- GET INVOLVED
The Galloway Story
It was 2 a.m. when two men high on drugs killed a 19-year-old girl in order to rob the cash register. They got a lousy 20 dollars. The senselessness of her death strongly disturbed Richard Galloway's peace since the murder happened in one of the convenience stores he and his wife, Dixie, owned.
Richard and Dixie Galloway
"I was upset," he recalls, still a tinge of sadness in his voice. "It hadn't mattered how much money I had, or that I had put lots of time and energy into security systems. I thought I had control of my life and business. I was wrong."
Richard and Dixie married young and pursued one sole dream with all they had. They wanted to have fun, and it took money to be free to do that. They put up several thousand dollars, borrowed a few thousand more, and turned an old service station in Oklahoma City into a convenience store. After five years, working seven days a week and re-investing profits, they were running three corporations and four partnerships and owned a chain of 20 stores. But success was not producing the "fun" they were looking for.
The "Dream" Began Unraveling
Up to this point, they had been casually drinking and doing drugs. But for Richard it was escalating. It was a means of disconnecting. "After working 12, 15, sometimes 20 hours a day," he explains, "I would be tired, but my mind couldn't stop thinking. It was exciting and I would be thinking up solutions to business problems I didn't even have. The very thing I had put all my confidence in - my ability to figure things out - couldn't be switched off. It was running me and driving me nuts."
And then the girl was shot.
Questions arose for which he had no answers. Using cocaine and a quart of Tequila every day, he realized his way of life was destructive. "I could see that something was controlling my life. Why was someone as smart as me doing what I was doing?" After years of believing that he was in control and making his own choices, Richard knew things were unraveling.
I Thought I Was in Control!
Then one night, Dixie reached her limit. She told Richard to get his act together or leave. She said, their three children needed a father, she needed a husband. Intuitively, he knew this was it. He couldn't get off by offering to buy her a new house or a car; they already had 3 houses and 18 cars. He loved their children, then age ten, five, and one, but knew he didn't have the power to make the changes she wanted.
It was terrifying to feel emotions he had never felt before. "All of a sudden it was coming to an end. The sum total of my best efforts were worthless. What I owned wasn't valuable to me. I had always managed my life to satisfy myself. Now, all I had was myself. I was exposed. I knew if I left, I could die."
Then Dixie returned to the room and said, "Richard, you have tried everything else. Why don't you try God?" He was surprised by the suggestion, for even though both of their parents were Christians, during 16 years of marriage they had never discussed God.
Peace to the Broken Heart, Quietness to the Noisy Mind
A year earlier, Dixie's aunt had died. "After her funeral I was particularly distraught." Dixie recalls. "One day, in an effort to escape from Richard I looked for a place where I could be alone." In their house there was a room which was built as a chapel. She hid herself there. Since she wasn't used to being alone, distracted by the quietness, she started reading a Bible which laid there. It opened to Psalm 23. She quoted it the way she remembered it from her childhood. When she finished, something had changed. "Before, my heart had felt like broken glass and now it felt whole, peaceful. I realized God was real and still did things in people's lives." After months of reading the Bible by herself she confessed her faith to her friends. It was that same night that she confronted Richard.
That night, at Dixie's suggestion Richard knelt down by his bed and prayed, "God, I don't know if you will, and if you will I don't know why you will, but I'm asking you to please help me."
"Having been alone for so many years, with people all around me, I instantly knew I wasn't alone," he says. "That constant noise in my head was gone, too." The next day, he bought a Bible and read it for three days straight. Suddenly he realized he hadn't had a drink or drugs for three days. He has been clean ever since.
Future Full of Hope and Adventure
Four months later, they sold their home, business and possessions and headed out to Virgin Islands to serve God. In five years in the Caribbean, they constructed a 24-hour Christian TV station and started a church, Church on the Rock, which still exists. Richard traveled, speaking and starting Full Gospel Businessmen Chapters. Dixie produced and hosted a television talk show. Then they found themselves in Texas.
Wondering what in the world they were doing in Dallas, one day, Richard was struck by a passage from the Old Testament. "It was like God saying to me, 'If you really want to know what I care about,'" Richard says, "'this is it: set the oppressed free, share your food with the hungry, provide the homeless with shelter'" (Isaiah 58:6-12).
Not long afterward, Richard felt he should call an acquaintance, Alastair Geddes, the director of Christ for the Nations in New York, who invited them to come and start a bus outreach to the homeless in New York. Within a month, they were re-located in Stony Brook in Long Island where they founded New York City Relief. See a video interview of Richard telling the story here.
Now, over a decade later, Richard and Dixie say, "We feel like the richest people in the world. We have a wealth in friendships, a family we love, meaning and purpose for our lives. Now we know what true fun is!"