In early 2005, Korn guitarist Brian ‘Head’ Welch’s conversion to Christianity was treated as a significant, newsworthy event. More than 13,000 people showed up when he shared his testimony at a church in Bakersfield, California. The next day, an MTV camera crew followed him to Israel, where he was baptized in the Jordan River.
He recently released his autobiography; Save Me From Myself: How I Found God, Quit Korn, Kicked Drugs, And Lived to Tell My Story.
Korn is well known for hit like ‘A.D.I.D.A.S.’ (an acronym for “All Day I Dream About Sex”) and ‘Freak on A Leash,’ They were made millionaires many times over.Professionally, things couldn’t have been better, but on a personal level, his life was falling apart. His marriage had ended, leaving him a single parent, and after a decade of abuse, he was addicted to methamphetamines – speed - as well as Xanax, Vicodin, Valium and Celexa. He had also developed a serious drinking problem; both his father and grandfather were alcoholics, making Brian at least the third generation to struggle with the disease.
After a decade in L.A., he returned to his hometown of Bakersfield in 2004, where, shortly before his conversion, he began a partnership with two local real estate developers. Both were Christians, yet rarely shared – or even spoke - about their faith with him. Nonetheless, their impact was significant. “You know what? I saw something different. They were glowing; they had a glow about them, and they were always in good moods. They were just these guys in the real estate business, but I looked up to them for some reason. I thought it was the business and the money, because they were always wheeling and dealing, and that was my thing. Money was my god. It made me feel powerful and safe, so I wanted more and more. And that’s how awesome God is; he didn’t care that I was blind, chasing money. He still used that to get me in. It was cool.”When he finally decided to reach out, they were there for him.
The transformation was fast, radical, and ongoing. “I dove right in; I’m like gung ho for Jesus nonstop; hours every day talking to him and just living for him. Sometimes I’m a little extreme. I’m extremist, and I take the Bible literally, I take my relationship with God very seriously. I think that’s the way it should be, you know? All or nothing.”“I still go through dark days, and some are worse than others. But I know that it will pass. I mean, look at [Biblical King] David; it’s like he’s a schizophrenic or something; he’s happy one day, and upset the next. He was screaming out to God one day, and then he was joyful the next Psalm.
Another area that saw significant improvement was his relationship with his father. His dad had stopped drinking years earlier, but there were other, ongoing problems. “Recognizing anger was not helping the situation, he prayed about it; “God’s like; ‘No. No, no, no, no.’ He taught me…” He began to show love towards his father, and it set up a spiritual domino effect. “It’s crazy how that falls. God broke it; he just broke it, man. They ended up getting saved, and it’s like my dad’s a different person. He doesn’t drink, and I don’t drink, and we have the best relationship now - better than it’s ever been.
Many were impacted – some, profoundly.“This guy came up to me in Atlanta; he was a full-on tattooed guy, like 6’ 5”. He looked like a biker. Kind of like me,” Welch laughs, “but he came up to me, and he’s shaking. He’s like; ‘Dude, you have no idea.’ I go; ‘What?’ And he’s like; ‘I’m gonna fall down right now; I went to make fun of you on your website. I went to make fun of you and mock you, because I heard you became a Christian…and all of a sudden I got this power come on me, and all I could hear in my head was ‘Find out what’s in that book.’’“He went to a church, found a Bible, and he got saved.” It didn’t stop there. “His wife got saved, his parents got saved, and all his friends got saved. So all these people got saved because he was going to mock me, and God just zapped him.”They’ve stayed in touch. “He sent me a letter, he’s like full-on filled with the Holy Spirit, just loving life. He’s cool.”
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