He frequented gay bars in Hollywood until God’s grace set him free

Pastor Paul Gualtieri and his wife Lupe.

Originally published in God Reports

Molested a few times when he was a child, Paul Gualtieri dabbled with homosexuality as a largely unsupervised 13-year-old in Palm Springs.

It wasn’t long before he found himself in his bedroom proclaiming his destiny: “I’m gay. I’m a homosexual,” he said out loud with no one around. It was a pivotal moment of his life. “There’s power in confessing both good and bad things. When I declared I was gay, I gave a right to a spiritual force in my life.”

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When he was 13, he ran away to Hollywood and threw himself headlong into the partying and gay lifestyle. “I just got sucked right into it,” he recalls. “I thought it was great.”

He was too young to be admitted to the gay bars but prostituted himself to support a lifestyle that included drugs like Quaaludes, coke and meth.

“I just ran rampant,” he says. “I had different boyfriends. We would panhandle every day to buy drugs and pay our hotel.”

He slept at anybody’s house who’d have him, in Plummer Park and in the “Hotel Hell,” once posh lodgings for movie luminaries that became decrepit and abandoned on Hollywood Boulevard.

When he was 16, he checked the change return slot of a pay phone, as was his custom. Instead of coins, he found a Christian tract sitting there. “The tract was called ‘Wounded Children.’ It was about a boy who was rejected and abused,” he says.

The truth contained in that little tract had a powerful affect on his heart. “I started to cry. I read out loud the prayer at the end.”

There was a Christian home for street kids nearby. But when he inquired, a friend warned him: “You don’t wanna go there. You have to give up all your jewelry and clothes.”

Even though Gualtieri felt God calling him, he still wasn’t ready to make Jesus the Lord of his life. Instead of going to the Christian home, he went headlong into deeper sin. He performed in some gay porn movies. Once he turned 21, he frequented leather and sadomasochist bars.

Later, “I was shooting meth and living with my dealer,” he says. “I would get him customers, and he would give me all the free drugs I wanted.”

He joined the Navy but got kicked out after only five months.

He felt burned out on drugs but didn’t know how to stop. When he got laid off from a restaurant job and got kicked out of his apartment, he decided on the spur of the moment to go with a friend to Tucson. Again, he fell into drugs with his boyfriend, with whom he worked at a hotel restaurant.

In the restaurant, a young woman and her mother invited his boyfriend regularly to church. The young woman was attractive, so Gualtieri asked her mother, “Would your daughter ever consider going out with a guy like me?”

“I don’t know,” she responded. “Why don’t you come to church?”

As soon as he walked into the Saturday night rock outreach, he was thunderstruck. He had never seen or heard anything like that – music, a skit and a preaching about Jesus. “I was mesmerized,” he says. “The guy said God could give you a brand new start.”

Gualtieri was finally ready to follow Jesus wholeheartedly. He confessed with his mouth Jesus as Lord and believed in his heart God raised Him from the dead.

Once Gualtieri was born again, he asked a church leader how he could get out of the gay lifestyle. Following the leader’s advice, he separated from his boyfriend and began to attend every service at the Door Church in Tucson.

But Gualtieri soon faced intense spiritual warfare, as the evil one attempted to rob him of his newfound joy and

knock him off his feet. “If you can imagine a horror movie with a demon-type skeleton creature with long bony fingers and sharp nails tearing at your flesh, that’s how I felt in my mind the whole first week” after getting saved, he says. “I had been involved in some demonic stuff. It was a torment to get out.”

Two weeks later, he was baptised. In 1990, he married a young woman named Lupe, and together they have six kids.

In 2009, he became a pastor and planted a church in Apple Valley, California, where he is currently raising up new believers.

Gualtieri marvels at God’s grace and tender mercies manifested in his life. “I never got what I deserved,” he says. “I should’ve been in jail or dead with AIDS. In the first year of my salvation, three of my best friends died. Today all of my old friends OD’d, are in prison, were murdered or committed suicide – and here I am alive and serving Jesus.”


  1. Fact is nobody can deny one’s testimony and if he has found true freedom through this then good for him. Maybe he never was gay and got sucked into some bad stuff but let us not generalize and assume that all gay people share the same testimony. There are millions of ga people all over the world who are secure in their sexuality and know that they know that is who they are, yet they serve the Lord Jesus Christ just like this wonderful Pastor does. Each testimony has a unique and beautiful story to tell. For me I was never abused never did drugs or the flubbing scene but I always knew I was attracted to boys.after much searching and studying i found thst the clobber txts the church used to condemn my same sex attraction stood no ground were used out of context and based on assumptions and not true facts. I hve found fredom in christ, in acceptin myself the way God sees me, how he has wired ewch one of us is unique and beautiful….it not our place to judge or box people in or label them. What matters is this pastor found a new life and a new joy.whom the Son sets free is free indeed.

    • The Bible consistently tells us that homosexual activity is a sin (Genesis 19:1-13; Leviticus 18:22; 20:13; Romans 1:26-27; 1 Corinthians 6:9). Romans 1:26-27 teaches specifically that homosexuality is a result of denying and disobeying God. When people continue in sin and unbelief, God “gives them over” to even more wicked and depraved sin in order to show them the futility and hopelessness of life apart from God. 1 Corinthians 6:9 proclaims that homosexual “offenders” will not inherit the kingdom of God.
      God does not create a person with homosexual desires. The Bible tells us that people become homosexuals because of sin (Romans 1:24-27) and ultimately because of their own choice. A person may be born with a greater susceptibility to homosexuality, just as some people are born with a tendency to violence and other sins. That does not excuse the person’s choosing to sin by giving in to sinful desires. If a person is born with a greater susceptibility to anger/rage, does that make it right for him to give into those desires? Of course not! The same is true with homosexuality.
      However, the Bible does not describe homosexuality as a “greater” sin than any other. All sin is offensive to God. Homosexuality is just one of the many things listed in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 that will keep a person from the kingdom of God. According to the Bible, God’s forgiveness is just as available to a homosexual as it is to an adulterer, idol worshipper, murderer, thief, etc. God also promises the strength for victory over sin, including homosexuality, to all those who will believe in Jesus Christ for their salvation (1 Corinthians 6:11; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Philippians 4:13).
      Read more: http://www.gotquestions.org/homosexuality-Bible.html#ixzz3WDr1UMEZ

  2. The word homosexual does not appear in original translations nor even in the English dictionary until late 1800’s therefore it has no part . The matter.the original Greek words were arsenekoi meaning male prostitute.not all ga and lesbian people practice prostitution. Regarding Leviticus their sin was lack of hospitality nowhere does it say their sin was homosexuality (as its understand in today’s context) we can use scripture to make up all sorts of doctrines and theologies.the truth is people are taking g verses out of context.another famous one….”exchanging the natural for the unnatural”…..most gay people have always had samesex attraction its 100% natural so what is natural for some is not natural for others. For example if you are a “straight” male and practice same sex activity purely out of lust that is indeed sinful I fully agree. For gay and lesbians there is no attractions to the opposite sex. So-called “corrective therapy” is so damaging and has resulting in people falling away from the faith because they cannot seem to reconcile their faith and sexuality. There are countless suicides due to this. Their blood is on the hands of those who run these corrective therapy institutions, camps, courses, etc thebog question too is those who go through these courses many don’t ever really stop having same sex attraction. The maygert married have kids and live a lie, but in secret they fool around in extra marital activity and so forth. I encourage all who read this to do some serouus research. We’ve bee so misinformed over the centuries. suicide is a major problem I encourage people to get hold of a video called “for the bible tells me so” & “prayers for bobby”

    • Romans 1: 24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.
      26 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; 27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.
      28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. 32 Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.