Pastor and International Evangelist
Founder of Brad Tuttle Ministries
I was not raised in church, nor in a Christian home. But I was raised in a “good, moral,” home with parents who loved me. I was a typical American boy who was very athletic and loved to play sports. I was captain of the football team; on the wrestling and baseball teams, and won many athletic awards. I excelled in sports and had a dream of one day going pro. But due to some personal choices I made (surrounding myself with influences that were not the best for me, partying and not applying myself to scholastic achievement) I threw away my dream of ever attending a huge college and playing sports. After high school I was recruited by a junior college where I played some college football and then got injured. I then joined the military where I qualified through much hard physical training and testing to be a Special Operations Navy Diver. Now out of the military and back home again, I eventually became involved in power-lifting, and really took to it. I began to use steroids, and began to win power-lifting meets, wherein lots of notoriety followed. I learned pretty fast the world was impressed with stature, wealth and status. My physical size and strength opened up many doors of opportunities to party. Even though I was highly ranked in power-lifting in the nation for my weight class and won several competitions, I was terribly unhappy, directionless, empty and confused. The status, the strength, the popularity and all the rest did not fill the empty void in my life. That all changed one night in 1985.
My Conversion Experience:
I was invited by invitation only to the grand opening of a nightclub in Cincinnati Ohio. I was sitting at a bar with a beer bottle in my hand, when my eyes were immediately opened (in a spiritual sense) to where I was at that moment. It was as if the window shades rolled off my eyes. I will never forget looking around that nightclub and seeing my life for where it was going. I had thrown away dreams and goals. I had made bad decisions. I had blown it. I saw it all so clear now. I saw the drinking and partying and thought to myself, “Is this where my life has come to? Sitting in a bar in the dark!” Something inside of me was changing. I did not understand what it was, but I had to immediately physically remove myself from that bar. The next thing I did was run out of there and jump into my car and drive back to my apartment. For the next three hours I was overwhelmed by this feeling of being lost. I paced back and forth in my living room trying to figure out what was going on. Why was I feeling this way? What should I do? All I could physically do was get mad. I felt so full of rage, as all these emotions began to flood my body. This continual feeling of something urging me was in my gut and it was there for three hours. I paced back and forth in my apartment like a caged animal wanting to be set free, but not knowing how. Something was happening. Something was changing. The world seemed at that moment to have nothing to offer me that could bring me true peace.
That urging inside of me kept on. It wouldn’t stop. Then came the moment of truth. I heard a voice deep inside of me say this word to me, “Pray.” Over and over again I heard it in my heart, “Pray.” I thought, “Pray how?” Then came my revelation—my “Damascus Road” experience (Acts 22:6-7). In an instant, at that moment, at 1:30AM on a Sunday morning in 1985, I realized who I was, and what I was, and Who and what I needed. Little did I know my conversion experience was happening at that moment. I walked into my bedroom as a 325lb steroid filled broken man, and fell on my knees by my bedside. I raised my hands in the air, as a form of surrender, tears streaming down my face, and I remember thinking, “How can I put this into human words? How can words explain this moment? They can’t.” With my hands in the air, my pride gone, tears streaming down my face, my heart broken, my eyes lifted up to heaven. At that moment I realized I was a dirty, filthy, sinful man unraveled before an Almighty Holy God and I needed to ask for His forgiveness.
The Power of one Young Man Witnessing to Me:
You see years earlier as I was getting out of the service, a young Navy man walked up to me with one goal in mind, Salvation. He persistently asked me, “What do you think about life?” As I was pondering his question he said to me, while looking me directly in the eyes, “Jesus loves you! And I’ll be praying for you.” He then invited me to a picnic the next day, and it was there that he continued his talk by telling me what I know now to be the Good News of Jesus Christ, crucified, dead, buried and rising again…the Gospel message. Those words pierced my heart. They hit me hard and strong. I began to ponder them, but then was immediately distracted as I was then getting out of the Navy and returning home. When I arrived home, I soon forgot about it and continued to live my life moving in the wrong direction, away from God.
But now in my apartment, on my knees, fully surrendered to the Creator of the universe, those precious life-giving words that young Navy man shared with me years prior came flooding into my mind at that precise moment. Then His Name came to my mind, and I spoke it passionately and desperately out of my mouth, “Jesus!” Then I cried out from the depths of my soul, “Jesus forgive me for my sins. I am so sorry for the things I have done against you. Please be in my life! I am a sinner and I need you to be my Savior!” I prayed those words from a truly repentant heart. I will never forget how I felt as I knelt there by my bed weeping for at least two more hours. I had been washed in the blood of Jesus. My sins were washed white as snow. I was radically changed! Never to be the old man I use to be, but a new creation in Christ! I had been given a new nature….His nature! I truly received Jesus Christ into my life, into my heart as my Savior and Lord. I had a true conversion experience. I did not know it then, but I know now, the moment that I prayed the prayer of faith in Christ, the Holy Spirit came to live inside of me and took up residence (Romans 8:5). I was never the same again from that moment on. I was pulled out of the miry clay of my sin by Jesus Christ. And He set my feet upon a solid and firm foundation. The “old man” had passed away and behold the “new man” came to life. I was a new man! Hallelujah! I had a “new birth” experience. It was no longer I who lived, but Christ in me! I never put a beer bottle back to my mouth. I never desired to party or do drugs. My chains were broken and I was set free! No more alcohol. No more drugs. No more steroids.
After my early, Sunday morning “Damascus Road” experience, that very Sunday morning, I got in my car and drove to a church. The amazing thing is that this particular church became my home church for the next 10 years of my life. The Holy Spirit had divinely led me to the church where He wanted me to be planted, flourish and grow with other Believers. So I started going to church every time the door was open; Sunday morning, Sunday night, Wednesday night and other times in-between.
The Power of Prayer Revealed:
I was really excited about my new life, but something was going on inside of me that wasn’t good. I couldn’t seem to find consistent victory in my new life in Christ that I knew was available. I was up and down in my Christian walk. I had the “victory” one day and the next day I felt defeated. This went on for a while until I finally was sick and tired of it, and I mean completely sick and tired of it! I was sick of this up and down spiritual roller-coaster ride I was on. I knew the Bible said I could overcome. I knew there was more. I knew there was a life of sustained victory available to me. Then it happened, the church started an Early Morning Prayer meeting at 6:00AM. I would soon come to realize this was the “changing factor” in my Christian walk. So I was there the first day it began. And I had been given a prayer outline “Could You Not Tarry One Hour” by Dr. Larry Lea that helped me to learn how to pray. This outline, with the guidance of the Holy Spirit helping me to pray changed my Christian walk, and opened me up to an incredible new existence in the Lord. I grabbed on to my new prayer life and I never let go!
I was so determined to get everything Jesus had for me, that I taped the following sign to my alarm clock “Prayer Clock”. When the alarm went off, and at those times I wanted to stay in bed, I would look at that “Prayer Clock” and think about all that Jesus had done for me, and it would catapult me out of bed so that I got to prayer. During a period of time, I noticed the numbers of people begin to dwindle in the prayer meetings. It went from around 70 people down to one, and that one was me. Prayer was changing my Christian walk. No more was I feeling defeated, I now had VICTORY! I got a key for the front door of that church, and every morning before work I got to the church at 6:00AM and I prayed for over an hour. What an amazing turn-around that happened in my spiritual walk with Christ. I hungered for more of Him like never before. There were no more feelings of going up or down in my walk. I truly grabbed a hold of prayer and it changed my life.
Every morning during the work week after going to Early Morning Prayer, I would go straight to work (working usually 8-10 hours) and then attend college at night several evenings a week. In other words, I didn’t get much sleep but I made sure I set my alarm clock for 5AM and I got up. I did this consistently. Why? Because I was sick of feeling defeated in my walk with the Lord and I wanted a change. I wanted everything the Lord had for me. I wanted to be the Christian soldier He had called me to be, and I was going to fight for it with everything in me! And fight for it I did!
God Placed Me in the Ministry:
So how did I get in the ministry? God called and separated me unto the Gospel. Through being committed to my daily life in prayer and reading of the Word He opened the door and placed me into full time ministry. I truly believe my consistent, committed daily devotional life helped propel me into my ministry “calling.” In 1987, God sovereignly opened up a door and placed me in full time ministry with John Jacobs and The Power Team. I was blessed for several years to have traveled around the world spreading the Gospel message and sharing my personal testimony of God’s saving grace. It was God who put me there; I didn’t push my way there. Promotion truly comes from the Lord if you are patient. I was in full-time ministry because God ordained it and made it happen.
I have been in the ministry now for 30 years (as of 2017) and I still can truly say that my passion and discipline for daily fellowship with God through prayer and the Word still starts my days off the right way. There is so much to tell about in my life. But I can tell you that my passion for Christ is real. I went from being lost to found! I went from being a sinner separated from God by my sin, to a child of God who is in relationship with the Creator of the Universe. I was radically saved and transformed!
That is why I write the way I do and say the things I do and challenge the way I do. I want you, the reader, to have a passion for Christ that burns inside of you continually and is not quenched by circumstances. I want you to experience a victorious prayer life, moving heaven and earth with your effectual prayers! Even if you were raised in church all your life and you received Jesus into your heart at an early age, that passion is available!
I am blessed to have served my country in the Navy as a Navy Diver (Deep Sea), and blessed to have received my Doctorate in Biblical Studies from MASTER'S International UNIVERSITY of Divinity. God is so awesome, and I am so excited to keep running my race for Him and DOING all that He has called me to do!