14: The God Who Pursued the Million-Felony Man: Brian Headrick’s Transformation

The Audio

Show Notes

Today Pastor Brian Headrick is a passionate minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but for 24 years of his life he was a severe criminal and drug addict who estimates he may have committed over a million felonies in his lifetime.

Brian started life in a tough situation. He was the son of a single mom and was molested as a kid. He poured everything into sports but after a motorcycle accident ended his sports career at 17, he quickly fell into drugs. This, in turn, led to a life of crime in order to support his habit.

Throughout the 24 years of this sordid life, he was in and out of prison for over 50 felony convictions and arrests for hundreds more. He estimates that it was common to commit hundreds of felonies in one night as he struggled to support an incredibly expensive habit. At one point, Brian and his wife’s habit cost $700/day.

After meeting his wife, the two settled down together, started a legitimate business and had kids, but after a period of time, the habit came back and this landed them both back in jail. This particular go-around was hard on Brian, as now his kids were fatherless just as he had been growing up.

This was the tilled soil God decided to use to pursue Brian. One day, not long before he was busted and sent back to jail, he heard God speak to him audibly and tell him the two paths that laid before him. When Brian found himself back in jail, God, once again, audibly spoke to Brian saying, “And this is going to be about faith.” God did more than just speak to him in that moment, though, Brian felt his heart heal supernaturally. He testifies that he didn’t even know how sick his heart was until God graciously reached down and healed it and he knew in that moment that all the drugs he’d ever done were to cover up the wound God just healed. He also knew, now that God had healed him, he would never get high again.

This began a seven-month journey where Brian went searching for God in every type of religion. He read the Koran, the Book of Mormon, and the Jehova’s Witness writings. He attended Jewish services and Buddhist meditation hours. He didn’t know anything about Jesus or Christianity. Brian just knew God spoke to him and he wanted God, Whoever He was.

During this time, God kept gently leading Brian back to the Bible–in spite of there being no Christian ministry in his jail. Finally, Brian had a supernatural encounter with the Book of James in the Bible where, through a series of circumstances, God led Brian to read this passage of scripture and then pray with faith, as it instructs. Very quickly Brian saw a miraculous answer to his prayer and knew from that time forward that the Bible was set apart as more than a mere religious text.

Eventually Brian served some of his time in the Pierce County Jail, where he began to be discipled by ministers of the Gospel. After Brian’s sentence was up, he began attending a small church whose pastor recognized Brian’s fire for the Lord and encouraged him to attend seminary. Brian didn’t know what seminary was and had no plans to become a pastor, but was excited to spend much of his week reading the Bible, praying and worshipping. Two years into seminary, God used certain circumstances to open Brian’s heart towards the idea of being a pastor and eventually led him to pastor the church he currently leads.

  • Brian describes the voice of God as thundering, loud and simultaneous outside and inside him.
  • The math Brian used to calculate the amount of felonies he may have committed is thus: It only takes 10 nights of committing hundreds of felonies a night to reach 1000 felonies. Over the period of 24 years of doing this night after night, this could easily add up to a million.
  • Brian is the pastor of a Calvary Chapel in Tacoma, WA.
  • During the same exact prison stint, God reached Brian's wife and she also became a believer. This, in spite of neither of them knowing about the other's transformation.