Tennessee's Wild Ride
By Sheryl Fountain
The 700 Club
“We went bar-hopping, and I started doing two shots of Beam and a shot of Budweiser. I started to get ripped, and we went to the go go bar down the street and smoked a couple of joints. I left the go go bar and was doing 85 miles an hour down the road. I went to take a turn, and I don’t know if I yelled Jesus or God. I yelled something out, and the bike turned and catapulted. I almost went over a power line and landed on my feet. I fell back and had no feeling from my waist down.”
Tennessee William Morse had survived several accidents in his lifetime, but this one would end a long road of rebellion. As a child, Tennessee never felt accepted or wanted. He says, “I was picked on a lot, constantly called names. I wanted to be cool and accepted. Everyone wants to be accepted. Everyone wants to be loved.”
By the time he was 12, he was not only doing drugs but selling them. He recalls, “I was caught up in some pretty heavy stuff at that age. It wasn’t about the money it was just about being cool.”
In high school, Tennessee was introduced to a local biker club, The Renegades. “They’d ride up on their bikes, man, and I was attracted to that,” he says. “Nobody messed with you. Know what I mean? I was messed with all my life. They took me under their wing, and I got my first tattoo.”
Tennessee never became an official member of the club, but he embraced the lifestyle.
“There’s more drinking than anything. A lot of one night stands with different people. A lot of riding. There’s a lot of intimidation going on. You weren’t going to mess them with. I’ve seen people get beat half to death. I’ve seen people beat unrecognizable. It was good to be accepted and not messed with no more. Yes, it was nice.”
When he wasn’t riding with The Renegades, Tennessee was traveling with rock bands. That’s where he was introduced to crystal meth.
“Everything that you would want in any kind of drug form was there for free. I didn’t really like it, to be honest with you. It was just to be cool.”
This need to feel accepted came with near fatal results. He recalls, “My body wasn’t functioning right. I was just totally flipping out. I ended up staying up for eight days. I flat lined at Lee Memorial. I died.”
The doctor’s were able to revive him, but despite his near-death experience, Tennessee went back to his regular routine.
“I started drinking more and smoking more pot, because I didn’t like staying straight. Thought about killing myself a few times. It’s like I really wasn’t happy, but I thought I was. As long as I was around everybody and I was around the lights, the excitement, the clubs, the motorcycles and the bands, I was good but seems a lot of times when I got home I was depressed.”
In the early morning hours on New Year’s Day, Tennessee’s wild ride finally came to an end.
“I went to take a turn and the bike turned. I almost went over the power lines. I was paralyzed. I could not move my lower end, and I was laying there, just thinking. I’m not walking anymore, and I still had a little bit of a buzz but it was pretty much gone. I just said, ‘Jesus, if You just let me walk, I’ll walk with You. I’m done.’ I knew I was done.”
Immediately after he prayed this, feeling started to come back to into his legs. The next day, still sore from the accident, he went to the doctor.
“I went to the emergency room, and the doctor said the impact of the bruise that I had on my heel could have shattered everything. I shouldn’t be walking. I said, ‘I know.’”
Aware that he was miraculously spared, Tennessee committed his life to the Lord. “I’ve been in 11 motorcycle and car wrecks. My 11th brought me to Christ. No sex, drugs, rock’n’roll, no high could ever touch the peace I had. It was like I was healed.”
Since the accident, Tennessee says that God has completely changed him.
“My life is totally restored. I got a four-year-old boy now, and I’ve been married for 11 years. I don’t want anything to do with drugs or alcohol or my old lifestyle. God put it on my heart to start this Christian Soldiers group I’m in. You can still be a biker and hang out with bikers but do the right thing. Now I’m national president.
"I look back at all the times that I have been spared of death and getting beat half to death ‘cause I know God was there. He blesses my in spite of myself. I still look around and have to smile the way He takes care of me. He was patient and put up with me for so long waiting for me to come to Him. The only reason why I am sitting here talking to you and not in dead or in prison is because of Jesus Christ.”
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