Making A Choice Between God and Alcohol
By Audra Smith Haney
The 700 Club
CBN.com -“Oklahoma to Sunset Blvd is kind of one of those, you are not in Kansas any more moments,” said Brain Presley.
Actor and producer, Brian Presley is best known for his role on the soap opera “Cape Charles” and the 2004 Sleeper, “Guarding Eddy.”
“I had always dreamt of being an actor,” Brian said. “I always loved the arts.”
Brian harkens from Tulsa, Oklahoma where he was a high school football star and a hometown hero.
“Christian family, amazing family, amazing mom and dad,” Brian said. “I really don’t remember when church wasn’t a big part of my life. My parents taught us ethics, morals, never to be afraid to chase your dreams.”
But the wind swept plains, Friday night lights, and home cooking, couldn’t compete with the glamour of Sunset Blvd.
“I felt God calling me to start a company that would bridge secular and the faith world together around an inspirational story.”
When he first arrived, Brian says he was strong in his Christian faith.
“I mean, it was the number one thing in my life,” Brian said. “I was still walking pretty close with God.”
After several successful commercials, Brian’s dark brooding looks landed him a role in the soap opera “Port Charles.” That’s where he met and married Erin, another actor on the show.
“I learned quickly she loved God,” Brian said. “I thought, you know a woman who loves God and fly fishing and family, I’m not letting this one get away.”
“He never would hide his faith,” Erin Presley said. “He always had a Bible open. That is the biggest reason why I was attracted to, Brian Presley.”
For Brian, a role in a soap opera was just a means to finance his film company. But in Hollywodd, big dreams can die an agonizing death.
“Hollywood is a very self centered industry,” Brian said. “You are as good as your next job. As I started gaining success, there are a lot of parties and you are going to Emmy Awards. it was a rollercoaster.
Brian began to drink to handle the stress. Several years later, he thought he had sealed the movie deal that would launch his film company. But it turned into a movie deal gone bad. The broken promises, bitter recriminations, and huge financial losses shook Brian to the core.
“My heart just immediately fell to the floor,” Brian said. “I mean, they can’t do that, they have a contract.”
Brian didn’t want Erin to worry as she prepared to give birth to their first child.
“I started taking out loans,” Brian said. “I had agents drop me, I had managers drop me. We couldn’t make our monthly payments. I started spiraling to the bottom of the ocean.
“All this time, I began to drink more, more,” Brian said. “There were days were I started falling into depression and it seemed like taking my own life seemed like the solution at that point.”
Finally, Brian told Erin about their financial losses. But Erin knew the bigger issue was Brian’s spiritual condition.
“I would drag him to church on Sunday mornings,” Erin said, “when I knew he was fully hung over, but that’s what I knew he needed the most. I would say, ‘Lord, I need you to speak to him’, and I remember certain points in the service I could always tell when God had gotten through to him cause he’d reach over and grab my hand. At that moment I would always say ‘thank you.’”
By now, the Presley’s had a second child…a daughter. But, Brian’s alcoholism continued.
“I would tell myself, I want to stop, I’m gonna stop,” Brian said, “but I couldn’t. I just couldn’t. I was mad with God. This path I was supposed to go down had completely changed. I had turned away from church, I had turned away from my walk with God. My wife kept trying to get us to go back to church. I would tell her, I don’t want people in my private life, I don’t want people in my business, I don’t want to be judged
Brian’s physical health was deteriorating too. In 2010, he was hospitalized in the early stages of liver and kidney failure. That’s when the once promising young actor began to face reality.
“He said, I’m in serious trouble,” Erin sai. “I said ‘why?’ He said, I’ve made an absolute mess of my life.”
Yet even after his recovery, Brian continued to drink. He says is took the hospitalization of his young daughter for a seizure disorder and the prayers of his wife to begin his turnaround.
“She said I know you are sick and I’m going to help you get through this,” Brian said. “And we can do this together, but you have got to work and you’ve got to fight for me and fight for our two children.”
And fight he did. Brian joined a 12 step program, returned to church and began to read the Bible again.
“And you know what is cool is that our God is a God of second chances,” Brian said. “I grew up in the church but I don’t really think I understood the meaning of grace until I was in my 30s.”
“I know God has His plan for me,” Brain said. “All I can do is my best every day to live for Him.”
“He’s a better father; he’s a better family member, definitely, hands down, better husband,” Erin said. “Brian Presley, clean and sober is pretty special.”
Brian’s latest production, “Touchback”, starring Kurt Russell was released in April 2012. The story parallels Brian’s own life.
“God can resurrect anything and no matter what you are facing in life, no matter what your struggles are, God can bring you out of that.” Brian said. “The only way I got back to the surface was with Jesus pulling the rope.”
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