From Motorcycle Warlord to Serving the Lord of Lords: Big Al Aceves
By the time Big Al Aceves was 15, he was committing crimes like robbery and selling drugs, landing him in prison. Having grown up in an abusive home, Al turned to gangs to be his family. The prison gangs taught young Al the ways to survive.
When he was out of prison, he was back to a life of crime. And then came the Vietnam War and he couldn’t wait to enlist for the draft.
“They were going to teach me to kill people and pay me for it,” Al said.
After serving two tours a member of 101st Airborne Division, nearly losing his leg in the infamous Battle of Hamburger Hill, Al came home to the United States.
“On the plane ride home, I thought, maybe I’ll go to college, try and change my life,” Al said. “But it didn’t happen. When I got home, no one wanted me. Not my mom or dad. And my wife was with another man.”
Al was back into drugs and crime. After several run-ins with the law, he and some friends started a motorcycle club called the Mongols. The club was a gang that grew famous for fighting. He continued a downward spiral, committing heinous acts against others. At the time, he thought he was living the dream. People were afraid of him. Al would do anything for money. Being addicted to heroin, at this point, Al took on bigger and bigger jobs such as bombings
It was about this time he met his wife of 43 years, Lorraine. She had six children. Al told her he would take care of her and the kids. But his addiction to heroin worsened. When the jobs and the money ran out, they needed a place to stay. Another family took in Al and his family with one stipulation: they had to read a scripture together each day.
“I didn’t even know what a scripture was.”
As Al began studying the Bible, his curiosity grew until one day someone asked him, “Would you like your sins to be forgiven and be saved?”
Al answered, “Man, you don’t know who you’re talking to or the things I’ve done.”
Al accepted the Lord that day, 36 years ago. But he was still hooked on heroine and things got worse than ever. He went back to being a gun-for-hire, committing vile acts against others. He ended up in jail again where the prison guards called him ‘job security because he always came back.’
After getting out of prison, Al moved into a Christian men’s home and finally kicked heroin after 35 years.
“When I got out of jail, I told Lorraine and the kids that we were going back to church. It wasn’t easy at first. It was rough.”
Today, at the age of 70, Al is a chaplain for the Refuge and Recovery Chaplains Ministry (RRCM) http://rmcrisisministries.org/
He is a volunteer for the hospice program, and prison ministries, including death row. He has traveled all over the US and to other countries, spreading a message of hope. His powerful testimony was even aired on the 700 Club.
“If God can save a man like me, He can save anyone. If He can love a man like I was, He can love anyone.”
Al was last heard preaching at New Life Church of the Nazarene near his home in the High Desert of California. Al met the pastor, Jeff Mosley several months ago at a meeting for HALO (His Arms Loving Others) which is an outreach ministry that is made up of several church and community leaders that work together to provide for the needs of people in the High Desert.
During his message, Al said, “I’m here to tell you, God is good. Whoever you are. God has something for you. If you’re here in this church, anchor yourself here. Don’t leave until pastor Jeff says to go. Be a force in your community. This community needs you. I don’t care what problems you have. God is here. Maybe it’s drugs. That’s nothing to God. Maybe it’s cancer. That’s nothing to God!”
Al closed the service by doing what he says the Lord has given him the gift to do. That gift is prayer and deliverance ministry. Several people went forward for prayer and one gave their life to the Lord.
“You are the vanguard for the Lord. Frontline warriors.”
For more information on Al’s ministries see http://rmcrisisministries.org/
or call Al Aceves at 951-415-9642
Please leave questions or comments below.
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Oh, Beckie, what a powerful testimony Al’s life is to the transforming power of God! Most of us have never fallen to these depths, and perhaps, sanctimoniously, have looked down on the “riff-raff” as never being able to be saved. In Al, God has proved all our pre-conceived notions and judgments false, and that is a magnificent lesson to us all.
God is the God of the seemingly impossible. All praise be to Him and for the ministry He has created through this one man.
Martha, Wow! You said it so well. Amen and amen. Can you do me a favor? I published this article on Southern California Voice. I’d love it if you could copy this comment to the comments on that post? Here’s the link: http://socal-voice.com/motorcycle-warlord-serving-lord-lords-big-al-aceves/
By the way, I’m now the editor of this wonderful Christian news site. Feel free to look around and follow via email if you’d like. It’s a division of One Christian Voice, LLC., a news syndicating agency based in Florida.
Thanks and Blessings to you and Danny!
Doing it right now, Beckie! Glad to help!
Beckie — what an amazing story and testimony. God does the impossible.
Del, thanks. It was a joy to share.
Love the stories you share!
Brain, it’s truly a blessing to speak with people like Al whose lives have been totally transformed!
Great testimony! Loved it! It shows that no one is beyond saving, and it also proves that God can use us as we continue to age in life. Sin, drugs, aging… as Al says, “It’s nothing to God,” because Jesus can conquer it all! Well done article, Beckie!
Angela, Yes! All things are possible with God and a testimony like Al’s helps build our faith in that truth.
Thanks for taking the time to read and comment, dear sister.
Reblogged this on felixjonasadomblog.
What a beautiful testimony of God’s grace and love. No one has gone so far that God can’t reach and deliver them. May God bless AL as he continues in God’s army and God bless you for sharing his story. Thanks.
Connie, it was such a joy to hear and write this wonderful testimony. At 70, Al is serving God more than ever!
I love how God always, always uses the least. We can’t judge others because they sin differently than us. He loves us ALL.
The Star of The Show
Jesus calls us to Himself
When The Show begins
We’re infants – so He humors us
It’s “Rocky and His Friends”
Like a little squirrel dressed up
As a flying superhero
We give ourselves the Title
And zoom around the atmosphere Oh!
I have come to save the day!
We proclaim with a big smile
And Jesus is my co-pilot
So I’m always top of the pile
God our Father loves his children
He is patient as we grow
So we take another step
It’s “The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show”
As we journey with The Moose
Faithfully by our side
We get a revelation
We have to swallow our pride
“He must become greater”
He really is The Star
“I must become less,” but still
With Him I’ll travel far
“You must follow me,” says Jesus
In His eyes I see a twinkle
He is not MY friend I am HIS
Jesus is The Star – like Bullwinkle
Thanks for sharing
Poem – Looking forward (Rocky)
Jesus never calls us out
For what we used to be.
His voice is so much greater
Than paul the Pharisee.
“You are Simon son of John”
said Jesus, without elaboration.
No mention of a cloudy past
No hint of condemnation.
No accusation against the brothers
No comments dark and obscure,
Writing to the Church in Corinth
“that is what some of you were.”
Not the voice of the accuser,
Boss Paul the Pharisee,
Telling the redeemed people of God
About what they used to be.
Jesus never said right is wrong,
He never said wrong is right.
He came so we can turn from darkness
And into His glorious light.
“Neither do I condemn you” said Jesus,
to a woman entrapped by dogs.
The game the dogs play is the same today,
Except now they do it on blogs.
“Go, and sin no more” said Jesus,
Don’t relive that history.
Look forward, not back, don’t dwell on your past.
“You will be called” Rocky.
Really powerful testimony! I was blessed to hear my brother Al’s powerful story. Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Juan Charles “AKA” Chucky from East Los. Blew me away when my brother in Christ said he ran with the people from City Terrace in East Los. I grew up in Gareghty hills! I heard the brother say in his testimony that there is a rehab ranch in Oklahoma. I now live in Tulsa and have been since 1995. Me and my wife have also giving our lives to our Lord Jesu Christ and have been serving Him since 1999. We currently attend Gust Church and honoured of pastering the hispanic church there for 12yrs. I hope this message can reach my brother Al and get the opportunity to speak with him for my dreams is also to be part of a ministry for ex drug addicts. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org
I encourage my brother Al to continue to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ. You’re doing a outstanding job my brother. May the Lord keep giving you strength power from the most high to take His word to all the world. Bendiciones a ti y tu familia!
Juan, thanks for sharing!