Up From the Ashes: Danny Byrd

Danny and Tina Byrd

Danny Byrd is an ordained Church of God bishop and full-time evangelist/missionary based in Eastern North Carolina.

Is there any particular message the Lord is laying on your heart these days?

I love to preach the fundamental doctrines of the blood of Jesus Christ, the cross of Christ, sanctification, and regeneration; but the baptism in the Holy Ghost is what I preach at least once, if not more, during a revival.

I’ve found in the modern church that a lot of folks believe in Jesus but they’re bogged down between being saved by God’s grace and experiencing Pentecost power to live a victorious life. Many times I ask, “Have you received the baptism in the Holy Ghost?” Maybe 20 percent of the congregation will raise their hand “yes.”

How are people responding to the Pentecostal message?

            A lot of the younger Christians don’t seem to know much about the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. It’s like we need an awakening to get back to Biblical doctrine within the Church of God.

Of course, anytime the anointing waxes hot, people are filled with the Holy Spirit, and it creates an evangelism explosion. I’ve seen it happen in younger folks, middle-aged folks, and older folks as well.

What is your church background?

            In 1930, my great-great grandfather and my great-grandfather were charter members of the Erwin, North Carolina, Church of God. But until recent years, I didn’t even know I had this deep heritage in the church.

My mom and dad died when I was 2 years and 10 months old. My grandmother raised me in the church until I was about 9 years old, when she and my step-grandfather divorced. He was an alcoholic, and we fell out of church.

I got caught up in smoking weed. By the time I was 14, I was smoking crack cocaine. It took me down a long, long winding road.

I was arrested on July 4, 2009, and spent 28 days in jail. Starting in Genesis, I read just about the whole Old Testament during those 28 days. I was pleading with God, “You’ve got to get me out of this mess!” We always cry out to God when we get in trouble.

About a month after my release, I violated my probation. This time I was in jail 45 days, reading the Bible again and crying out to God.

On December 14, 2009, I was arrested for the third time in five months, and I was put in solitary confinement. The Holy Spirit spoke to me, Where are you going to run to now?

I began to weep as I bowed down by that steel bed and cried out to God. He saved me and sanctified me, and I began to speak in tongues as the Holy Spirit gave the utterance. I remember thinking, God, how merciful You are!

That day was a stake in the ground—a benchmark—and I’ve never turned away since.

What happened after your conversion?

            I began to have prayer meetings in jail, even though some people mocked me. I would lead Bible study at a table, and this one African-American man would pace back and forth, very antsy, and look over at us. He did this day after day.

One day he came running fast toward us and slid on his knees right up to our table. He was weeping. He said, “What can I do to be saved?” I led him to the Lord!

After I became a trustee in the jail, one day an officer called me to his desk to talk privately. I was very apprehensive, wondering, What have I done?

He said, “I’ve been watching you and the joy and the peace that you have. I know you’re a Christian.” Then he said, “My marriage is falling apart. My daughter is on drugs. I have nowhere to turn. I want you to pray for me and my family.”

I was amazed. Even though I was locked up in jail, I was more free than this man who had the key.

How were you released from jail?

            We made a plea bargain that I would go to a residential program. But somehow they released me before transporting me to Potter’s Wheel Ministries (Mount Olive, N.C.). My wife, Tina, had told me I could not come back home, but she did allow me to stay until I made it into Potter’s Wheel on March 19, 2010. I stayed there six months. I had a lot of inner healing issues I needed to deal with, and God really helped me during that time.

Although Tina had told me, “We’re done,” I fasted and prayed for our marriage. About five weeks before I was to be released from Potter’s Wheel, Tina visited. She told me the Lord had told her, Let him come home.

How has the Lord used your testimony to minister to others?

            My whole ministry was birthed out of my testimony. When I finished Potter’s Wheel, I had never shared my testimony publicly. I got my first opportunity in March 2011, at the White Oak Community Church in Maysville, North Carolina, and I spoke for about 50 minutes. After the service, my Aunt Doris told me, “I believe you’re called to preach. God is going to do something great with you.”

That year I preached five times, always to tell my testimony. I asked the Lord, Is this all I’m going to do? In 2012, my schedule went from 5 times in a pulpit to 50 times!

People have told me, “You have different levels on which you can minister to people” because of the grief of losing my mom and the deliverance from 27 years of drug addiction. When my grandfather died, he left me $104,000, and I spent it in 6 months. I’ve probably spent close to a half-million dollars in my lifetime on drugs. Most people would be a vegetable using that many drugs.

I believe there is a beauty to brokenness. When you’re brought to the lowest, basest component of who you are; God can raise you up out of the ashes, anoint you, and use you.

I preach the Gospel to win souls, but I’m also preaching to the church to bring revival—to bring fire so they have a more passionate walk with the Lord.

There’s also another facet to our ministry—my wife and I have been on about 12 mission trips. When Dr. Tim Hill was the director of Church of God World Missions, he preached a camp-meeting service in Falcon, North Carolina. He prophesied to me, “The Lord says you’ve been called to mission work, but you don’t have a place to start. You don’t know who talk to and you don’t have any money. But God has anointed you for this.”

After that night’s service, Brother Hill had about a 5-minute window to speak with me. He looked me in the eye and said, “Raise some money for a short-term mission trip. If it’s God’s will for your life, the doors are going to fly open.”

Later that year, I went to Mazatlán, Sinaloa, Mexico. Then I went on the first church-plant mission led by Pastor Richard Dial in Ecuador. So that’s how our missionary work started.

What role does Tina play in the ministry?

            Tina is a mighty, mighty prayer warrior. She fasts and prays, and she normally sings. She speaks some, and she works in the altar. I could not do what I do if it weren’t for her backing me.

Two weeks after we got married in 2004, I went out on a crack binge. I was gone for a week, and we separated. During the first five years of our marriage, we separated probably 10 times.

After my salvation and call to ministry, we once ministered to a couple in a similar situation from which God had delivered us. When we left the church, I was very quiet. Tina said, “You know, they remind me of us.”

I asked her, “Honey, why did you stay? Why did you hold on after five years?”

She said “Because the Lord told me, He’s your mate, and you’re going to do ministry together.

People used to tell me I would never amount to anything. One family member told me, “You’re going to be dead in a ditch before you’re 40 years old. You’re nothing.”

But, by God’s grace, I’ve been able to overcome. And I believe the Word of the Lord, which says, “To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God” (Revelation 2:7).

You can contact Evangelist Boyd through dannybyrdministries.com or by calling 910-658-8001.