From gang to pulpit— the William Elliot story

The former leader of the motorcycle gang called, “Satan’s Choice,” said his alcoholism and criminal activity at a young age gave him a testimony that he now uses to help people as an evangelist.

“I was an alcoholic by the time I was 15 years old,” William Elliot, now a licensed UPCI minister said. “I started drinking at 13 and couldn’t stop.”

Elliot, now 89, was abused at an early age by his parents who were both alcoholics, which led him to be curious as to why they drank, leading him to try alcohol in middle school.

After moving away from home at the age of 16, Elliot said he found himself homeless in the city of Toronto. He said that in his experiences “on the streets,” individuals had to join a gang or they would likely be beaten to death. 

Elliot found some friends that had some work as a “car junkie,” in which he would work on cars, stolen or not, at late hours of the night. He and those same friends started their own motorcycle gang. 

Elliot was arrested once early in his life for fleeing the scene of a crime, in which he witnessed a shooting. He had no money and no family that he could call, so he was unable to post bail. 

Being incarcerated for nearly four months, Elliot finally was able to appear in court. The judge told him that he was lucky, and since this was his first documented issue with the law, he would be placed on probation for three years. 

That did not last long, as Elliot was later arrested for breaking into a post office. 

“I don’t know why I did it,” he said. “I was drunk and who knows in what mindset.”

Elliot said he was expecting to face serious jailtime, and he laid in his cell one night questioning all of his life choices. 

He prayed for a light-handed judge and for God to allow for him to not face serious jailtime, and said if that happened, he would give his life to God. 

The night before his trial, Elliot’s judge had a heart attack. 

“I’m not saying God gave him a heart attack,” he said, “but he made a way for me to have a different judge.” 

Elliot was assigned a new judge who told him it was his lucky day. He was given a longer probation, and he took that as a sign to change his life. 

Elliot later began attending church, received the Holy Ghost, and became an evangelist. 

“58 years later and I am happier now than I ever was when I was in that gang or drinking,” Elliot said. “God has never, nor will ever, let me down.” 

He gave this testimony to the New Beginning Apostolic Church on Saturday to try and inspire them to keep their lives on track. He reminded the attendees that “we as Christians, are in this world, but not of this world.”

Mike Morgan can be contacted at [email protected]