Former Muscle for London Crime Talks to Iowa Students About Violence
By Jullian Petrus, Reporter
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - From big muscles to an even bigger heart.
John Pridmore once lived a life of violence, theft, drugs and alcohol. Now, he talks to students and communities about giving their lives up to God. He spoke to an audience of about 400 people Monday night at St. Pius Church on Collins Road NE.
A turbulent youth and abusive stepmother led Pridmore to lash out as a teenager. He went to juvenile detention at the age of 15. Pridmore got locked up again at age 19. This time, his violent behavior often landed him in solitary confinement. The evangelical says he felt powerless and angry. As a result, once he got out of prison, Pridmore surrounded himself with angry, powerful people.
Description: Photo provided by johnpridmore.com
"All I was qualified to do was fight," Pridmore said. "I started bouncing at night clubs around the east and west end of London."
Pridmore then started getting paid to work for organized crime. Mobsters valued his intimidating size and muscle, but Pridmore says all the money, power and women in the world couldn't fill an empty void in his heart.
Pridmore says things changed after he nearly killed a man trying to impress a mob boss.
"I used to believe God was a nice story used to keep people from doing bad things," Pridmore said, "But that night, I prayed and felt God come into my heart."
Since that night, Pridmore has dedicated himself to working with youth across the world. He spoke at World Youth Day in Sydney, Australia to 400,000 young people. Pridmore's also traveled to Liberia to talk with former child soldiers forced to fight against their will.
Pridmore says he's proof anyone get out of a dark place, and a life filled with violence is truly a dead end.
"There's nothing there. Don't go down that way of living look for something better," said Pridmore. "Use your talents and gifts to do something good for your community."
Pridmore spoke to Dowling Catholic High School students in Des Moines, at Regina in Iowa City and Cedar Rapids Xavier.
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