Emmitt Mckenzie never thought he would live to see his 16th birthday. Growing up in the streets of Oklahoma and in a broken family, Emmitt found himself increasingly angry with God and others in his youth.
At age 12, he started drinking alcohol. At age 13, he joined a gang. By age 15, he was hooked on hard drugs, including methamphetamine. Emmitt found himself stuck in a reckless life of crime, drugs and gangs.
“I didn’t understand the Gospel and what God has done for me,” he said. “I became angry with my parents, with God, with society. I was living a life of brokenness. Little did I know that life wasn’t supposed to be like this.”
Emmitt began to think his entire life and future were utterly hopeless. But God did not leave him there. Nearly 12 years ago, at his lowest moment, Emmitt repented of his sin, and through tears, received salvation from Jesus.
“Earlier in my life, churches planted seeds of the Gospel in my life,” he said. “It would not be until later in my life, when I hit rock bottom, that I responded to the Gospel.”
Emmitt recently shared his testimony at Oklahoma Baptists’ Advance Conference on April 3. Today he is a vocational evangelist based out of Watonga, and he travels to churches and revival events, sharing about how God saved him from a destructive life of sin. In addition, Emmitt has become known for sharing the Gospel wherever he goes and with whomever the Lord puts in his path.
His newlywed wife, Belen, said, “No matter where we are, at the gas station, nail salon, park, movie, store, Memphis, Oklahoma—my husband is always faithfully sharing the Gospel and what God has done in His life.”
Belen and Emmitt met at Mid-America Seminary and were recently wed. Belen is a talented singer, who offers praise through music at events where Emmitt speaks. Emmitt graduated from the Robert Haskins School of Christian Ministry. His testimony inspires all who hear it, and his personal evangelism stands as a great example for others.
“I’ve shared my story with people, trying to bring the Good News of Jesus to those facing a hard life,” Emmitt explained. “People who have faced a life of drug abuse, sexual abuse, abandonment, prison—really any struggle.
“I just cannot shut up about Jesus,” he continued. “This world is more broken now than ever. We are not called to convert. We are called to share. (Just recently), I had an opportunity to lead a man to the Lord.”
Emmitt has traveled to New York, Florida, Missouri, other states, as well as overseas. His story is now captured in a new book called, “LIFE: It’s Not Supposed to be Like This.” Copies are available online and anywhere you purchase or order books. Emmitt has gifted copies to correctional facilities in Oklahoma as an outreach opportunity.
“Through this book, I made myself vulnerable unto the world today with some of the deepest darkest moments of my life,” he said. “I have come to an understanding of how many people are struggling with some of the things I have encountered in my life. You may know someone directly or indirectly in your family, church, neighborhood, school, prison, rehab, or on the streets that struggle with the same issues. This book is purposely written so that they may hear the Gospel and be changed by the same supernatural power of Jesus Christ that changed me.”
Emmitt is on fire for the Lord and tells people everywhere he goes about what Jesus did in his life and the salvation He brings.
“We are all sinners,” he said. “No one is entitled to salvation. Every follower of Christ has a testimony, not just me. I was once separated from God, now I am reconciled back to him through Jesus. Your testimony is as powerful as mine, and the world needs to hear it.”
Emmitt believes that if God can change a man like himself, he can change anyone. Emmitt believes he was saved, so he can share.