Before the acronym LGBTQIA+ was popularized to signify alternative gender and sexual preferences, Christian evangelist and author John Ramirez saw this group as people who had been molested, broken, battered and raped.
A former satanic cult priest who controlled regions of New York City through witchcraft before he embraced Jesus as his Lord, Ramirez knew these people would never go to a church where they might hear the true gospel.
They were like his brother—a witch doctor who dressed in women's clothing, sang in gay clubs and partied with cocaine.
"Nobody who was normal came to his 'coke' parties that lasted for three days," Ramirez says of his brother—a transvestite, homosexual and bisexual who married a heterosexual woman. After years of cocaine use, he suffered a heart attack.
Instructed by God to go to the hospital and preach the gospel to his brother, Ramirez initially rebelled.
"I told God, 'No way. You're going to have all those crazy people at the hospital,'" says Ramirez.
He envisioned fist fights breaking out or himself, like biblical Samson, grabbing something to hit people who were already bruised and broken by their lifestyles. Yielding to the Lord, Ramirez finally told God he would preach the gospel at his brother's hospital bedside.
On the day of his brother's surgery, Ramirez went to the hospital and found his sister-in-law at her husband's side. Stepping into the room, Ramirez's brother told him to leave. Under the anointing of the Holy Spirit, Ramirez stood there and felt the presence of God fill the room as his brother and sister-in-law cried like newborn babies.
"They gave their lives to Jesus," Ramirez says. "After that, my brother went to church, got baptized, renounced homosexuality and stopped partying and using cocaine. He never dressed like a woman again."
A week before his 45th birthday, Ramirez's brother began planning a party—his first as a Christian. His friends didn't know he was a Christian, but he intended to show them a good time with the songs "How Great Is Our God" and "I Can Only Imagine."
Ramirez thought the party was a bad idea.
"I told him, 'they're going to beat you down and there's going to be no one there to help you,'" he said.
His brother proceeded with planning a party where he intended to share the gospel with friends who formed an eclectic mix of alternative lifestyles. A week before his birthday, Ramirez's brother closed his eyes, went to sleep and never woke up again.
"He went home to Jesus," says Ramirez.
The only party was a funeral, where Ramirez preached to "homosexuals, transvestites, butches, dykes and drug dealers.
"The first three rows were all the misfits. You didn't know who were the men or women. They all sat there and I preached John 3:16," says Ramirez.
Eighteen "molested, raped, beat up people" responded to an altar call to receive Jesus that day.
"When you preach the truth of the gospel, the presence of God will come into the room," says Ramirez.
He credits his brother in heaven with winning 18 people to Jesus at a funeral.
"Heaven rejoiced because those people would have never heard the gospel in a church, but they heard it at a funeral with a dead man behind me. There was life because Jesus was in the house. I preached with love and they raised their hands," Ramirez says.
Christians are sometimes prone to see people in their sins, but they don't always know what others have been through. "We don't see what got them there, but Jesus sees them," Ramirez says.
Despite what LGBTQ people and advocates say, "nobody is born homosexual," Ramirez insists.
"Neither is a drug dealer nor a prostitute born that way. Does Jesus send them to hell? I say, 'no, your decisions do,'" Ramirez says.
The Ramirez brothers were raised in a poor ghetto neighborhood in NYC. John Ramirez hated his father for not being there for him. He learned to survive on the streets of South Bronx. In search of love and identity, Ramirez found both from a "family" of witches and warlocks that trained him as an occult high priest.
Listen to Ramirez describe secrets of the spiritual kingdom here: (29) Descubriendo los secretos del mundo Espiritual pt2 - Evangelista John Ramirez - YouTube
His descent into a dark abyss landed in a blood ritual with the devil. With unholy zeal—and the mark of the beast on his right arm—Ramirez pursued souls for the dark kingdom, carousing NYC bars and clubs by night in search of victims.
Far into darkness, Ramirez turned to God through a miraculous dream in which He rescued him from hell. For his obedience to preach the gospel to people like his brother and his friends, Ramirez is grateful to the Lord for showing up in His saving power.
Steve Rees is a former general assignment reporter who, with one other journalist, first wrote about the national men's movement Promise Keepers from his home in Colorado. Rees and Promise Keepers founder Bill McCartney attended the Boulder Vineyard. Today Rees writes in his free time.
To contact us or to submit an article, click here.
Get Charisma's best content delivered right to your inbox! Never miss a big news story again. Click here to subscribe to the Charisma News newsletter.