compiled by Laura Wrede
I’m not sure how memorable church is supposed to be at seven years old, but my recollection of this particular Sunday was definitely clear!
I know how old I was, and where I was when it happened, and that it was a a Christimas Eve service. That day when Brother Borders gave the altar call, my young heart said yes. Despite my immature age, and the questioning of my sincerity by the adults, I know that was the day I met Jesus.
I’d like to say that afterwards I instantaneously sprouted wings and a halo. That I became the perfect angelic child and never gave my family any problems; was an excellent student, and a model citizen. I’d like to say I made plans to become a scientist, or a doctor, or some other respectable vocation that makes parents proud. I’d like to say all that.
But no. That wasn’t how it went down.
I discovered I had musical talent – at least my mom thought so – and that was enough for me to believe that I could be a professional musician. I also had an independent creative mind. I wanted to forge my own path. Forget a sensible “safe” career, I wanted to go to Nashville and make music.
I left my family home in Kentucky to seek fame and fortune – that’s the makings of a good country song right there. And that’s how I ended up in the entertainment industry. “I hitchhiked to Nashville. And I was lucky enough to have a couple of number one records as a songwriter…but what happened was, I was able to write these songs and envision different artists – singers – singing my songs. Well, it didn’t stop there.
I would go to movies and watch the films, and I thought… I want to get my music into film. So I had this dream to go to Hollywood and get my songs in these movies.”
While I planned my future move to California, I also began taking my faith more seriously.
I gave my heart to the Lord at seven, but I was filled with the Spirit at nineteen. I believe there are many saved people walking around that are missing out on the very life that Jesus promised in John 10:10: The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. (ESV).
In essence, this life inside you needs to wake up, and not lay dormant like a seed waiting for spring. This isn’t just a ticket on the Eternity Express; it’s a life changing transformation for the here-and-now. It’s the power that will bring us into the Kingdom. The Spirit-filled life is active and vibrant! It’s what the abundant life is all about.
There is power in the blood to save us. There is power in the Spirit to raise us alive and effective for the Kingdom. I’m not talking about money, fame, or other earthly abundance, I’m talking about God lavishing on us the fruits of the Spirit: Love, joy, peace, hope, patience, all of it. And blessing others with the the gifts of the Spirit. This is the abundant life in Christ. Even our ability to withstand suffering is a gift from Him.
That’s what happened to me at nineteen. The life I had accepted at seven, woke up.
Life sprung up in my spirit, and I embraced it. But this wouldn’t be the last time I went through a transformation like this. The time in between being filled with the Spirit, and my third experience would be years later.
“I finally went to Hollywood… I was about twenty-six years old, and I thought, well the best place to go is to producers doing movies and show them my songs.
So I went to this thing called a Cattle Call where there were tons of actors that show up. I thought I would just go to this, and so I went. There were about two hundred actors there and I was the last person in.
There was an Asian guy with a camera and he thought I was an actor. I was there with my cassette tape – I know I’m dating myself… anyway, he told me, ‘you act like Clint Eastwood.’ And I said, no I’m not an actor. And he said, ‘No no, just act like Clint Eastwood.’
So I did this Clint Eastwood impersonation – Dirty Harry. I know what you’re thinking punk. Did he fire five shots or only four…go ahead, make my day. And I got a call the next day and I got the lead in the show.”
That was the beginning of my Hollywood dream.
I began working on a variety of shows – writing, producing, directing and acting. I was blessed with steady work, a family, and all the perks that came with being in the limelight. I spent about a decade in the music industry in Nashville. And now I was working with HBO, Showtime, USA and network television. My dream of Hollywood, while different than I thought it would be, had come true. I was living the life.
Of course, this limelight life wasn’t always as shiny as we like to think. We glamorize our entertainers. We admire their hair, their shoes, their choice in food…we idolize them. We want to be just like them. The extreme influence one can have over their fans is a huge ego boost, and an incredible responsibility that many don’t understand, or others misuse for their own agendas.
Several years ago, I began watching what was going on in our culture. I say watching, it was more than that. It was a spiritual perception of my surroundings. I started realizing how the darkness of Hollywood had affected me. Over time, I made little compromises here and there, until one day the weight of all those decisions came crashing down on me. I had “the most mind-blowing” experience of my life.
Again, “I don’t have a definite date…but some years back, I experienced what I call spiritual integrity. What does that mean? There was one evening I actually fell to the ground and I believe I died.
I believe the David Heavener that existed, no longer existed – he ceased to exist – and when I rose up, I rose up as one. You see before, after I had gotten Spirit-filled at nineteen, I was a songwriter, I went to Hollywood, I was an actor, the problem is, my go-to-Sunday David Heavener was here, and my go-to-Hollywood-and-songwriter David Heavener was over there. I was always two people everywhere I went.” It was like I lived two distinct lives.
I was always compromising. “I read the Bible, I even did music, sometimes I even spoke every now and then, but…I was not effective for God because I had never given God everything. I granted him everything, but I didn’t’ give him the keys to the house that I granted to him.
So what happen is, I fell that night, I melted. Shattered into a thousand pieces, and when I came up, the Sunday David Heavener and the movie making David Heavener came together as one, and rose with integration and integrity. That’s when you are integrated. When you are just one.
Now there’s a problem with this. Because when you have integrity, when you’re integrated, you become one. No matter where you go, you take the other part with you. So if I went to church, I took the Hollywood David Heavener and boy, you know, they didn’t like that, you know. I’d go to Hollywood and take the spiritual David Heavener, and they definitely didn’t like that.
So you see, when you are integrated, integrity, you tell the truth no matter where you go. You strive and hunger for the truth. And we understand that when we tell the truth it’s like Jesus said, they hated me, they will hate you because he is the truth and the way. The only way to the Father. So therefore, that’s when this quest started for truth.
That’s when I started being more concerned about offending God than I was offending people. Now, I don’t want to hurt people. I don’t want to offend people. I will not risk offending God by walking on eggshells with people and not telling them the truth. I made that commitment to God that I march forward and I tell the truth no matter what. We take no prisoners.”
I was no longer able to keep separate the experiences I had at work, and my daily walk with God. I became aware of the destruction I witnessed in people who had been raised up in this fantasy life. They gained everything worldly one could have – fame, money, fans, influence – they had it all, only to be destroyed by it. There is a darkness in the entertainment industry. It’s not just drugs, sex and parties, it is a spiritual darkness of Satanic seduction and power.
“I had demons upon me. Demons of sexual perversion. I had the demons of witchcraft. I mean I could name them and go on and on…as a Christian, I don’t believe that you can be possessed as a Christian, meaning taken over, because when you’re a Christian your body is the temple of God…but you can be oppressed. There was so much oppression on me, I was literally losing my mind, so turning to alcohol or anything to medicate myself…through all of this I knew it was wrong.
I said, ‘God I can’t do this any more. Take me out. Beam me up Scotty because I don’t want to go through this pain any more. So that was what did it.” When I came up that day, the demons were gone. The oppression had lifted.
My life changed. I woke up. I watched how the power of God opened my eyes to the truth. And then I asked, what now God?
I must warn others.
It’s interesting how God shows us the way to go when we give everything over to Him. I had breakfast at Cantors one day with a fellow actor, mentor, and friend: Martin Landau. I had the privilege of working with him on an HBO movie, called Eye of the Stranger. I shared some things with Martin that day that we had never talked about before.
I said, “Martin, I’m very concerned about where Hollywood is going, the industry and the kind of stuff people are making, and he looked at me and he said, ‘I am too, David…I never thought it would be like this when I first started out.’ He had a real concern for our business and for young people.
I told him, “I want to start making things that’s going to lift people up. That’s going to help people. Tell people the truth. And it was amazing. He really encouraged me. It was around Christmas time and we walked out of Cantors and he looked at the window and saw the Christmas decorations and Hanukkah, and he said, ‘You know kid, it’s faith. It’s really an important thing isn’t it?’ I agreed. It was the most important thing.
What Martin said next always stuck with me. He said, ‘To try to do something; to intend to do something; to mean to do something, is not to do it. It’s to cushion yourself against failure. To do it, is to do it. Period.’
David if you want to do something, you do it. That was his message. It would be his last words to me before he passed. I believe God used Martin to point me in the direction He wanted me to go.
I began by filming interviews, others in ministry, and in the entertainment industry. We shared them with our growing online community of believers. I became involved and aware of the underbelly of our culture in things the church avoids talking about as I pursued these interviews.
Things such as child trafficking, the occult, Satanic Ritual Abuse (SRA), New Age heresy, demon possession, secret societies, and so much more. What I discovered during these years was when you go in search of truth, you realize how unaware the Church is of not only Biblical truth, but cultural and historical truth as well. We have simply relegated all difficult, strange, and unexplained things into a convenient fairytale conspiracy bucket where foil on your head is mandatory.
You see, we have made our heavenly Father, the creator of all things, into a modern convenient, snack-sized magic God to carry in our pocket as we go through our busy lives. It’s like a little lucky rabbits foot.
And conversely, we have made Evil – Satan, the Devil, Lucifer – a silly, harmless cartoon character of pranks and candy, or a fantasy being of goodness and knowledge here to help humans become enlightened.
We have completely stripped the spiritual realm of spiritual truth.
Truth has two sides: The truth of good, and the truth about evil. It was during this time that The Last Evangelist was birthed. It’s a fictional cop show with an eternal warning. It was around 2017 when I wrote it…actually God gave me the story and I put it on paper. He woke me from a dream and over the course of a week I wrote six episodes.
The story deals with all the dark things that are happening right now, and about worse things that are coming. The Church has been neglectful. We have rocked believers to sleep with the truth of God’s love and goodness and future in heaven, and that’s the limit of our message.
Meanwhile, the world is having a picnic on the train tracks with a train coming. God is good. God is love. God is truth. But he is the complete truth. Not just a tiny piece of feel good truth. That is why I have such a focus and urgency to what I’m doing.
We must wake up, watch, and warn the Church and the world of the tidal wave of darkness that has been flourishing in places like Hollywood. Evil has used entertainment to invade our homes, our minds, and ultimately the world we live in. We have sold our integrity. We have damaged God’s honor.
It is time we come out of her my people. We aren’t meant to live hidden under a comfy bush. We must let our light shine on a hill. And as the darkness grows, the light is illumined.
God used Martin Landau’s words to help me realize if God is in it, just do it. So I jumped in with all I had to launch David Heavener TV (DHTV), to write The Last Evangelist, and to gather believers together in a safe place to meet and talk. We are uncensored. We are there to pray and encourage others and to glorify God in a safe environment. It’s time now to put on the whole armor of God. For iron to sharpen iron. We are in a war and God is calling each one of us to suit up for the battle.