Raised a Pentecostal by his parents, he was given the privilege to rise to fame by his country singing in the 1980s. Like most celebrities, he fell prey to vices particularly alcoholism. As expected, his heavy drinking hurt his relationships and his marriage started to fall apart. He struggled to put alcohol aside and in frustration, he thought of suicide. Drunk one night, he was determined to end everything, but miraculously, he was prevented by God.
“I was looking for a gun one night to kill myself. I had a .38 special right beside my bed in my bus in a little secret compartment. Nobody knew, nobody. It disappeared without a trace and I ain’t found it to this day.”
He said further, “I’m gonna write a book and title it, ‘God Stole My Gun.’ God turned my life around.”
Additionally, his wife Bettye said, “It was remembering what he learned growing up in a church that saved his life.”
Shelton then became a writer of children’s books and his wife a publisher who runs RVS (his initials) Books. He still made attempts in recording in the late 1990s to early 2000. In 2006, he decided to retire. He now enjoys the bliss of country living with his wife and family in Virginia.
Two of his most notable gospel song renditions were “Don’t Overlook Salvation” by John Bava and his personal arrangement and salute to that old hymn “Just As I Am.” Have a good read and listen to it. It was sort of his testimonial song. You, too, will be amazed at God’s love and abundant grace.
I was lost and aimlessly searching
Lord knows I was one lonely man
Then you came along like that old gospel song
You took me just as I am
Just as I am was about to lose hope
Just as I come to the end of my rope
You turned me around with one touch of your hand
And your love saved me just as I am
SHELTON in JUST AS I AM
gospel, Life, Ricky Van Shelton, Testimonial
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