Cleetus Adrian Appears on "Miami Ink"

In 1995 I gave my life to Jesus, and I have never been the same since. In February of 1998, after much prayer, I began a journey that I am still on today. The journey was to tattoo that experience and other experiences with God all over my body so that even when I die, even the mortician will have to hear the Gospel! When I started this long road way back then, I had no idea just where it would take me.

In 1999 my wife, Nichole, and I began Deliverance Bible Church in Hurst, Texas, now one of many “Underground” churches geared to reaching the outcasts, the tattooed, the metal kids, and yes, even a few “normal” people with the message of the cross. It is a wonderful thing to be a part of, and it is an amazing wave to be riding in the Spirit. God is doing great and awesome things, even with the “least of these.” I never thought a tattooed guy like me would see some of the things that I am getting to see now in the kingdom of God. I love it.

"People at our chuch were having visions of me being on national TV."

About a year ago, just after speaking at the ‘Freshwind Youth Conference’ at TACF, God began to open up yet another door for our church and for me, believe it or not, with tattooing. People at our church began to prophesy over me that they were having dreams and visions of me being on national TV. I would blow it off and say things like, “Well, we’ll see what God has in His plans.” But deep down I was beginning to wonder what exactly was about to happen. Some people were even telling me that I was going to be on some sort of reality TV show and that through that I would be spreading the Gospel farther than before.

So, reluctantly I began to investigate different reality shows online. It actually just felt so stupid even thinking about doing something like this. Nevertheless, one afternoon I began to seek the Lord right there in my office at the church, as my computer displayed yet another website for some crazy TV show. As I’m looking at the screen and I’m asking God if He’s even in something so ridiculous, I hear the Lord say very clearly, “I have something much better for you.”

Right then, as I am turning my computer off, my phone rings. It’s the casting department for a television show on the cable network, The Learning Channel (TLC) called “Miami Ink.” They were asking me to be on the show. I found out later that the girl that called me was a Christian, and she said that the Lord had specifically told her to call me to be on the program. I was completely amazed at what God was doing. The casting people even liked my tattoo idea: a blue Jesus with a banner that said, “Born to Raze Hell” (meaning “to destroy hell”). I got the idea from an old Kenneth Hagin, Sr., sermon that I had heard years ago.

"God opened up conversations with the film crew, the lighting people, the tattoo artists..."

In July of this year (2006), I traveled to Miami Beach, Florida and spent an entire afternoon on the set of “Miami Ink” in one of the darkest atmospheres I’ve ever been in telling my testimony over and over and over to just about every single person working on the show. One after another, God opened up conversations with the film crew, the lighting people, the tattoo artists, and the rest.

At one point during the post-tattoo interview, the entire crew stopped what they were doing and just stood there, speechless. I asked them if something was wrong or if they needed me to redo something I had said. Then the man leading the interview just said very soberly, “We’ve just never heard it that way before.” It was crazy how God just kept opening heart after heart in that little tattoo shop/television studio. The whole day I could feel the presence of the Lord in that place.

The show finally aired on Halloween night, and I was amazed at the immediate response. Since then, and after repeated airplay, hundreds of young people have contacted me or our church. Many of them told me that they were overwhelmed just to know that there were people like us out there and that they were not alone. Some had been rejected by so many church people that their trust level had become extremely low concerning the Church and Christians. Others told me that just by seeing the program they were convicted that they were not walking with the Lord like they should be.

"The importance is the pure message of Jesus."

When I watch the episode, I just see a kid that decided to do something a little bit out of the box for Jesus. But God is using the most peculiar things these days to reach the most peculiar people. See, it doesn’t really matter what our technique or our angle is concerning how we minister or what we use. The importance is in the pure message of Jesus and having the Lord’s hand upon us when we share it. If we stay focused on the cross and saving people from the flames of hell, I believe we could stand on our heads, and yes, even bark like dogs and people would come to the Savior.

This archived article was written by Cleetus Adrian for release in Mar, 2007. Circumstances and situations may have changed regarding the author, locations and ministries. This content may therefore be outdated or misinformed.