A 22-year-old man of Nigerian descent is now committed to solving knife crime which has been rocking parts of London in recent times.
According to reports, the former gangster turned pastor, Enrique Uwadiae who was stabbed three times by a gang rival and almost died, prayed to God: “If you save me, I will serve you.”
Last week, Uwadiae spoke at a Be The Change meeting, sponsored by The Sun on Sunday as part of its Beat The Blades campaign.
Enrique, who grew up on the tough Crawford Estate, in South East London, said: “I used to be violent because of the way I’d grown up and what I’d seen on the road.
“Poverty brings anger and leads to a gang lifestyle. Aged 15 I was arrested for double attempted murder after a gang clash, though the charges were later dropped.
“But everything changed for me in November 2013, when I was 17, and I was stabbed in the arm, back and femoral artery. I collapsed in a pool of blood and thought my life was over.
“Before I was rushed to hospital, I remember praying to God.
“I heard about a church called SPAC Nation, whose leader was taking young boys involved in gang crime and welcoming them. So I joined.”
Pastor Enrique preaches at SPAC Nation, a “young dynamic church” which sees more than 20 ministers inspiring 2,000 young people from 17 communities at pop-up services around London.
The church, founded by Tobi Adegboyega, the Nigerian-born cousin of Star Wars actor John Boyega, actively takes to the streets looking for gang members to reform.