Samme Palermo: Better Than A Buzz
By Cynthia Savage
The 700 Club
Samme Palermo was in his 20s in the late '70s and already had his dream job as a disco DJ.
“There were a lot of brand new temptations," Samme tells The 700 Club. "And opportunities to capitalize on those temptations. I had power. I had influence. So, it was just one buzz after another.“
After years of being around the bar scene, his wife Jeanie made a commitment to follow Jesus Christ.
“I thought, Wow! This will be the greatest life of all. I can be the bar guy and Mr. Adventure at night. I’ve got a beautiful Christian wife at home that lets me get away with anything. This is fantastic!”
Jeanie recalls, “I hated it. I hated the two worlds. I didn’t think you could live in two worlds. I think your life should all be one world, just all good and serving God.”
For years, Jeanie patiently prayed for her husband.
“She knew that there was a battle waging for my soul between God and the devil," Samme says. "She knew the devil was winning.”
Early one morning he came home from a tough night at the bar and ended up on the couch to unwind. The 700 Club was on TV with Ben Kinchlow and Pat Robertson hosting.
Samme says, “Ben came on the screen and said that there was somebody that just came from work that had a bad day. That caught my attention. I started listening a little bit. They started discussing between the two of them a need to pray for this guy. I began to pray the prayer with them. I said, ‘Come on, God, give me the buzz.’ I was joking around. I was daring God. Nothing happened. I’m telling you, nothing.
“They finished praying and Ben said, 'The guy we were praying for didn’t get the buzz he was looking for.' Wow. My heart stopped because that was my word. He said, ‘When you are serious, scream out the name of Jesus and He’ll save you. When you are serious.'”
In the days that followed, Samme’s pleasure-seeking lifestyle began to loose its appeal. He says, “I finally got to the point where there wasn’t enough cocaine and alcohol. There couldn’t be enough popularity or money or women or whatever. There’s just not enough to bring satisfaction.”
Two weeks later, Samme was driving home drunk when he almost collided with a car. He was shaken and pulled over into a parking lot.
“I believed in the existence of the devil, and I started screaming at the devil that he was ruining me, ruining my family. I couldn’t have control over anything that I was doing. Now he tried to kill me. The windows in my car appear to be like black glass. I felt the most horrendous evil presence coming at me from my steering wheel. It was coming for my soul. I remember what Ben said, and I screamed out, 'Jesus, Jesus, help me. Save me.’
“The very second I did that, I felt the buzz. The glass on my car began to fall away. The presence just left.”
Samme says his craving for drugs and alchol instantly disappeared. He says, "The cocaine. Gone. Done. The speed. Flushed it. Everything was gone. That’s what God did.”
Jeanie began to notice the difference. She recalls, “His attitude began to change, and he wasn’t so obnoxious. His spirit became gentler.”
“I said, 'This family is going to church this morning.' Of course, Jeanie was like giddy,” Samme says.
In time, he put the bar scene behind him and began workng in the church. Today, he is the pastor of Oasis Christian Fellowship in Webster, New York.
“If you don’t believe in miracles, then don’t believe in me. 'Cause I am one. There’s no way in the world. No way in the world that I would be here today if it wasn’t for the righteous and fervent prayer of a loving wife,“ Samme says. “I’ve lived the lie. The only thing that I’ve found in my life that was satisfying and increases on a daily basis is my relationship with Jesus Christ. He loves me so much.”
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