Ulric Herelle: From Turning Point to Church Leader

Ulric Herelle

“One night I got home really drunk. I was barely able to crawl up the little hill that led to my home but somehow I did. When I got into the house, I knelt down and I told God that I’d throw myself in front of a truck if he did not change my life.”

Ulric Herelle was a wreck. His life was falling apart and he knew it. He was a slave to alcohol and he needed help desperately. Finally, he made a deal with God: either you save my life or I take it. That’s it, plain and simple.

That was years ago. Today Herelle’s a pastor at Shiloh Ministries and his life is now the total opposite of what it’d once been. According to him, God saved him.

“My father was an alcoholic and I kept telling myself I never want to be like him but it happened,” Herelle explained.

“When you’re young and you’re out there, it’s like you’re free; you don’t have to answer to anybody. You feel like you could do anything. I started partying at an early age and I got caught up in alcohol; it got worse as time went by,” he said.

Herelle wanted to stop but he couldn’t. He was playing with fire—he was certainly aware of it, and he knew it would destroy him. But how could he stop when it was so alluring?

“Eventually it gets to a point where you cannot focus on anything positive. Your mind is controlled by it and that is the dangerous thing that most people don’t realize; it affects your mentality. When you’re young, you’re also looking to get high. Before marijuana was really in circulation there used to be things like NX and LSD; these kinds of things were on the market and my friends and I had access to it,” he said.

He hit rock bottom—fast. That’s when he made a deal with God. He wasn’t sure if God would take him up on his offer but he had to try. What did he have to lose? Everything.

“I told God if I leave home the next day and I go back to drinking the same way—if he’s there and he allows it, I’m going to throw myself in front of a truck,” Herelle said.

It seemed outrageous… out of place… but he was desperate.

The next day he went to a rum shop. He was right where he’d started, but this time, the result was different.

“I was doing a foundation for a lady for a small house and I needed to put 30 blocks and it’s like the whole day was passing me by and I’m trying to fix 30 blocks—it just wasn’t working. I went to a rum shop. Whilst I was there I noticed there was a book on the counter called ‘The 24 Hours’. I opened the book and it said ‘turn your will and your life over to the care of God’. I asked the guy who was running the shop where I could do that,” the pastor said.

“He was a recovering addict and the book was from ‘Turning Point’. When I asked him where I could go to turn my life around, he said I can take you there. The guy closed the shop, he went to my home with me to get clothing, he went to town with me and we bought toiletries and then we went to Turning Point. It was almost 6:00 p.m. When we got there the manager said they don’t admit people after 6:00 p.m. I said to him I am not leaving until you do what you have to do for me.  I told him if I have to sleep on the concreate I will because I am not leaving the same way I came and they allowed me to stay,” Herelle explained.

It was one of the best things that ever happened to him and he calls it the “work of God.”

“Why did you turn to God?” I asked.

“It’s like I reached a point where if I didn’t get help from somewhere, I’d prefer to die, so if there is a God—in fact, that was how I said it, I said if there is a God you have to help me. I said no human being is supposed to live that way so if I am a human being in your sight do something for me and it’s not by chance that when I went to that shop I found that book on that counter. It can never be,” he said fervently.

God pulled Herelle out of a pit of darkness and now he wants to help others.

“I want people to know how destructive alcohol is. It got to the point where I really wanted to stop but as soon as I got money I went right back to it. It left me broke at times; (it also causes) brain damage and once your brain is damaged you can say your whole life is damaged,” he stressed.

He continued: “(It’s the same thing) with drugs. That is why I have a strong thing against people who are pushing marijuana. They don’t know what this thing does to the minds of young people.”

Herelle is grateful that God intervened when he did. According to him, “I am thankful that I reached a point where I realized life is not supposed to be that way.”

“What do you want people to know about the God you serve?” I enquired.

“I would say that people should come to the realization that God is real and that there is no problem you can have that God cannot get you out of. If you’re battling addiction and you need help feel free to contact me at 518-6376,” he stated.

Herelle stopped drinking alcohol the day he left Turning Point. At that time he was about 40 years old. He’s certainly made a turn around and he has every reason to be proud and now at 70 years old, he looks better than ever. He’s a husband, father and he’s also a Justice of the Peace (JP).

Is he happy? Yes, he certainly is.

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