Josiah Presley was born in South Korea. The circumstances surrounding his birth are surprising and compelling.
Josiah was adopted by his parents—Randy and Kathy Presley, who are members of Norman, Trinity, where Randy serves on staff. Josiah grew up with 11 siblings—many of whom also were adopted—in a solid Christian home.
Yet when his adoptive parents sat him down as he turned 13, Josiah learned the shocking news that he was an abortion survivor.
He learned that his birth mother in South Korea was scheduled to have a surgical abortion at two months gestation, yet he miraculously survived a gruesome procedure. The curettage abortion, which was designed to take the life of the child by cutting him and removing the baby parts from the woman’s uterus, thankfully did not take his life.
“This information was difficult for me to take in,” he said. “But I was glad they told me. If I’m honest with you, I was not personally in a good place in my life.”
After it was discovered months later that Josiah was still alive in her womb, the mother then developed an adoption plan with an agency. Fast forward some time, and Josiah was adopted into a great Christian home in Oklahoma.
Josiah has a deformed arm as a result from the attempted abortion, as well as significant emotional damage. These are issues he had to work through during his time growing up.
“As a teen, I had a lot of image issues and self-value issues,” he said. “I struggled with feeling of worthlessness. I struggled feeling I had no purpose. I struggled with anger.”
God ultimately replaced any bitterness and unforgiveness in his heart when Josiah gave his life to Jesus Christ while he was a high school student camper at Falls Creek.
“I had made a (spiritual decision) at a young age, but I did not really understand what it meant to follow Jesus,” he said. “I did not have the power of God in my life, and I was also arrogant. That Thursday night at (Falls Creek), I surrendered my life to Jesus and so much in my life changed.”
After finding Jesus, Josiah had a newfound purpose, and he let go of any anger he held toward his birth parents. Today, Josiah now serves as student minister at Edmond, Northpointe, and he has served as a minister at other churches in Texas. He has a compassionate heart for the unborn and vulnerable people.
“My family was always pro-life and cared for the unborn and adoption,” he added. “But it wasn’t until I became a Christian and found out my story that I had a passion for myself, as well.”
As Josiah actively ministers to students with the Gospel, he himself now leads groups to Falls Creek where the Lord changed his life and called him to ministry service. He is hopeful the students will develop a biblical conviction to love their neighbors—both born and unborn.
While abortion nearly snuffed out his life, God had other plans. Josiah is now happily married to his wife Bethany. The couple recently gave birth to a beautiful baby girl as a testament to how God is bringing forth life from the life that was spared.
Josiah has been bold to share his amazing life story at various events and in online settings. He is scheduled to speak at the Rose Day Pro-Life Indoor Rally in Oklahoma, the largest annual pro-life event in the state, which is sponsored by Oklahoma Baptists.
Josiah grew up attending Rose Day as a young child and now looks forward to sharing his testimony and message at the event, which is set for Feb. 7, 2024 (for more information visit roseday.life). His life is now marked with joy and gratitude to the Lord and to his family.
“I’m reminded through my parents’ faithfulness in adopting these kids who had no future, I’m reminded of the Gospel of Jesus,” he said.
Thanks to the Lord’s divine mercy, Josiah is a living testament to the Lord’s sparing mercy and the hope only Jesus can bring to all people—born and unborn.