David Hall’s testimony
By Paul Warwick
DAVID Hall was once a chronic, paranoid schizophrenic. He was admitted to a psychiatric
hospital on many occasions. Then one day in church he was prayed for and a miracle
David is now nearly 60 years old. He grew up in and has spent most of his life in South
East London and he currently lives in Anerley with his wife Katie and one of their two
David grew up with ten brothers and sisters. David’s mum was a Catholic and he was
brought up in this faith, being baptised and attending a Catholic school.
At the age of 15, David’s mum suddenly gave up her Catholic faith and stopped attending
church, and David and his siblings no longer had too either.
Within a short time David suddenly went off the rails, smoking cannabis and getting into
petty crime, lying and sleeping around. He started getting arrested a lot and at one point
got sent to a remand home for the short, sharp, shock treatment.
When David was 18 he got kicked out of the family home by his mum and dad. He then
went to live in the lake district with his brother. David got a job, but couldn’t really afford to
live there, and he broke into the electricity meter in his bedsit and stole the money. He
then fled back to London. It was 1974.
Because he was worried about the police hunting him for the meter theft, he then fled
again, to Guildford, and he arrived with no money in his pocket and in the pouring rain, so
he then went into a church. In those days churches were always open.
He then knocked on the door of the vicars house, and David told him that he needed help
and was in trouble. The vicar then said, “Don’t worry, we’ll sort it all out.” The vicar then
gave David a meal. The vicars name was David Pawson, who later became a very successful
The vicar then took David to a house on the edge of Guilford, where he could stay with
five other Christian students. The students immediately started to evangelise to David and
he said the salvation commitment prayer.
Later that night when David was in bed in the room he’d been given, the room was
suddenly filled with light and David started praying in tongues for the first time, and the
students ran into his room excited. They switched on the electric light, unaware of the
Godly light David had seen, and they told David that him praying in tongues meant he’d
been baptised in the holy spirit. For David it was a wonderful and amazing experience as
he’d felt enveloped in Gods love, and he’d never experienced anything like that before.
David stayed in the house for a while and the Christians there helped him out and found
a bedsit in Guilford for him and one of the guys he’d stayed with gave him a loan of two-
hundred pounds, which was a lot of money in them days, and David also got a job as a chef.
David started going to church in the area and gave himself up to the police for breaking
into the electric meter and he was taken back up to the lake district in handcuffs. He told
the magistrate in court that he’d become a Christian and the magistrate let him off.
He continued attending the very large church in Guilford which had a congregation of a
thousand people, but he started to feel dissatisfied as the Christians there couldn’t answer
his challenging questions about God.
David then made friends with his mum and Dad again and they invited him to come back
home, and he started attending a very small church his dad attended in Penge, South East
London, which had a congregation of about thirty or forty people. David didn’t find the
church to be very spiritual and started mixing with edge members, people who attended
church but didn’t live as committed spiritual Christians, and who were more into the hippy
scene. David started taken drugs with them and sleeping around again, and soon he just
stopped attending church.
David then started getting back into petty crime and went back to live in the lake district
and he got a girl pregnant, not knowing that she was only 15. They both then moved to
Essex and started living in squats. David married his pregnant girlfriend when she was 16.
David said living in squats was crazy and a bit like the comedy program The Young Ones. He
lived with a mixture of hippies, skinheads, punks and hells angels who were into all sorts of
Someone then told him that if he got a job in Durham they would give him a free house
there. David and his wife moved there, he got a job and then a house.
When David’s first son was 18 months old he accidently pulled a boiling hot pot of tea
over himself and had serious burns and nearly died.
When David’s son was 3, David and his wife broke up. By now they also had another
child who was 1. David was heart broken that they’d split, and shortly after, he had a
nervous breakdown. David had lost his wife, his kids, was taking drugs, drinking, and could
no longer hold a job down and his wife wouldn’t let him see his children. He’d reached rock
When David became ill he began hallucinating and seeing and imagining things. His
behaviour became very bizarre. He’d do things like eat watch batteries, thinking they’d give
him power. He climbed electricity pylons and ran across motorways at night with his eyes
closed. There were times when he went walk about and he’d wake up naked in the
countryside, not knowing what he’d done or how he got there. And he heard voices.
This went on for about three or four years before his parents realised that he was acting
more and more oddly, then they had him sectioned and taken into Cane Hill mental
hospital. He was in hospital seven times in three years, twice on a section. He was
diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia.
David was seriously ill for a long time, until 1989. He’d been released from hospital and
given a bedsit. He was on massive amounts of medication and was still also taking street
drugs and David felt like he didn’t want to live anymore and was contemplating suicide.
David’s bedsit was high up, and one Sunday he’d been thinking about killing himself by
stepping out of his window. He then watched Songs of Praise on TV and he decided he’d
either kill himself or go to church and see if God would take him back. He then went to his
local church, Christ Church Anerley.
For six months David attended the church and would sit at the back, and at the end of the
service he would quickly leave so that he didn’t have to talk to anyone. Then in 1989 the
pastor was preaching about faith and called people to come forward if they wanted prayer,
and David suddenly felt like he had a calling on his life. When the pastor asked David what
he wanted prayer for, David felt embarrassed to say that he had schizophrenia and that he
wanted to be healed of it. The pastor laid hands on David and prayed, and in an instant,
David just knew he’d been healed. He then left the church on cloud nine and he never took
medication for schizophrenia again.
David still got the medication on prescription though, as he was partly scared to tell the
psychiatrist that he weren’t taking the medication, as he feared they’d put him back in
hospital. But after a year his psychiatrist said to him, “You seem so much better now, I think
we’ll lower you dose.”
David then told him that he hadn’t taken medication for a year, and the baffled
psychiatrist couldn’t do anything, because he could see David was well. By now David had a
cupboard full of medication. Antipsychotics, antidepressants and tranquilizers, and he just
threw them all away.
After David was healed, Christians had given David the scripture, Joel 2 v 25, which states,
‘I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten.’ David was a bit sceptical though
and questioned God, asking him how God was going to do this. David felt sad that he’d had
a wife, two children and had lost them and so many other things, and he couldn’t see how
God would restore these things back to him. However, David then met Katie in 1995 and he
married her and they have two children, a son Isaac, who’s now a young adult and has left
home, and a daughter Rebecca who is now a teenager.
After David was healed he started to attend Cornerstone church in Bromley, and he
started serving as a steward, then being a head of the steward team, and then he was asked
to start preaching sermons. He did that for ten years at Cornerstone, then the minister
there, Hugh Osgood, recommended David to a bible college who were looking for a teacher.
David then spent over five years teaching there.
David then taught at another bible college for a while, but then stopped, but continued
preaching regularly at a number of different churches, which he’d been doing for many
years anyway, not just at Cornerstone. Over the years he’d also led retreats, gave
counselling to people, wrote some books, started a charity for the mentally ill, and created a
lot of art.
From when David got healed in 1989, until 2001, David was fine, but then he developed
the physical illness M.E, also known as chronic fatigue syndrome. He was 45. It was five
years though before doctors diagnosed David with M.E, and during this time at its worst
David was so weak at times that he couldn’t even put his trousers on by himself or even lift
a cup of tea to drink. He was also in physical pain a lot and rarely got much sleep.
David doesn’t know why God healed him of one illness, the schizophrenia, but hasn’t yet
healed him of M.E. Even though he’s prayed about it countless times over the years, and
also had many other people praying for him. David has learnt to live with the M.E though.
And he’s still been able to give lectures and preach, even though it often made him
exhausted after, and he would then often have to come home and go straight to bed.
David is also philosophical about the M.E, and glad that God still uses him, even though
its limited his life in lots of ways, and he relates to the bible scripture 1 Corinthians 1 v 27,
which states, ‘God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.’
Another scripture that people have given him and what he also relates too and takes
comfort in is, 2 Corinthians 12 v 9, which states, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power
is made perfect in weakness.’
David also relates to Paul the apostle who referred to his suffering as having a thorn in
the flesh, which he begged God to take away, but God didn’t.
David has adjusted to living with M.E. And even though it’s a debilitating and frustrating
illness to have, David feels that God has been kind to him, and one fact that comes to mind
is that David definitely ain’t crazy anymore. And that’s something David is still very grateful
for. And even though he’s got M.E, he still feels very much loved by God.