Bobby Corrente’s life is a miracle. The man he was that August morning in 1987 was left lying in a pool of blood on the street. He had no pulse rate and was pronounced dead at the scene of his accident. Back then he was known in his neighborhood as a drug crazed terror. He had a reputation of being dangerous and violent, driven by drugs, thriving on trouble with the police, and fighting anyone who was in his way.
Fueled with a Saturday night’s worth of alcohol and coke, Bobby took his motorcycle out against his parents’ adamant protests. Drugs made him fearless and seemingly invincible. Around 4:30 in the morning Bobby was racing down Hylan Boulevard on his motorcycle at 85 mph. He was building speed and couldn’t stop to avoid crashing into a car at an intersection. Life was a joke and death was a game. As the collision happened he thought, “now would be as good a time to die as any.”
The collision threw him 120 ft. into the next block. His motorcycle was found in pieces. As they were covering him over with a sheet, the paramedic heard a gurgling sound, he was drounding in his own blood from a torn jugular in his neck and immediately they put a pressure suit on his legs and pumped the blood that was left back up into his heart to get it started again. Though they revived him, there seemed little chance he would survive the crash.
He sustained fractures throughout his body, his neck was broken in three places, c5,c6,T1 and his jugular vein was torn from his neck, nerves ripped from his spinal chord and his jaw split in half. Doctors said if he lived, Bobby faced the prospect of total paralysis and simply being a vegetable. But God had a better plan for Bobby’s life.
A year after his accident and rehabilitation Bobby went back into the life of crime he lived before. Now more than ever, life had no meaning for him. He thought he should’ve died in that accident. He was drunk and on his way to a bar one night when he got lost and ended up in a church parking lot where he started to make a u-turn.When He’d realized he heard a lot about this church, Gateway Cathedral on Staten Island; that people got their lives straightened out there. He decided to go into the midweek service and have a good laugh. Wearing his “Unknown Citizens”gang jacket, carrying a gun and an ounce of coke in his pocket he went in.
As he sat there at the back of the church listening to the speaker, Bobby kept hearing a voice in his heart say, “that speaker’s got something for you, go talk to him.” After the service ended Bobby approached the speaker and began to pour his heart out to him. The speaker looked him in the eye and said, “I want to help you.”
He invited him to a pool party the church was having that saturday. It was there Bobby sat on the grass and listened to Christians tell him God loved him. He believed he was wicked to the core and would end up nowhere else but hell. He deserved hell the way he’d lived and he knew he wouldn’t know anyone in heaven! Bobby was amazed that God loved him no matter what, unconditionally, not based on all the rotten things he had done and how he’d lived his life. That day he came to Christ who had been waiting for him all along. There were countless times he could’ve died, but God had His hand on his life and had chosen him for His own.
His life was transformed instantly, giving up drug and alcohol addiction and a life of crime without looking back. To see him now he is a humbled man who is devoted God’s calling. There has never been a question about what God was calling him to do when He saved him – God wanted Him in youth ministry, sharing with kids about the hope he’d found.
After Bobby’s conversion to Christ, he began to allow Christ to rebuild his life by pursuing his education. He received his G.E.D. and went on to study four years at The College of Staten Island where he earned a degree in Developmental Disabilities. He went on for his Bachelor’s degree in Biblical Studies at Lancaster Bible College.
Bobby dedicated himself to outreach and service in the church right away. His heart is for kids who are like he used to be. His triumph over a messed up life and his remarkable recovery compels him to share his story to groups everywhere. God has taken him to the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Portugal and Romania as well as in his own neighborhoods in Staten Island and churches around the country.
He was the area coordinator for Pro-Challenge, an event sponsored by Athletes in Action. The event featured professional athletes from the NY Giants and NY Jets teams at area high schools. An anti-drug and alcohol message, testimonies as well as participation with the players in sports were a successful outreach Bobby organized.
He has been a youth pastor in churches in Los Angeles, and Kansas, Staten Island, and Texas and has lead many missions trips with his groups to different parts of Mexico, Portugal, and Romania.
Though changed by his relationship with Christ, Bobby still lives his life to the extreme without fear. Looking at him it might take you awhile to notice he only has use of his one arm now. You will notice him, his hand is tucked into his pocket while his other arm is lifting sheet rock to help build an orphanage in Mexico. You can see him pounding the courts in a relentless game of basketball with a group of street kids who are on their way into gang life. You see him construct a ¼ pipe skateboard ramp and build a skate park that will eventually host 2 annual city competitions.
Bobby Corrente has sold out to Christ as one who has overcome so much, he lives with no limitations, He continually dreams of all he can give back to the One who saved his life.