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Defeating a Painful Past

Alabama evangelist overcomes tremendous obstacles from his childhood and youth.

Ask Glenn P. Badonsky the Bible character he relates to the most, and he replies with someone not exactly known as a champion of faith.

“When I first became a Christian, I started reading the Book of Hosea and I saw myself like Gomer,” explains Badonsky, 46.

In the Old Testament book, the Lord commanded Hosea to marry a prostitute named Gomer. He took her as his wife, but Gomer kept wandering into the arms of other lovers. Despite repeated infidelities, the Lord told Hosea to keep going after her to bring her back home.

Badonsky had to overcome tremendous obstacles in his childhood and youth. Badonsky’s 14-year-old drug addicted birth mother abandoned him in a hospital.

“My mother was using multiple substances and drinking alcohol while I was in her womb,” he says. “This affected my development and I ended up having some birth defects because of it. I was angry about this and blamed her for all my problems.”

Badonsky didn’t know his real identity growing up and sensed his life had been a mistake. In fact, his name changed several times as he shuffled from one foster family to another. Finally, an African-American family took him in and gave him the nickname “White Tyrone.”

Today, Badonsky and his wife, Mary Beth, are Assemblies of God licensed evangelists who minister around the world. They are the founders of Double Portion Ministries based in Mobile, Alabama. Both are graduates of SUM Bible College & Theological Seminary.

“Later, as I grew in Christ, I learned I needed to forgive my birth mother and although it was hard to let go of the hurt and bitterness, I did,” he says. “Today, I have a different perspective and I am grateful because she allowed me to live, when it would have been more convenient to abort me. I am alive and am blessed to have my own family.”

The Badonskys have been married 22 years and have a son, Elijah, and a daughter, Zoe.

“Glenn‘s life work has been about reaching souls and empowering others to do the same,” says Mary Beth, 40. “It’s been amazing to see how God has used the adversity he faced to become a platform to reach so many people who are facing their own painful pasts.”

Badonsky is a worldwide AG evangelist, but he had such a rough start.

His mother took off after giving birth to him in a Miami hospital. Nuns from a Catholic orphanage came to the hospital and took him into their care until a locating a foster family.

Confused about his origins, the young Badonsky began acting out in rebellious behaviors, He ended up running away at 15, surviving by running the streets and sleeping wherever he could.

Ironically, his troubled early life took a positive turn when he wound up in a program for troubled youth in Florida with Jeff Scott, the son of Ronald and Patricia Scott — an African-American couple.

“We both got kicked out,” Badonsky remembers. “After he went back home, he told his parents that I didn’t have anywhere to live. Though they had never met me, they felt that God wanted them to take me in, so they asked me if I wanted to come live with them in Fort Lauderdale.”

Eventually, the Scotts became pastors of Restoration Outreach Center in Dania, Florida.

“They were strong Christians who loved God and wanted to give me a fresh start,” Badonsky says. “This became my best chance to start over.”

“God can rescue and repair anyone, and it doesn't matter what they have been through or if they came from a different background than us,’ says Patricia Scott, 69. “That's why we didn't think twice about bringing Glenn into our home and making him part of our family.”

With Double Portion Ministries, Badonsky is involved in church planting, gospel outreaches, tutoring centers, medical camps, and community building projects around the world.


Eric Tiansay

Eric Tiansay has been a full-time journalist since 1993, writing articles for Christian media since 2000. He lives in central Florida, where he is an active member of an Assemblies of God church.