Singer Michael English Tries to Put Past Behind Him After Drug Problems

by | Oct 31, 2000 | Charisma Archive

A new understanding of God’s love keeps the artist working through the fallout of his divorce and drug addiction

If the life of Christian singer Michael English were a roller-coaster ride, one would have to think this period must be the low end of the deepest valley–and that everything from here must be up.


Friends, family and fans alike are praying that this is so, that his fall from acclaim as one of the nation’s top Christian singers after an extramarital affair and a subsequent bout with drug addiction that could have landed him in jail are now behind him.


That is, the worst is behind him if a judge who reviewed his case in October agrees that English’s confession of guilt to abusing prescription drugs and his voluntary participation in treatment programs prove that more punishment is not warranted. If not, English could face jail time.


English, 38, was slated to appear before Judge J. Randall Wyatt on Oct. 6 to find out if he would serve jail time for the 12 counts of fraud for illegally obtaining prescription medication. He became addicted to the codeinelike painkiller drug hydrocodone in 1997 after receiving a prescription for it following back surgery.


After his back healed and his physical pain subsided, English continued to take the drug.


English was completely open about his problems during a recent interview with Charisma. With his sobriety intact and a new album under his belt, Heaven to Earth, and a restored relationship with his father and a strengthened relationship with his 15-year-old daughter Megan, English was upbeat and optimistic about his life, his ongoing restoration and rehabilitation, and his regenerated ministry.


“God doesn’t throw anyone away,” English said. “He ‘don’t make no junk.’ Sometimes it is hard to believe–that God loves a bum on the street as much as He loves the president of the United States. I am just thankful because after all the things I’ve been through, He loves me still.”


English credited Topper Council, 51, of Paducah, Ky., as being his spiritual mentor who holds him accountable daily while he recovers.


“I’ve known him for years. He’s just been here for me through this whole ordeal. He constantly calls me and leaves me scriptures on my answering machine. He gets on to me if I miss church. It makes me feel stronger to know that he’s there.”


English went through a rigorous on-site rehabilitation program at Vanderbilt University. A psychiatrist diagnosed him with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), and this doctor believes that English’s drug addiction partially resulted from his brain trying to replace a stabilizing chemical.


“He said I was taking these drugs, not to get high, but to feel normal,” English said. “It really made me feel better to know that there was something wrong with me. I’d been ADD and didn’t know it.”


Now English is hearing a different call for ministry–to reach out to struggling believers like himself who want to give up their walk because they don’t feel worthy of God’s love when they fall.


“If you need to get your car fixed, would you take it to someone who has read all the manuals, but has never been underneath the hood?” En

glish explained. “I kind of feel like the guy who has never read the manual–his fingers are all dirty–but he sure can ‘fix the car.’ There are a lot of hurting people in this world. Who better to tell them about a God who forgives us and loves us no matter what?”


In liner notes on his CD Heaven to Earth, English apologizes to those closest to him who were hurt by his fall into adultery, including his former wife, Lisa. “Lisa and I try to get together as often as possible to discuss our daughter,” he said.


“I’m not going to hold my head down because God told me I don’t have to anymore,” English said. “I told God I was sorry. He heard me the first time. I am excited about the future. I get excited about a lot of things these days. I don’t take anything for granted after what I have been through.”


Megan, English’s daughter, played a major role in inspiring English’s addiction recovery. The singer said she came to see him at the Vanderbilt rehab center.


“My daughter is a great little girl…she is someone I can be proud of,” he said. “She hides her feelings most of the time and that is hard for me. She doesn’t want to hurt me. She says she just wants her father back –mentally and emotionally. My promise to her to come back as her father was a driving force in my recovery.”


English hopes his audience sees a man on stage who has struggled and at times was vulnerable to sin, but who fought back in faith to stand in the victory that Jesus offers.


“What has happened to me has happened, but it is not the sin that can tear us down. It is how we react and what we do about it.


“Through it all, if we learn how to keep our faith in God, He can totally turn around our failures and use it for His glory. That’s what I am trying to do–get back up and keep on going. I know that is what God wants me to do.”

CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


MORE FROM CHARISMA

Prophetic Word: The Lord Says, ‘I Am About to Redeem the Times’

Prophetic Word: The Lord Says, ‘I Am About to Redeem the Times’

Read Time: 3 Minutes 39 Seconds In corporate prayer the other day, I was in place of deep prayer and intercession when I heard in my spirit, "Redeem the times." As I continued to pray, I just kept hearing "Redeem the times" echo in my spirit. Then the Lord said, "I am...

Kingdom Economics: How Godly Traditions Convey Kingdom Truths

Kingdom Economics: How Godly Traditions Convey Kingdom Truths

Read Time: 3 Minutes 53 Seconds WalletHub estimates 97% of Americans celebrate Thanksgiving and were expected to spend $835 million on Thanksgiving turkeys for last week’s holiday. More than 50 million people were expected to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade on...

The Hidden Antisemitism of Misappropriation of Scripture

The Hidden Antisemitism of Misappropriation of Scripture

Read Time: 4 Minutes 49 Seconds I know that what I am writing in my blog today will cause some people discomfort. Others will become angry and still others will choose to stop reading my blogs and articles. Yet, knowing that there is a danger of the above happening,...

Charisma Highlights: Is Serial Killer Jeffrey Dahmer in Heaven?

Charisma Highlights: Is Serial Killer Jeffrey Dahmer in Heaven?

Following are snippets of the top stories posted on charismamag.com over the past week. We encourage you to visit the links to read the stories in full. Is Serial Killer Jeffrey Dahmer in Heaven? Is it possible that behind the pearly gates of heaven there are...

10 Ways to Practice Gratitude With Your family This Thanksgiving

10 Ways to Practice Gratitude With Your family This Thanksgiving

This month we are entering a season which, in the United States, has been devoted to gratitude and thanksgiving for 400 years! While the Thanksgiving holiday has had a long and varied history within the United States, the practice of devoting sacrificial offerings,...

Don’t Let Ungratefulness Turn You Into a Spoiled American

Don’t Let Ungratefulness Turn You Into a Spoiled American

My frequent trips to developing nations always help me adjust my attitude. Just when I start to feel spoiled and entitled, I meet people from places like Congo, India and Honduras—and I realize just how blessed I am. This happened to me again last week during a trip...

RECENT ARTICLES

The Power of Being Thankful

One of the best ways to show God we love Him is to be thankful. When we express our deep gratitude to Him, it actually invites His presence onto our lives. Being thankful also neutralizes the enemy...
Get Off Your Pew!

Get Off Your Pew!

As God’s clock inches closer to the final hour before His return, many people find themselves filled with angst, anxiety and despair. People are not sleeping well, many have fallen into depression and are feeling hopeless. These are the very days that we have been...

Count Your Blessings, For God Indeed is Good

Count Your Blessings, For God Indeed is Good

Read Time: 4 Minutes 42 Seconds Thanksgiving Day is just a few days away for U.S. Americans. It is a favorite holiday—perhaps only exceeded by Christmas—to gather with family and friends to watch parades, play (American) “football” and eat delicious food—often from...

Pin It on Pinterest