me and sodomizing me when I was probably about eight,” Kirk said. “It happened more than once. I never told talked about it. I never told anybody about it.”
Later, taking advantage of women sexually became part of Kirk’s heavy metal lifestyle.
“The worst part about my molestation was the fact that I, in turn, went out and violated others,” Kirk said.
Then, just as he was about to sign the record deal for which he’d sold his soul, he had an encounter with a mysterious stranger.
“One morning about 9:00 a.m., I went into a small café and this guy came in and sat down right across from me, out of all the places he could have sat. There were plenty of seats open. And immediately I looked at him with this horrible, mean-looking look on my face and I said, ‘What’s happening, Dad?’” Kirk said.
“He looked me in the face and said, ‘What’s happening, Dad?’ I jumped up and put my nose right up to his, stared him in the eye and cursed him. I called him every foul thing I could think of and he said, ‘God sent me here to tell you that He loves you. And God wants you to know that he was not responsible for the young men that molested you when you were a young child,” Kirk said.
“And the thing that was so mind-blowing was he used their names. He said, ‘Jesus is waiting for you to turn your face toward home,” Kirk said.
“And I jumped up and chased after him and he turned around a corner and into thin air he disappeared,” Kirk said.
Not long after that, Kirk was sleeping in his band’s tour bus when it shook violently in the middle of the night.
“Suddenly, it was like this big shining spotlight came down from heaven and the Spirit of God Himself came into the bus,” Kirk said. “And I didn’t know why I hated God so much. Everything slipped away and all I felt was love. I felt accepted. I felt like I was that little boy again before I got molested. I said, ‘Jesus, change me or destroy me, because I don’t want to be this any more.’ I realize now in the presence of God, sin and hate and ugliness can’t – there’s no room for it. It has to leave. And all these things began to leave my heart,” Kirk said.
Kirk cried himself to sleep and when he woke up the next morning, everything seemed different.
“The grass was greener, the sky was fluffier, the clouds were beautiful, and I was different”Kirk said.
Kirk never signed the contract for the heavy metal record deal.
“I had everything in my hand, everything I’d ever wanted just sitting right there and all of a sudden, I didn’t want it any more. And I left everything and never went back,” Kirk said.
Kirk found a church in his hometown and began to grow as a Christian. A Christian counselor also urged him to seek out the young men who had molested him and forgive them.
“I did find them and I said, ‘Why did you do this to me?’ They began to tell me the story of how someone had violated them. One young boy said how he had found a porn magazine and that’s what led him to abuse me, and then invite the other boy to abuse me. They had given their hearts to Christ. We sat down and we cried and hugged and we prayed. That’s how I got past all that,” Kirk said.
Over time he found his musical talent moving in a new direction, writing and performing worship songs. He and his family travel around the country sharing the miracle that changed Kirk’s life.
“My wife is just a treasure. My family is the greatest testimony of God’s mercy and grace, because I thought I would never have such a wonderful blessing. Once I realized God wasn’t out to get me, I started to see the blessings,” Kirk said.
“I was addicted to drugs and sex and violence and hatred and used music as a tool to destroy people. And then God turned all that around for His glory,” Kirk said.