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The 700 Club with Pat Robertson

The Roys

My Hero, My Dad

By Audra Smith
The 700 Club Jason Roy is the lead singer of the chart-topping Christian band, Building 429. Despite his impressive list of accolades, Jason is most amazed at how God has used his music to change the life of his own father.

“I remember going to the state fair in Texas. It was at the cotton bowl --they always have this huge statue of big tex. As a kid I could always imagine that was my father,” admits Jason.

“Dad was like this mythical figure, he really was. The picture I had of superman was the picture I had of my dad growing up.”

Jason Roy’s father, Ray Roy, was truly a man’s man.  He was a coal miner, motor sport competitor, and pro-power lifter that captured the state title in his weight class, two years in a row.

“You know, when I would say, my dad is the strongest man in Texas, it wasn’t a joke. He had trophies to prove that he was the strongest guy in all of Texas. My dad was the epitome of who I hoped to be,” says Jason.

When Jason was five-years-old, his parents divorced. His father slowly faded out of his life.

“A huge part of my world was crushed. He wasn’t outside to throw a baseball around as much and he wasn’t outside to kick a soccer ball with me. Dad had disappeared and it was really, really hard.”

Jason’s mother remarried a few years later, and Jason moved to California with her and his new stepfather.

“My mom to this day is the strongest woman I’ve ever known," he says. "She is amazing, but my father was everything I had my eyes on."

When Jason was ready to enter high school, he decided to move back to Texas to live with his father.

“I knew that when I was 15-years-old, I could have the choice of whether I could live with my mom or my dad. There was a big court battle, and it was a big court ordeal," recalls Jason.

"I remember the judge calling me into court saying, ’Jason, you have to tell your mom you don’t want to live with her, if you don’t want to.’ That’s the hardest thing I have ever done in my life.”

Jason adds, "I just wasn’t who I wanted to be. If you pushed at me or poked at me, instead of fighting back I would cry and everybody loves to watch that happen to a middle school kids. I have got to change who I am. I thought dad was the answer.“

Because of the distance that separated them, Jason was unaware of his hero’s troubled past.

His father admits, “During the power-lifting years I was not close to God in any way, form, or fashion. My goals were all about power lifting.”

“It was an eat, sleep, drink, thing for me. That is what I lived for,” says Ray. "When I wound up leaving his mom, I was out of control.”

During those years, Ray’s obsession with winning drove him to performance enhancing drugs. His inner turmoil drove him to other illegal drugs and into an addiction that destroyed his life.

“Once you get involved it can consume you.”

“I used intravenous drugs to fill that void in my life, trying to figure out, wow, something is missing in my life, may this is it…well…lets try this or a little more of that…I tried everything, ice, meth, marijuana, x, all of it.”

When Jason returned to Texas, the truth about his father was apparent.

Ray recalls, “I had a very bad temper when I was involved in power lifting and Jason came to live with me. All these extra pressures came in and I didn’t know how to handle them. Things were chaotic at times, totally chaotic.”

“There was drug use, there were different things in his life that took reality and broke it, completely -- so small things that wouldn’t irritate people too much, they really irritated dad," says Jason.

"I was scared of my father…when superman fails and the whole world is in peril, and everything is falling apart, what’s left? The only thing I knew to turn to was God.”

Jason dealt with his turbulent home life by attending a church youth group and faithfully reading his Bible.

He also found healing through writing music.

“I just started writing songs about what it looked like to be me; all the things I was too scared to say to my dad and all the things I wished I could say to my mom…all the brokenness."

 A few years later, the songs Jason wrote exploded onto the contemporary Christian music scene. Jason and his band, Building 429 are consistently at the top of the charts.

But his music created a stir, even closer to home. God used Jason’s music to heal his fallen hero.

Ray remembers it well. “When Jason came back to live with me, God became another inspiration. He was working His way back into my life, through my son! I could see my son -- my son would study his Bible, and he didn’t know I was watching him."

“We used to have a saying. He would always say, 'Dad, I want to be like you,' and I would say, 'no son, I want to be like you.'"
"God was using my son to teach me, and I was starting to see that and it was having a huge impact on me," recalls Ray.

“About two years ago, I went home, and he was completely changed. He just smiled at me and said, 'I’m changed!' remembers Jason. I said,' you are totally different.'"

Jason’s dad fully re-dedicated his life to the Lord two years ago. He found freedom from his past and his addictions.

Ray told Jason, “You are looking at a person who chose God last. I have been in the gutter; I have been down there. He saved me, he forgave me."

"The music that he didn’t like very much when I started [that he kind of blew off] has been a huge cornerstone to the rebuilding of his house of faith," says Jason. "It is a testimony of God’s faithfulness."

Ray agrees. " I was done, everything in my life meant nothing. I said, ‘God, either help me or take me,' and He helped me and he gave me a new lease on life,” says Ray. "He’ll help you. I promise you. He did that with me!”

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