My Story

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It was 10 years ago almost to this date that the Lord saved me. It didn’t occur over a period of time rather it was a radical and instantaneous conversion experience. By the grace of God, within a moment, my life was completely changed.

11903705_765992590175912_7482131021845554426_nIt was just another disagreement. My brother and I had lots of them. However, the way my parents dealt with them was very different than how most parents would have dealt with the situation. Instead of disciplining my brother and me for fighting, we were both told to go to our rooms and draft our arguments. I was about six years old.  Both my parents are well-known trial lawyers in Georgia and as soon as I developed the ability to speak, my parents began teaching me everything they knew about rhetoric, public speaking, and debate. If my brother and I fought, we were told to individually present our case before them. If I wanted ice cream, we had to first give several reasons as to why I should be given ice cream and how it would most benefit us and them (not all the time). Growing up, my parents sought to do everything possible to make sure that I would follow in their footsteps. If my parents asked me to do something, I could always say no, provided that I could argue my position well enough to convince them. If I wanted to fight with my brother, I better first make sure that I would be able to defend myself oratorically before my parents, otherwise I would get spanked. The motto for my brother and I growing up was always “survival of the quickest witted” and from my earliest memories, the art of speaking and argument was something that I excelled in. A few decades later, my brother has followed in my parents’ footsteps and has become a leading prosecutor in Atlanta.

I can not stress enough how grateful I am to my parents. My mother was at every parent teacher meeting and I never questioned whether or not my father loved me. I have awesome parents and I am eternally grateful to God that I was born into the family that I have been born into. I still talk to my parents almost everyday and my wife is literally a daughter to my parents. The following testimony is not a slight against my parents rather it is a confession of my own sinful heart. My parents have always been great examples of integrity and love however, I am a sinner and when I was old enough my heart began to act on its own desires.

Early on, however, I began to follow a different path, one that would lead to much wickedness, anger, deceit, and violence. Before high school, when my brother was outside playing sports, my favorite past time was reading various articles in the Encyclopedia software that my parents had gotten me on my computer. From Aardvark to Zymurgy, I enjoyed learning new things. From strange places to weird animals, I loved to read! Dinnertime in my home always consisted of heated debates between my brother, parents, and me. Though we argued and yelled it was never personal, it was all fun and games. We would debate about politics, religion, philosophy, and most often the various cases my parents were trying at the time. Once I got into high school however, I became heavily immersed in the gang-culture, specifically an infamous gang known as Crips. Gangster rap music was the medium the world, my flesh, and the devil used to lure me into a world that would forever change me.

13103459_888065537968616_2623679911817049923_n.jpgBy the middle of high school I was very well known among my fellow gang members (for certain precautions, I cannot share the name of the specific gang or set I was affiliated with). Due to my privileged background, I always felt the need to prove myself to my gang friends and so I quickly became recognized as a man who was willing to do “whatever was necessary.” Razor blade in my mouth, occasionally a .38 pistol at my side, and everything from weed to crack in my pocket to sell, I was lost (I didn’t even need the money). Oddly enough however, I lived in two different worlds at the same time. During school hours, I was on the mock trial team and I continued studying the encyclopedia, yet at night, I was selling drugs and running the streets.

I would debate with my parents over dinner, and later smoke weed with my friends as we recorded music. During my high school years and then later into my early adult years, I was well known as a battle rapper. By 18, I had a few record deals open up to me and for a while, I paid all my bills by winning freestyle battles in the underground circuit of Atlanta and neighboring cities.

DSC00047.jpgIt was during my junior year of high school, 11 years ago that I met my future wife. On the track to become valedictorian, beautiful and intelligent, I fell for her quickly. Eventually, I began to spend less time in gang activity and more time with her. Of course, she was completely oblivious to the other side of me. All she knew was that both my parents were attorneys and that I was an intelligent guy in her Latin class. Eventually, all of my gang friends either died or got incarcerated for various activities. Several times, God preserved not only my life but also the lives of several men whom I came extremely close to killing myself.

It was my first semester in college when the Lord called me unto himself. During my conversion, the Lord also called me into ministry and for the last 10 years, I have pursued him, though not perfectly.

My name is Kyle, I am married to my “high-school sweetheart” and we have 3 children together. I have a 7 year-old daughter named Hadassah, a 5 year-old son named Jonah, and a 1 ear daughter named Kesed. I am 32 years old and I am currently a student at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. I hold two undergraduate degrees from Southern as well. I have an associates degree in Biblical/Theological Studies and a B.A. in Biblical Counseling. Currently,  I am pursuing an advanced M.Div in Historical Theology.

If you find this podcast helpful, you can also subscribe to my podcasts which are available on iTunes. First, I have a podcast called Coram Deo. This podcast deals with issues concerning Biblical Counseling and Practical Theology. You can find a link to this podcast by clicking its artwork below.

 

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Coram Deo,

Kyle James Howard

2 Responses to “My Story”

  1. Hi Kyle,

    Coram Deo! Great thoughts, expressed clearly and beautifully. Just wondering if you named your daughter after Hadassah from Francine River’s ‘Mark of the Lion’ series? Or if you just liked the name? It’s beautiful.

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