If I had a dollar for every time somebody said, “You must be so proud to be the first born son of the finest man who ever walked in Madison County.” Yet behind closed doors, it was always different for me because at five years old my dad, in his workshop, raped me for the first time. He was a private drinker and he was pretty drunk that day. I didn’t understand those things then. I just knew that he was in my face. He was kicking me and hitting me. I distinctly remember him saying, “You’re nothing and you’ll never be anything.” From that point on, from five years old to twelve, he would sell me to various men who would pay him for a little fun with the first born child of “the finest man who had ever lived.”
By the time, I was in puberty I had one foot in the homosexual world, one in the heterosexual world, and I didn’t know how I got there. I married my wife at seventeen years old and entered the ministry at nineteen years old. I was still living that duel life, the master of the masquerade, going into churches and realizing what it took to be loved and accepted. I would then go home and form the mask that would make people love and accept me.
I loved the Lord and I knew He loved me. This was just an area that I thought, “I’ve tried everything. I can overcome it for a while but then it just comes back, and I don’t know what to do with it.” So I just decided that it was best to keep that mask in place. I’m not sure you can call the years of ministry from about nineteen to thirty years old real ministry because I was emotionally messed up in ways that no one knew about. No one knew I had been abused as a child. Not even my wife knew.
The pastor at the church where I served on staff came to my home and took my hands in his and said, “Danny, this is above my pay grade. So forgive me if I misstep. I’ll never forget he was so passionate. He said, “This is what I see. This is what I believe the Lord is sharing with me.” He then proceeded to describe Danny Wallace to me. The Danny Wallace behind all the masks. The one only the Holy Spirit could know. He took my hands in his and said, “I want you to stay on staff. We will continue to pay you. I don’t care how long it takes for you to be free of all of this. We will pay whatever it takes for you to get the help if you will take it. I will no let you go. I will never let you go.”
During counseling one thing that helped me was a particular counselor at the beginning, sitting me down and telling me who Danny Wallace was. He invited me to correct him if he was wrong. He was pretty spot on in his description. He was the one who bought up the homosexuality. He opened that door. I had never talked about that before. The only reason I’m talking about it today now is to bring it out into the light. You don’t find freedom by walking away from your darkness. You find freedom by walking to the light.
With less than a hundred dollars in my pocket, I stumbled across this thing called business brokerage. I was sent to training to sell ongoing businesses. I had a successful business in Huntsville, AL. I had franchises all over the southeast Untied States. I was making more money than I’d ever made in my life. One day while in my office I really let the Lord say, “Have you got it out of your system?” I thought, “What?” I knew what when He asked the question. He said, “Proving your father wrong; that you are somebody. And that you can do anything you set your mind to.” I said, “Yes I have [done this].”
By this time, I was really getting tired of the whole thing. He then said, “I want you to step our and share your story. Just begin to share it at the first opportunity. Share everything that happened to you.” When God said this I could see everything vaporizing. I knew that would not be popular. The two worlds don’t go together. I was accustomed to driving a brand new Lincoln Town Car up in front of the bank and the bank employees opening the door of the bank for me because I was there to deposit a $100,000.00 commission. If you do that they’ll treat you nice and shine your shoes for you. I could see that vaporizing because that does not translate into this guy I’m about to tell about.
The first person I told was a close friend I had written songs with. We had traveled together singing with my sons. We’re still close friends to this day. I told him just to see if he’d be a friend afterward. If anything, he was immediately a greater friend. We continued to travel and do concerts. People who came to see us thought they were just coming to a concert. Then in the middle of the show, I’d begin to tell pieces of my story. That’s pretty much how my family heard about my history. I probably should have pulled them aside and given them a little insight before that fact, but that’s often how I do things.
Everything is not as it appears. The man people see today is a guy who is coming to the full realization that I’m a treasure of the Lord. I’m not who my father said I was. I’m somebody and something because on my behalf the Lord is truly somebody.