John Turnipseed is an author, speaker, pastor, and leader who sat down for an interview with Pastor A.R. Bernard on ARB TV. His book, Bloodline: You Spend Enough Time in Hell You Get The Feeling You Belong, gives readers an insight into how he overcame a troubling past filled with gang violence, poverty, and drugs through a relationship with Jesus.
The book was written for young males who have gone through similar struggles as himself. He shares significant moments in his life, one of which was watching his mother be beaten. Over time, he started operating in survivor mode. “I learned how to protect myself, [I] learned how to be violent, [and I] learned how to exploit people,” he recalled.
Turnipseed also spent some time in prison. While there, he observed that most men had resentment for their fathers and held great admiration toward their mothers.
“Men—we hated our fathers and loved our mothers because our fathers were the roof of the house and if the roof was broken, all the bad elements that came into our houses and all the men in prison had a hole in their heart the size of a father.”
The pastor posited that in order to change the trajectory of the lives of men the solution is simple: have a father in the household.
“One of the things that I try to tell people is that 300 years ago, we were producing scholars, we were building universities and stuff. The reason why we were doing that is because the father was in the house,” says Turnipseed.
Turnipseed gave his life to Jesus when he was 40 years old, and he believes that God always placed angles in his life. He recalled someone helping him get his GED. He also shared how a minister spoke into his life, and told him he too would be a minister despite his then gang affiliations.
Yet, Turnipseed revealed that his life truly changed when his story was exposed on television. After prison, Turpinseed became a teacher. One day, a news story broadcasted details about his past, which included crimes like gang violence, manslaughterer, and being a pimp.
“My students started crying and that just broke me,” he reminisced. “I fell on my office floor just crying [and] I couldn’t stop crying. I remember my grandmother told me, ‘Just give it to Jesus.’”
He transformed his lifestyle in Christ by changing his habits, and his circle. He was mentored by a minister. “A youth pastor took me under his wing and for the last 26 years, I’d see him about every day, but that was important that someone helped me along the way.”
To watch the full interview, check it out on ARB TV.