Darren Mulligan of the "We Are Messengers" band said he fled from Ireland to America in 2003 to pursue a rock music career and to escape his home responsibilities; he was living a life not focused on God until he slid downward. He eventually realized his selfish decisions, and became a beacon of hope.
The lead vocalist and guitarist grew up in a traditional, Irish Catholic home, and said he was made to go to mass and take confession. "I never once heard that Jesus Christ could love me or that I could love Him," he said, adding he still struggles with accepting that Jesus can love him despite his failings.
"I was an adulterer, that was my thing and a drunk. I was any amount of things -- a blasphemer, I was violent, I was all of these things that saying prayers in some religious setting was never going to set me free from that," Mulligan told Fox News.
"I've done things that I can't even tell you. I have seen things with my eyes and been involved with things that if you really knew me you wouldn't speak to me. Or maybe you would, because you know who Jesus is and He kind of specializes in dealing with people like me."
When the rocker left Ireland, his then-girlfriend was struggling with an eating disorder and coping with the loss of her father to alcoholism. "[My now wife Heidi] was in a very difficult place and I was a coward so I ran away to America. When I got to America, playing rock shows every night of every week in different cities, different states ... it was from that moment that everything went downhill for me."
Mulligan didn't know that while he was in America, his future wife Heidi had found her way to God.
He received a phone call from Heidi, who told him she had become a Christian. "I hated the thought of her being happy; because she sounded happy, while I was miserable," Mulligan remembers.
"[God] rescued [Heidi] and then I come home a couple of years later ... I had nothing going for me. [But then] she told me she loved and she forgave me and then I fell in love with Jesus because of the choice and the love of a good woman. Strange how God operates," he said.
Up until that point, Mulligan said he viewed religion as just motions to go through.
Three weeks before their wedding, at a time when he was an avowed atheist, Mulligan had a life-altering experience in church. "I felt so wretched, so dirty. I could feel my skin crawling. God seemed so real that night. He seemed so holy. There was this huge chasm between Him and me. I could feel it, this crushing weight of guilt and conviction, so I gave my life to the Lord that night," he said, adding, "It took me a few months of reading the Bible to really understand what I had done and what that meant. I fell in love with God over that period and gradually learned to see myself as He sees me -- clean, a son of the king."
Now the singer takes it upon himself to share God's message of love and acceptance through his music as a Christian artist.
"I am a Christian daddy, a Christian husband, a Christian racquetball player. I'm a Christian voter, I am a Christian gardener. Whatever I do, I do it in His name," he said.
"I have no issue with bands that say, 'You know what, I'm an artist who believes in Christ but we're not Christian artists.' I get why you say that [but] I'm not ashamed of Him, what He has done for me, I will never...in my life ever turn around say, 'I'm not a Christian anything.'"
Mulligan said everything he does is imbued with His goodness. "The fact that I can breathe today -- I'm a Christian breather. I don't deserve to have breath in my bones but He said you can breathe today Darren. And He said, you can go and hold your wife's hand today. And so I'm a Christian hand-holder and that's a stupid thing to say, but it's the truth."
The band's members now talk about the incredible opportunity to share the goodness of Jesus Christ through music and the testimony of their lives. They state they want to communicate the Gospel in simple, relevant and life-changing manners. They hope God will use their abilities to have conversations with people who are desperately searching for truth and love.