From Near Death to New Life
An Evening with Gram Seed
Former criminal Gram Seed told the story of his journey from near death to new life to an audience at Barnwell Baptist Church at the end of October.
Gram, author of the book One Step Beyond, told guests at the church on Friday about the amazing transformation that had taken place in his life since he became a Christian.
He said: “I don’t talk about my past to try and glorify it, but because I want to show how my life changed because of Jesus.”
Growing up on a Middlesbrough council estate, he turned to crime at a young age, serving his first custodial sentence at the age of 16. In the 1980s, he joined a football hooligan group, following Middlesbrough FC around the country and fighting with other fans. This led to him spending more time in prison, and sustaining a catalogue of injuries that included being stabbed four times in the arms and chest, and having the tip of his little finger chopped off.
“I became selfish,” he said. “I hated everyone and I hated me. I did things because I was full of hate and I didn’t want to be happy.”
After trying and failing to start a new life in Yorkshire, he returned to his native Middlesbrough, where a lifestyle dominated by drink and drugs led to him becoming homeless and sleeping on a bench. It was here that he had his first encounter with Jesus, when a group of passing evangelists called out to him “Jesus loves you.”
“I chased after them,” said Gram. “I said ‘there’s no such thing as love’.”
By August 1996, his health had deteriorated to the point where he had slipped into a coma, where he remained for six days. Doctors told his mother to prepare for the worst, but every day the same group of Christians he’d met on the street came to pray at his bedside, and he survived.
A two-month hospital stay followed, but once he got home, Gram knew what he wanted to do with his life, and in November 1996 he welcomed Jesus into his life after attending an Alpha course.
“When I let Jesus in I fell back on my seat and started crying,” he said. “They were tears of hope, tears of love and tears of joy. I knew now what I had to do.”
Since then he has got married, had two sons, and embarked on a ministry helping inmates in prisons and young offenders institutes, delivering the message of hope and faith to them.
For more information on Gram’s ministry, visit www.sowingseeds.org.uk.