David Scarberry

David Scarberry 3

   My name is David Scarberry, and I’m the founder of Freedom Upholstery. It was just two years ago that I was delivered from a lifetime of drugs. I got excited reading my Bible. I didn't get very far when I got to the Israelites coming out of Egypt, and I was just blown away. I thought, "Man", and I was asking God, "Are these the dumbest people that you've ever created?" I mean, all the plagues, all the miracles, they literally walked through the Red Sea on dry ground, and then you read a couple paragraphs later and they're right back to their pagan worship of a golden calf or their Baal worship. And at this point, the only miracle that I knew was I had been delivered from drugs and alcohol a year or two earlier.So, I was asking God to help me understand how these people can be so stupid. I mean, it was just like He opened my mind and He let me see my whole life.

   God has been doing Red Sea miracles in me at an early age. So, this is what I like to call my own personal Exodus experience if you will, or my 30, 35 years of wandering in the wilderness. And it started when I was eleven years old. I did my first line of cocaine when I was eleven years old. And I like to call that my gateway drug because from there I went to cocaine, then to pot and alcohol, and eventually harder things, such as, heroin, meth, mushrooms, acid, ecstasy, and you name it. I've done it and probably abused it.

   But I wasn't an all day, everyday type of user; I was a weekend warrior knight. And so, I took care of my stuff in other words, I graduated from high school. I remember back in high school people asking me, "How do you party harder than anybody and still make good grades?" And to me, it was very simple. I didn't go to school high, I got high after school. But anyway, I graduate high school and college; I went to Oklahoma State University. I actually studied in London, England, at the London International School of Economics, and graduated with a Bachelor's Degree and moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma, and became a mortgage banker. Things were going good. I was very successful. I was making a name for myself. And then along came crystal meth. And that was the first time in my life that I started becoming an all-day, everyday type of a user. I was a functioning addict but eventually, it caught up with me and I ended up losing my job. I got fired from my job because I was a meth addict. So, I opened my own mortgage company. And again, I was a functional addict that did very well. I had a plaque on my wall, a Certificate of Excellence Award, personally given to me from the Mayor of Tulsa. There were months that I brought home $20,000 or more. So, on the outside looking in, I appear to be very successful. But what most people didn't know about me was that I was a meth addict. And I was an all-day, everyday user.

    I remember, even back then, praying and asking God, "Can you please deliver me from this meth because I had tried and tried, with no luck and it just had me." Well, on January 18th of 2001, the SWAT team kicked my door down and raided my house and threw me in jail. I was all over the news in Tulsa for two solid weeks. They had me as the largest manufacturer and distributor of gamma-Hydroxybutyric acid (GHB) of the entire state. This was my first offense, but they're trying to give me a life sentence. So, I fought this for a couple years, and I still ended up with a 15-year sentence. So, off I go to prison. One day, I'm wearing a suit and tie and the next day, I'm in shackles and chains.

    And I'm not ashamed to admit this; one of the scariest days of my life probably was stepping off that prison bus and getting out into the prison yard. There were about 2,000 inmates out there. And man, you could hear a pin drop because they all stopped and they're watching the fresh meat which was me and some other guys getting off the bus. But nonetheless, I was in prison, not much you can do about it except get into the life once you're there. I remember one day, I was walking to the laundry, and I was carrying my prison grays. And I was looking up at the razor wire and how the sun was reflecting off it. I just said, "You know God? When I was asking you to deliver me from meth, I was thinking more along the lines of the 12-step program." This is not what I had in mind. But nonetheless, God had His hand on me in prison. I'm reminded of Joseph being sold into slavery and the Bible says he was blessed. Well, I was blessed in prison, and God opened doors for me. And the first door that He opened for me was getting me a job in the laundry on a sewing machine.

   When I got to prison, I was cleaning for eight hours a day until I could get another job. It might take two or three months to get one. It's horrible, cleaning eight hours a day. So, one day somebody was walking around asking people, "Hey, do you know how to sew?" And I'm like, "Why?" And he said, "Well, one of the sewing machine guys is getting sent home today and there's an opening." I said, "Yeah, I know how to sew." But I didn't know how to sew, I had never sewed in my life, but I didn't want to clean eight hours a day anymore.

   My dad, and my brother, both did upholstery. I had seen them sew. I didn't know how, but I had seen what it looked like. So, I go over to the laundry, and there was an empty sewing machine sitting there with a guy on the next sewing machine. The guy said, "Just sit down there and wait for your interview. So, I sat down and asked the guy next to me, "What's going to happen? How do I get this job?" He said, "Oh, he's going to come over and make sure you know how to run the sewing machine." I said, "It's been a while, can you tell me how to turn this thing on?" So, he reaches over and turns the machine on for me. And then I sat there for a minute and said, "I don't know if I ran this particular model." Can you show me a stitch or two? So, he shows me a stitch for two, just minutes before my interviewed.

   I completely bluffed my way into this job. But I got the job and started sewing in the laundry room in the prison yard. And this reminded me of my dad and brother doing upholstery. After I had many months of sewing experience, I came up with the great idea. They we're going to buy new mattresses and pillows and I thought they could be recovered. So, I ended up recovering 3,000 mattresses and 3,000 pillows. This landed my picture on the front page of the city newspaper, and the caption read, "Inmate saves department of correction $3,800 dollars." And this goes into my permanent file, I mean, you can't make this stuff up. So, that was the first door God opened for me. The other thing was that I was the only inmate in prison that had a college degree. So, I started tutoring guys. I started teaching them. Some of them couldn’t read, and some of them wanted to get their General Education Development (GED). I was a Narcotics Anonymous Facilitator. I and one other guy started a prayer circle, and by the time I left, there were 48 men in our group.

   These were hardened criminals standing in a circle holding hands praying to God before we went to bed every night. And all these things they went into my file. I was just shy of a year in prison, I was called back to Tulsa to go before the judge and they called it a judicial review. As I stood before the judge, she said, "Mr. Scarberry, I have read through your file and never in all my years have I ever seen anything like this. I'm going to suspend the remaining balance of your sentence. However, if you get caught as much as jaywalking, you're coming back to prison for the full 15 years from day one." So, I got to go home from prison after only serving less than a year of my 15-year sentence...

      So, I get out of prison within two years, and now I'm a convicted felon, remember? Within two years, I get full custody of my three-year-old son, and landed an awesome job in Dallas, Texas. So, I packed up, me and my son, and we moved to Dallas, Texas. Things were going good. I was setting sales records for my company. I was only the third person in the company’s history to ever hit this certain sales goal. They told me I needed to shoot for it when I started, and when I hit it, they're like "Oh my God, I can't believe you made it, you're only the third person ever." Anyway, things were going good but I got that itch. If you're an ex-heroin addict, you know the itch I’m talking about. I didn't go straight back to the streets and start doing the hard drugs, but I went to a doctor instead. I got pain pills and muscle relaxers. Then I started getting Adderall and then one doctor became two doctors and two became three and four became five doctors. And so, I was a full-pledge functioning addict again, but in my mind I wasn’t using a needle. It was okay because it was legal. I had a prescription for it. So, besides being an addict again, things were going good. And I decided it was time to buy my son and me a house. And so, I had looked at several houses, and I was praying about the house I wanted. So to make sure I bought the right house in the right neighborhood to raise my son in, I asked God. And I remember growing up and talking to my mom as a little kid saying, "Mama, why won't God just give me a real answer? Why won't he write me a letter and send it to me in the mail or send me a text message or just audibly say, 'David, this is what I want you to do.'" Well, I got one of those answers on this house, I'll never forget, I had visions of the house. And I'm nobody, I mean, who am I to have visions? But I'll never forget it. I was at work one day, and I would be standing at the coffee pot or at the water fountain, and I would start daydreaming for 10 to 15 minutes at a time just living in this house.

   Nothing special, I was just dreaming about walking through the house, mowing the lawn, and it was a specific house. Then I realized, "Oh my, I got an answer. I actually got an answer. I had visions that I was living in this house." So, I call my realtor and I said, "Man, the house in Allen, Texas, that's my house. I prayed to God, and He gave me an answer. I want that house." And he said, "Okay, you want me to put in an offer?" I said, "Yes, I do." And they were selling it for $135,000. I told him my first offer was $119,000. He said, "That's kind of low." I said, "Well, I can always go up, but I can't go down." So, about a week later, he calls me and I said, "Did I get the house?" He said, "No, no. You didn't get the house. In fact, not only did you not get it, but you offended her because of your low offer." He said, "They actually had seven people that offered more than I did. And they sold it." And I went, "What?" I got an answer. I had a vision. And so, I was just scratching my head and he said,  “I'll set up some more houses this weekend to look at." And I said, "No, I'm not looking at any other houses. Didn't you hear me? I told you I prayed to God and got an answer. And that's my house." He said, "Yes, but didn't you hear me tell you that they sold that house." And so, I was confused. I was discouraged. But I wasn't going to go look at any more houses. So, I just started working again. And it must have been three, four weeks later, I had forgotten about looking at houses. And my secretary rang me and she said, "I've got Mr. Watkins on the phone." That was my realtor. And so, I pick up the phone and said, "How did I get it?" And he said, "You are not going to believe this." I said, "Yes I will, just tell me how I got the house." And he said, "I think the financing fell through. I'm not for sure exactly what happened. But I do know that the seller went from being mad and offended at you to specifically saying, "We want to sell our house to that single dad with his young boy." So, I've got my house. Yeah. Two months after I bought the house, I lost my corporate job because I was a drug addict, and I'm pumping all these pills.

   That's right, my drug usage caught up with me. So, I lost my job. This is 2008, after the housing market crash. I couldn't get a mortgage job for six months. I have a new house, new house payment, my son to raise and no job. And after about six months, my dad gave me a sewing machine and he said, "Well, you can do upholstery," and I said, "No thanks." But I was getting desperate. I was standing in line for food. I was out of money. So, I decided to start a mortgage company, but I also got this sewing machine. So, I would spend half of a day trying to generate mortgage loan leads, and half of the day trying to generate upholstery leads. And after a month, I had two to three pages of possible upholstery jobs. I didn't have one single loan application for a mortgage. So, I open up an upholstery company, and that's what I do today. I literally went to prison to get trained for what I do today for a living.

      It’s crazy, I know when I look back on it, and think, "Wow, God had a plan and a purpose for me and that was to do upholstery.” I mean, I ran from that my whole life. I didn't want to do what my dad and my brother did, but here I am. Anyway, so I opened up an upholstery company. I'm mainly doing boat upholstery, and things are going good. And then we have a three-year drought in Dallas. So, the boat business dried up and I had to start doing furniture upholstery. I was struggling. I mean, yeah, I think people brought back more chairs that I had redone. People were happy, and times were trying. And then this guy came along needing a job. He had twenty-five years of furniture upholstery experience, so I hired him right away. Well, he brought a little baggage with him; he was also a meth addict. And so it wasn't probably two to three weeks and I'm back in the saddle. I'm still doing all the pain pills and all the Adderall and everything, but on top of that, I started doing meth. I went on a five or six year binge, and I was raising my son at the time as well. It got bad. I mean, the first few years from that functioning addict, but then I got where I couldn't function. It got so bad that there were many months my electric was turned off. There were several months that my son and I, after work, we would gather up all the five-gallon buckets that we could find. And we would go to the gas station and fill them up with water and bathe with it and flush our toilet. It got pretty low.

   Then the summer came around, my son was on summer break. So, one year, I let him go spend a month with his mom. And that went well. So, the next year, I let him go again for a month. Only this time, she didn't let him come back. And because everybody knew how strung out I was. And so, I lost my son. And I didn't even fight it, because I couldn't even take care of myself. I mean, I couldn't keep my water or electric on. My son was the only person I've ever loved more than myself, and I lost him. So, I had to get clean. So, I told the guy that worked for me, that was the meth addict, I said, "Man, you can still work for me, but you can't work in my shop, because I can't be around the meth. You've got to get your own shop and I'll still let you work for me." So, he moved out and I actually managed to get myself clean for a month or two. And then I got real lonely because I had burned all the bridges with my family. I was barely speaking to any of them. My neighbors wouldn't talk to me because I was a meth addict. I had a lot of traffic in the house, I'd be out in the driveway at three or four in the morning with the angle grinder, grinding bumpers off the cars or whatever, all of my friends were drug addicts. I wasn't associated with them because I was trying to get myself clean. I felt like the only friends I had were my dog and my TV. I remember saying a prayer to God and asking Him, “If the only friend that You're going to allow me to have is the TV, make that be a blessing?"

   Within three days, I figured out how to put YouTube on my TV. And so, I sat in my shop and worked all day and listen to YouTube. I found everything on YouTube. I was blown away. I found everything from Alex Jones to flat earth. And then all these preachers and these preachers told stories that I never heard about in the Bible. There were fallen angels, giants, and talking donkeys and demons. And it was better than any Marvel movie or comic book. And I got so into these preachers. I would work and listen to preachers all day long. And then some of them started talking about this conference coming up in Dallas - Hear the Watchmen Conference. And as I listen to these preachers, they told more about this conference. I just felt drawn to go to this conference. I don't know why. I just felt like I needed to go and I thought, "Man, I can't afford tickets to that." But the more I watched, the more I listen. I became convicted that I needed to go to this conference. So, I scraped up the money and bought the tickets. And then that same month my buddy who's doing my work for me, that's a meth addict, gets kicked out of a shop. So, he's got all these jobs of mine, but nowhere to do them, so he has to move back into my shop to do them. Now I’m back in the saddle again. That addiction, I like to describe it like an old jacket, one of those old leather bomber jackets that you had for 30 years and it should have been thrown away 20 years ago. It's ugly and bad looking but it's comfortable, then I fell right back into that drug addiction.

   And yes, I went to a new low. And it was different this time because I had a couple months clean before he moved back in with the goal of getting my son back. I remember before this period when I would drive to the drug house and get a little giddy with excitement because I'm going to get drugs, I'm going to get high. And this time it changed. I would be crying, bawling, tears running down my face and me yelling to God, "Why can't you take this from me, I hate who I am. I don't like who I am. I'm letting myself down. I'm letting my son down. I have no control over this. And this is how I live." This was when my buddy moved back in November, and the conference was in March. And during those five months, I got so strung out. I didn't know what day it was most days. And so, I must have written down the date of the conference on the calendar or something because I still to this day, can’t figure out when and where the conference was. So, anyway, I figured out the conference was this coming weekend.

   Then the devil was speaking to my mind. I was asking myself, "Why? Why would you go to a Bible conference? I mean, I’m a drug addict, a meth user. What business do you have going to a Bible conference? I mean, why are you going?" But then I remember how broke I was when I bought the tickets, and I remembered I felt so impressed to get the tickets and for some reason I went ahead and bought it. And that's the only reason I went, I thought, "I need to go at least one day to check this out and see why I paid money for tickets to go see some preachers." So, it was on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. And I'd get up in the morning, and I'd hit that meth pipe, and get as high as I could, and drive 45-minute to Grapevine. I'd sit and listen at the conference until I couldn't stay awake anymore. Maybe half the day or three quarters a day. And then, yes, I would drive home and sit in front of my computer, watch the rest on live stream as I'm hitting the meth pipe. So, that's how I watched the conference. They started talking about baptisms. And I thought, "Oh, baptism, maybe that's why I'm supposed to be at the conference." I remembered I was baptized when I was a kid. And I kept listening to the conference, I kept hearing about these baptisms. I thought, "Maybe this is why I'm here." So, I called my dad for advice. My dad was a preacher and I asked him, "Dad, I’m thinking about getting baptized again." And he said, "No, you really don't need to. You got baptized when you're eight, you don't need to do it again." So, I said, "All right. Well, I guess that's not what I'm supposed to do at the conference." There was a battle going on and I’m thinking, "You don't need to get baptized." And this other thought was that there might be hope, and maybe this was why I'm here.

   So, Saturday, I listen to the conference as long as I could and drove home and started to hit my meth pipe. And I probably stayed up until four or five in the morning on Saturday night smoking meth. Of course, on Sunday morning I woke up late. And when I got up, I was mad, discouraged, because I've missed it. And then that hope popped up, I thought, "No let's try it. Let's go. Maybe we can make it." So, I got high and went to the conference. When I got there, I had missed all the morning services. They were already baptizing people and I thought, “I'm too late." And then that hope came in and it was overwhelming. I just had to figure it out. I had to go do it. I had to see if maybe this was why I was here. So, the line was short. By time I got changed, I got in line, and I went down into the waters of baptism. And I remember telling pastor Begley, “Can you hold me under the water a little while longer because I want to make sure that I'm clean." And he looked at me and he said, "You got it brother." But I don't know if he held me under longer or not. When I got baptized, and came out of the waters of baptism, I don't know what I was expecting but nothing happened. I was kind of expecting the light to shine down from heaven or God to say, "Behold, this is my son in whom I'm well pleased or something," but nothing happened. I was kind of embarrassed because nothing happened. Nothing except from the day that I got baptized until today, that I'm speaking to you. I've never touched meth again. My son moved home six months later after I got baptized. My relationships with my family and my neighbors were restored, and better than they were before. My business was exploding. I've got a hunger for the Word; I've read the entire Bible since I got baptized. I'm starting to read it again. I've got a hunger for God's word and a desire to share my story, and I appreciate you letting me come here and share it with you today.

David's Hearing His Voice Testimony

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