During Barry DuFae Myers' successful career in the movie and music industry, his best friend was "Gloria"--his pseudonym for cocaine. Today the Orlando, Fla., resident calls Jesus his best friend, and he is passionate about setting people free from the bondage of their past.
This fall, Myers and his wife, Krystal, will lead a Cleansing Stream class at Wekiva Assembly of God, a multi-ethnic congregation in Longwood, Fla. Cleansing Stream is a deliverance ministry started by Jack Hayford, founding pastor of The Church on the Way in Van Nuys, Calif.
"Cleansing Stream totally changed my whole Christian perspective," Myers, 50, told Charisma. "I truly feel God's presence in my life, and I'm totally dedicated to the kingdom of God."
Myers, however, was once dedicated to attaining fortune and fame. For 15 years, he worked in various capacities in more than 30 movies, including Boomerang, New Jack City, Passenger 57, and Lethal Weapon 2 and Lethal Weapon 3.
Myers also got involved in the production and promotion of hip-hop and pop artists, including R. Kelly, Mary J. Blige, MC Hammer, Sean "P. Diddy" Combs, Prince, Snoop Dog and Tupac Shakur.
In April 1993, Myers co-founded Rip-It Records, which went on to generate more than $30 million in record sales. In 1995, bolstered by hits from rap groups 199 Quad and 69 Boyz, Rip-It was named top independent record company by Urban Network magazine.
In only three years, Myers seemed to be on top of the world as his company sold more than 8 million records worldwide. But he had also developed a cocaine addiction. "Gloria seemed to be the only friend that I could trust, so a major part of my life was with her for about 18 years," Myers recalled.
But then he said "God started to get" his attention. After a bad divorce in March 1997, Myers, who was raised a Muslim and whose second cousin was Nation of Islam leader Malcolm X, hit bottom. "I suddenly found out that fame, money, drugs and women were not making me happy," said Myers, who also studied Buddhism. "I was very confused. The religion nonsense was not helping me."
Meanwhile, Louis Bell Jr., who co-founded Rip-It Records with Myers, accepted Christ in August 1997. "When I returned to my office the next morning from a church service, Barry knew I had a touch from Jesus," said Bell, 38, who is an Orlando-based financial consultant.
Bell then invited his partner to church. Myers went, and he said God "spoke into" his life as he watched a Myles Munroe video. Then in October 1997 Myers received Jesus. "Three women came to my studio casting out demons, speaking in tongues and led me to Christ," Myers said. "They were my mother, sister and a family friend."
After he accepted Christ, Myers said he was instantly delivered from cocaine. Myers and Bell also pulled the plug on Rip-It in March 1998 because they felt convicted about the type of music they produced. But it would take another encounter with God before Myers completely surrendered his life to Christ.
In 2001, he met Greg Freeman, pastor of Wekiva Assembly, who invited him to church. "I wanted to get married to a lady I was living with at the time, and pastor Greg advised me to take Cleansing Stream at Wekiva," Myers recalled.
He was so impacted by Cleansing Stream that Myers took the course again, and eventually broke up with his live-in girlfriend. Nearly three years ago, he married Krystal after meeting her in an online Christian chat room.
"He has become very focused in his relationship with Jesus," said Freeman, 51, who has pastored Wekiva for 17 years. "His word is now his bond. He has also become very successful in corporate America and has accomplished much by making Jesus his CEO and manager."
About the time Myers took the Cleansing Stream course, he began working for Toshiba, selling copiers, printers, software and other products. For the last three years, Myers has been named Toshiba's top salesperson in its north Florida region.
Myers is starting a faith-based foundation that aims to mentor at-risk teenagers. And he and Bell are launching a Christian media company called One Source Media.
"God's hand is on Barry's life, and he will be a vital part of our ministry," Freeman said. "I approached Barry about leading Cleansing Stream for two reasons. First, I believe he has grown to a place of leadership. Secondly, he is a genuine product of Cleansing Stream and a total believer in this ministry. When he tells people about it, they believe it."
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