ALTON — It’s one often found only in works of fiction, but there’s nothing make-believe about Darrin Williams’ story.
Williams, an Alton pastor, Christian recording artist and reformed gangbanger, is set to release an autobiography about his life entitled “The Comeback: Fighting back with Faith.” The book, released through Cooke House Publishing, will come out Oct. 17.
The book chronicles Williams’ life from boyhood to present day, sampling snapshots while also reflecting — or, rather, Roo-flecting, as Williams calls it, a nod to his “Slugger Roo” nickname — on the choices and events that led him to where he is today. Williams, 36, said the book will also be motivational, offering encouragement and tips for all aspects of life.
“This book is just going to give people a positive outlook of redemption and what you can do when you change your life for good,” Williams said.
Williams was a self-described drug dealer and gangbanger in the Alton area in his youth. In December 2003, Williams said he was “saved,” and in the years since he’s worked to help others from going down similar paths. Williams said he’s given motivational speeches and has done outreach in 10 prisons — just a few of the ways he’s worked to change lives.
In 2012, Williams also started his own church, New Beginnings Outreach International. The church, which worships at the Alton Plaza Campus, 1840 E. Broadway in Alton, grew out of his barber shop at Alton Plaza Campus.
Ever since that fateful day in 2003, Williams said he’s been eager to tell his story. Now, 13 years later, the story is ready.
“I’ve always wanted to write a book about my life, but I didn’t have the time,” Williams said. “A lot of people always asked, ‘When is the book coming out?’
“I’ve been doing this for 13 years, and I really didn’t know when I was going to do it. So, I’ve been writing it probably about the last five years, bits and pieces here and there. And it finally was the time to release it this year.”