He was selling dope by age 11, eventually got hooked on crack cocaine, and wound up in prison twice. He could have been killed countless times and once, as he tells it, was even attacked by a witch. But the man who yearned as a youth to become a god of the streets by building a drug empire, is now a man on mission for God.
Dimas Salaberrios, in his 40s, pastors a flock that meets in a community center at the Bronx River Housing Projects, known historically as ground zero for hip-hop and for being infested with crime. He is also president of Concerts of Prayer Greater NYC, a multiracial and cross-cultural organization of pastors and churches believed to be the largest of its kind in New York City. Salaberrios was also among those who successfully fought against officials' attempts to bar churches from renting city-owned community centers and public school spaces for worship services. His family's supporting presence in Charleston, South Carolina, at Emanuel A.M.E. Church earlier this year also gained notable attention.
That is what the married father of three has been up to in recent times. Thirty years ago, it was an entirely different story, one in which, for all intents and purposes, he was an enemy of God.
In fact, Salaberrios succeeded in becoming a god of the streets, founding a kingdom whose foundation was based on a steady and startling income from drug and gun sales. His illicit web stretched from Queens, New York, to North Carolina, where he lived as a fugitive from the law after one day deciding while handcuffed to flee a disastrous encounter with his parole officer.
But when God intervened, at a point when he was literally fighting for his sanity and his life, Salaberrios chose to abandon his kingdom for the Kingdom of God. He threw away his crack, gave up on guns and stopped living with his girlfriend, all in an effort to live a holy life. When God gave him the ultimate challenge — to return to NYC and answer for his crimes, the former drug lord did just that. Soon, he was being invited to preach in foreign countries, found himself smuggling Bibles into China, and leading relief efforts in earthquake-ravaged Haiti.
Read more at Christian Post