Former drug dealer turned minister

Eddie Burchfield was once busted for dealing drugs.

Today, he ministers to men imprisoned for drug-dealing and other crimes.

At 15, he began playing in a rock band, he said.

“And it didn’t take long to get involved in drinking and drugging,” Burchfiled said.

Drafted into the Army in 1971 and stationed at Red Stone Arsenal in Huntsville, he played bass guitar in the 55th Army Band.

Continuing to deal drugs, he got busted by the city of Huntsville.

After heavy discipline by the Army, he received a “general discharge under honorable conditions,” which was a real miracle, he said.

But, the miracle didn’t turn him around.

For another four years he took and dealt drugs while playing in rock bands.

He refused to attend church with his wife.

“I didn’t want to talk about God, and didn’t want anybody talking to me about God,” he said. “I believed everybody in church was a hypocrite.”

Finally agreeing to go, he got high first.

“If anybody says anything about the way I look (hair down my back and beard that looked like a Brillo pad gone wild) or the way I smelled, I’m out of there,” he told his wife.

When people shook his hand and thanked him for coming, it “blew” his mind. And during the service, another miracle took place in his life.

He said he realizes now God was giving to him the invitation found in Matthew 11:28: Come unto me all ye that are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

And after he accepted it his life “was immediately turned around.”

He had no withdrawal symptoms, Burchfield said, and realizes God worked a real miracle in him.

Instead of playing in rock bands, he — and his wife Linda — now play in the worship band at their church.

The former drug dealer is an ordained evangelist with Worldwide Missionary Evangelism (WME).

He has an evangelistic radio program and a prison ministry, and is involved with Chaplain David Noles in Shelby County Therapeutic Center, a job training facility for Alabama inmates.

He recently helped with a Christmas party for the inmates at Shelby County jail.

He can be reached at rev.ed@att.net, 678-9905 or 516-3427.

For more information, visit FreshFireAlabama.com.

Shelba Nivens can be reached by e–mail at ssnivens@hotmail.com.