Rebellious Teen Enthralled by Nation of Islam Finds Truth

SES Real Stories #25

“In high school, I was fascinated by the Nation of Islam.”

Sule moved with his family from Jamaica to Toronto when he was a child. Malcolm X, Louis Farrakhan—that’s who Sule looked up to as he bought into some of their ideology.

Growing up with three older brothers, he said,

“Our faith was basically the faith of our mother. Our mother went to church, but we were drug babies. We were drug to church. When we came of age, we didn’t want anything to do with it.”

Sule found church long, hot and boring. It was more of a tradition, not something he really understood.

“I wanted to do my own thing, so I became very rebellious,” he said.

By 14, he was hopping from one friend’s house to another. His mom said he could always come back home, but his occasional stays never lasted. He always left again.

“I spent a good portion of my high school years—instead of in class—I was in New York with my brother. He was a DJ.”

Around that time, a friend started sharing the Gospel with Sule’s brother. Gradually, the brother asked his friend to do the same for Sule, concerned that his youngest sibling would end up in prison if he continued down a reckless path.

“I am totally becoming this black, nationalistic person, and then God sends this white guy to come evangelize to me,” Sule said, smiling.

Sule avoided the friend time and again, but eventually began asking lots of questions at lunch one day.

“I kept asking him about the existence of God. How do you know the Bible is true? What makes Christianity different? And he would shoot back answers.”

Then the friend shared Mark 8:36: “For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?”

“It absolutely devastated me,” Sule said.

Walking home with his brother that day, he couldn’t focus. He kept coming back to that verse.

“That very night, I went on my knees and said, ‘God, I don’t know what I’m doing, I don’t know how to do it, but I don’t want to live the life I’m living.’”

Now 44, Sule has Bible college behind him and pastors a church in Toronto. He’s working toward his Doctor of Ministry from Southern Evangelical Seminary. His dissertation is on the Nation of Islam.

He found SES after first searching for apologetics courses closer to his home in Toronto.

“Nobody does apologetics around here. You may have a course, but the concept of having a degree in it doesn’t exist. … When I found SES, I was so excited.”

As a pastor, counselor and father of three, he said he can still focus on his studies because the courses are so “intriguing.” He credits “top notch professors” for that—particularly Richard Howe. Sule calls Howe “very intelligent but funny,” adding that his course on the existence of God blew him away.

“I want to round up people in Canada and bring them to SES,” Sule said.

While preaching and teaching, Sule tries to give people a thoughtful response to deep questions.

“The average person on the street is not concerned with what Calvin ate for lunch. They have concerns about moral issues … slavery … evil … death.” Most questions on Christianity, he said, come down to “How do I know?

And he wants his everyday interactions to point to answers.

“I’m like the barber shop apologist,” he said. “If you’re familiar with the black barbershop, it’s the hub of religious, political and entertainment conversation.”

Sule has come a long way since that rebellious teen seeking out trouble. Now his focus is on building God’s kingdom, and his time at SES is widening his apologetic influence.

Even Sule’s father approached him with his own set of questions about Christianity before ultimately giving his life to Jesus.

Now both his parents are members of his church.

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