Billboard Music Award-winning country artist Walker Hayes recently shared how God transformed him from being an “alcoholic atheist” to a sober believer in Jesus.
The 43-year-old father of six shared with Fox News Digital that he starting drinking alcohol at the age of 13 and didn’t sober up until eight years ago.
“I’m eight years sober this October,” Hayes said. “I woke up one day when I was working at Costco. I was working at Costco from 4 to 11 and then writing and then playing shows. And man, it caught up to me.”
Hayes explained that he “woke up one Saturday, and I just felt like I was going to die.”
“I felt like, physically, if I did one more day, something was wrong. And so I stopped [drinking], and then one day turned into two, and then two turned into a week. And then a week turned into a month,” he continued. “And then I did the whole high on sobriety thing and got into working out and stuff, kind of traded a bad addiction for some good ones. But then the good ones, they become bad also, so I went through that process.”
Hayes praised his friend, Craig Allen Cooper, whom he now calls a brother, for showing him the gospel and leading him to faith in Jesus.
The singer met Cooper after Cooper’s wife invited Hayes’ wife, Laney, to church and insisted that the family attend. Hayes, who once described himself as an atheist, told Fox News Digital that he went to church that day drunk.
Nevertheless, that encounter began a friendship that God used to impact Hayes’ life and draw him to repentance. Cooper showed Hayes what it meant to take care of someone’s needs.
Hayes shared of a time after the families became neighbors when the singer lost his record deal and fell on hard times financially—so much so that the family’s minivan was repossessed, leaving them without a vehicle that could transport their family of eight. It was then that Cooper gave Hayes his own minivan to use.
Cooper showed Hayes how much he himself needed Jesus, which in turn showed Hayes his need.