When there is something we’re struggling with in our lives, sometimes we end up distancing ourselves from God, rather than coming to Him. But that doesn’t limit God’s reach.
Take a look at Tucker Rowley’s redemption story.
Tucker Rowley’s Story
After reading this story, you would be shocked to hear that Tucker Rowley is only 24 years old. A lot of life led in those short two and a half decades, and for a lesser man and God’s discernment, you might just be reading something far more tragic.
Tucker’s story is a testimony to the power of God, His infinite mercy, His wisdom, and, more than anything, the enduring power of redemption.
A California native who lives about 45 minutes south of Fresno in Northern California, Tucker is a graduate of the “school of hard knocks,” with all the emotional scars it implies. A self-described “angry young kid,” he grew up in a religious atmosphere, where he was expected to attend church every Sunday and follow the rituals that were presented to him. From a “legalistic” point of view, God was all around yet continued to remain a mystery to him.
Tucker was adopted, and the feeling of rejection he experienced, even as a youngster, would become a life-long theme. With a birth father whom he had never met, he found himself navigating the waters of a new family, and while his adoptive dad was—in his own words—great, the issue of rejection would rear its ugly head time and time again for most of his formative years.
Like most young men who grow up without a sense of purpose or direction, Tucker quickly got himself involved and lost in the things of the world. The rejection theme continued with a bad breakup with a girlfriend as a sophomore in college which further continued his descent into a world where despair was a familiar feeling.
He felt that not only God had rejected him, but perhaps, tragically, Tucker had rejected Him. This God whom people kept talking about was a distant figure that worked for others but certainly not for him.
Fast forward to the global pandemic in 2020, a time of pause for not only Christians but for the entire planet. Tucker came across a tweet about Harvest at Home, which was a response to a rapidly changing world. A world where church attendance was at its lowest and where most institutions had to “pivot” (the “in” word of the day) and find new ways to disseminate the message of the gospel.
Tucker was maybe at the height of his skeptical views of God. Not only did he doubt Him, but he flat out said, “no, I’m just not doing it.”
Enter Pastor Greg and his podcast. For the first time, maybe ever, Tucker found himself identifying with what Greg had to say and who he was. One of the common refrains heard time and time again about Pastor Greg is his ability to come across as “just a regular guy.” One of his most significant abilities is to relay the message of the gospel in a simple yet compelling way.
While still not buying into this whole idea of a “relationship” with God, Tucker found himself listening to more and more podcasts, growing with more confidence in starting to believe what he was hearing. More importantly, it was the antithesis of what he had experienced from “church” before.
It was a message of hope, love, acceptance, redemption, and so much more. It was, in his words, “coming home.” He had never experienced it before; God was meeting him where he was, warts and all.
There were no judgments, no pre-conceived ideas of what a Christian looks like, no prejudices, just a belief in a seemingly simple thing; God is real, alive, and He is in our hearts and minds. Pastor Greg was the first person who had driven that point across for Tucker. It was mind-blowing… it still is.
One night, upon listening to yet another podcast, Tucker heeded the call from Pastor Greg and found himself on his knees praying to a God he felt he had just discovered. He gave his life to the only one that would never reject or disappoint him, Jesus Christ.
If there is such a thing as instant transformation, this might just be it. Within a few short weeks, Tucker found himself deeply immersed in the Bible, the resources available at Harvest, from its online presence to A Rush of Hope, and all the materials provided to new believers.
In our conversation, Tucker made certain that we understood the importance and the impact that Harvest at Home has had on him and his life. It is also because he recognized the importance of small groups that, while he could have certainly attended the service online and be fulfilled, Tucker knew there was more to it. He soon formed his own Harvest at Home small group, which continues to this day.
Tucker recently drove seven hours to be a part of the Jesus Revolution film as an extra. And meeting Pastor Greg quickly confirmed that he is the same guy we hear on the podcast, online, and in person.
Tucker’s story is not just one of redemption but in the absolute belief in a God who will never leave us alone, no matter where we may be.
It is the story of one man not giving up and finally walking among other believers with purpose, passion, love, and eternal hope.
Tucker Rowley is finally home.
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Used with permission from Greg Laurie.