Talented musician Kingsley led the classic sex, drugs and rock’n’roll lifestyle before finding his way back to God.
My parents became Salvation Army officers when I was a teenager. I had a calling to become an officer myself, but I was already involved in music and wanted to have the accolades and applause for myself. I didn’t want to give God any of the glory.
Although I had some success as a musician and enjoyed the lifestyle for a few years, it led me to an incredibly miserable place.
It started out as fun and games, but five or six years later I was addicted to every drug I had used and realised I did not even like being a professional musician. I was miserable because of the bondage to sex, drugs and rock’n’roll.
I was also a workaholic and I used drugs to get me through. I was trapped.
So here I was doing something I wasn’t enjoying, totally addicted to drugs. Then my mum was diagnosed with cancer and I watched her slip away under painkilling drugs, as she was highly medicated in palliative care. It was at that point I knew I did not want drugs to take my life.
I tried a few times to stop but I just couldn’t, or wouldn’t. I was trying to harm minimise when I knew the only true solution was total abstinence. I was still smoking pot and drinking all day and I began to get really sick.
I started going to a Baptist church in Melbourne and I was baptised. I wanted to come back to the presence of God—but was not able to fully because of pot and alcohol.
As a Salvo officer’s son I knew there were rehab programs. My dad even made an appointment at the Bridge Program in St Kilda (Vic.), but my pride got in the way. The last two years of my active addiction were incredibly miserable.
Eventually I swallowed that pride, but it wasn’t until another recovering addict told me I really needed help that I got on the phone to the Bridge Program.
I entered the Bridge Program at the Richmond detox centre and did that for 28 days. I came out two days before Christmas and walked out onto the crazy inner city, pre-Christmas streets. I was clean for the first time in more than 20 years. I had intensive counselling and ended up doing an out-program at the St Kilda Bridge Program.
Although I’d quit the bands that used a lot of drugs and only played in bands where most of the people were clean, I couldn’t walk out in the inner city of Melbourne without running into people I had previously used drugs with.
My sister was living on the Gold Coast where there was a very strong support fellowship for recovering addicts so I moved there.
I met my future wife there at the Gold Coast and we got married a year later.
The healing that’s come about in my body, mind, emotions and spirit through recovery is miraculous. I’ve been clean for more than 14 years. The way God continues to work in my life demonstrates truly amazing grace.
Dad remarried and they were appointed to the Palm Beach Elanora Corps (Qld)and that’s how I became involved with The Salvation Army again.
My wife and I moved to Cairns five years ago and now worship at Cairns Corps. We are also leaders in a prayer ministry school, have a small music business recording original Christian music, and I am studying a Bachelor of Theology at Booth College.
I also work as the maintenance worker at The Salvation Army Centennial Lodge, a crisis accommodation service.
I am so privileged to have some Centennial Lodge residents open up to me about their lives. My testimony has given others a lot of hope and that is an incredible privilege. May God have all the glory.
With thanks to Others magazine.