Ex-NYC Drug Lord Says Turning to Christ Changed Everything for Him, 'I Was a Walking Dead Man'


Instead of selling drugs, a former New York drug lord is now offering something more powerful to those in need — redemption in the name of Jesus Christ.

Herman Mendoza was once one of the most prominent cocaine dealers in the history of New York City.

Today, the Mendoza serves as an associate pastor and the director of PowerHouse Kids Ministry at Promise Ministries International in the very same city.

Recently, Mendoza spoke with Pure Flix about his descent in the drug trade as well as his eventual Christian transformation. The pastor began by explaining what prompted his start in the drug trade.

“I was married and living with my wife and I was laid off from a job that I was working at,” Mendoza told Pure Flix. “And so I was desperate for money.”

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From there, Mendoza began dealing cocaine, a job that proved to be quite profitable for him. And before he knew it, he was getting rich.

“I was spending about $20,000 a day drinking, partying, going to different mansions of different celebrities. And so I was leading a crazy lifestyle. But there was this void in me. Nothing was satisfying me,” Mendoza told CBN.

Mendoza’s destructive behavior brought him back behind bars. It was there, in prison, that Mendoza’s brother, who had become a Christian, devoted all of his efforts into converting Mendoza to the faith.

In the end, his brother was successful.

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“I gave my life to the Lord … there was no other recourse,” Mendoza told Pure Flix. “I said, I need to try God, I’ve tried anything else. … I had millions of dollars, but it was never satisfying.”

“I felt this warmth that enveloped me. I felt the presence of God,” he said.

From there, the new Christian went on to convert his wife, Alexandra, who had decided to leave him, but upon visiting Herman at prison, noticed something had changed.

“(I said) ‘Who are you?’ because I really didn’t know who he was,” Alexandra told CBN. “It was like a shock to me.”

“And he even told me, ‘look even if you never come back to me, and even if you decide this is it and you’re going to get a divorce from me – which you have all the rights to do – you know, I just want you to be OK, I just want you to know the Lord.’”

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Alexandra then joined her husband in accepting Christ as her savior.

Following his release from prison and the start of his new identity in Christ, Mendoza began traveling the world, sharing his story as well as the gospel to all who would listen.

Today, as a pastor in his native New York, Mendoza continues that pursuit.

“I realized that Jesus paid the price for my sin … I was a walking dead man and now I’m alive in Christ.”

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Michael wrote for a number of entertainment news outlets before joining The Western Journal in 2020 as a staff reporter. He now manages the writing and reporting teams, overseeing the production of commentary, news and original reporting content.
Michael Austin graduated from Iowa State University in 2019. During his time in college, Michael volunteered as a social media influencer for both PragerU and Live Action. After graduation, he went on to work as a freelance journalist for various entertainment news sites before joining The Western Journal in 2020 as a staff reporter.

Since then, Michael has been promoted to the role of Manager of Writing and Reporting. His responsibilities now include managing and directing the production of commentary, news and original reporting content.
Ames, Iowa
Iowa State University
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