Ian began working as a nightclub bouncer at the age of 18 and by the time he was 24 violence and anger had taken over his life. All the time he was getting more involved in crime and the taking of anabolic steroids. He lived for his obsession: bodybuilding but the drugs were destroying his health. His heart was becoming cold and hard as stone. After a serious fight at a club one night, he pleaded with God to change him. At that moment, love filled his heart and he was born-again by the power of God’s Spirit and he is no longer filled with hatred. He is the founder of Tough Talk and he travels with the Tough Talk team sharing his faith in Jesus Christ and the love of God.
Arthur was a World Champion powerlifter, a successful businessman and a happy family man. Then, his life spiralled out of control. Cocaine, steroids and an affair wrecked his life. He lost his family, his business….everything. Death seemed the only way out. Yet, when everyone had given up on him, Arthur heard a voice calling out to him-the voice of God. On a freezing cold morning in Spitalfield market in East London, he responded to the voice and Jesus Christ came into his life. His life was restored and he became a born-again Christian with a passion to tell others of God’s mercy and love. He won a World Masters Powerlifting championship without the use of drugs but has had to retire from the sport because of problems with his knees. He is a founder member of Tough Talk and travels extensively with the team.
Adam went off the rails as a youngster starting with petty crime and ending up as an expert car thief. He got into drugs and lost his job because of smoking cannabis. Crime then had to pay his bills. In a friend’s flat one day he found a Bible and began to read it and found out about Jesus and called on Him to help him sort out his life. Soon after, he read an advert for a local church, went along to it only to realise it was one he had previously broken into! He attended the meetings and eventually became a born-again Christian and he gave his life to serve the lord. Adam has been in the Tough Talk team for several years.
At the age of 16 Joe entered the financial sector of the City of London and forged a successful career as a Lloyd’s broker. However, with no direction or purpose in life he became caught up in all the excesses of the glitzy City life. At the same time Joe got himself involved with Witchcraft which took him into a very dark place. After a dangerous experience with the occult, he came to the realisation that only Jesus Christ can truly fulfill the void in his life. He put his life in the trust of Jesus and became a born again Christian. To use his own words “The missing piece has been fitted”. Apart from still working in London Joe was a competitive power lifter who has broken numerous records including Divisional Champion and record holder, Commonwealth Silver medalist & breaking the British powerlifting unequipped total record. He now travels with Tough talk all over the world sharing his faith and the power of Jesus Christ that changed his life.
Mike Steward does not have the usual background of a member of Tough Talk. He has had a successful career in medical research focusing on immunology. He spent more than 30 years of his career at the London University School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, where he was Professor of Immunology. He has published many scientific papers and books and was Editor of the international journal “IMMUNOLOGY” for many years. Mike had a remarkable experience of God as a young man and became a born-again believer in Jesus and pursued his career in science as a committed Christian.Since his retirement from university work, he has been actively involved with Tough Talk as the team’s administrator and Chairman of the Trustees. He considers it a great privilege to help these godly men share the good news of Jesus Christ.
Senior Pastor at The City Gates Church Ilford, East London and member of the board of trustees of Tough Talk.
Chris struggled with self-image during his early teens and often hated the way he looked physically. In an attempt to overcome these feelings, he tried lifting weights at home and became interested in bodybuilding. He trained as a mechanic and loved working on cars and motorbikes which helped reduce feelings of self-hatred. In 1998 he married and had 2 children but his poor self-image was still there. After years of being taunted by his wife, he decided to train properly and so change the way he looked. But the results were too slow so he started to take anabolic steroids. To pay for these, he worked as a doorman and this led into a life of anger and violence. His marriage failed and he started drinking heavily. In 2004 he met a Christian woman who took him to the Notting Hill Carnival. There he saw Tough Talk demonstrating powerlifting and telling people about how their lives were turned around through their faith in Jesus Christ. He entered their competition and won a Tough Talk DVD. After watching the DVD he was challenged to pray the prayer of salvation. As a new Christian, he started to go to church, stopped drinking and taking steroids. In 2006 he married the young lady he met in 2004. Chris joined the Tough Talk team in 2007 and now demonstrates powerlifting and shares his testimony in churches and prisons. Even as a Christian, he has made many mistakes in his life but with the help of our loving Heavenly Father, he has become a stronger man physically, emotionally and spiritually.
Luke has been coordinating media coverage and overseas mission work for Tough Talk since 2014
Kwaku was born and raised in East London of Ghanaian heritage. As a young teenager, questions such as “what is the purpose of life?” and “where will I go when I die?” often played on his mind. He had a sense of emptiness in his heart that he longed to be filled…but with what? At the age of 18, he had an urge to attend church even though he bitterly disliked it as a kid. Gradually he started to enjoy going to church, particularly being involved with other young people. During a church meeting at City Gates Church, he felt convicted by the Holy Spirit and with his heart racing, he found himself raising his hand to signify that he wanted to be a follower of Jesus Christ.
As he grew as a young believer, Kwaku developed a desire to serve God outside church walls but did not know how. He was very impressed on seeing Tough Talk at the City Gates Easter outreach and as powerlifter himself, he was excited at the team’s use of powerlifting as a backdrop to sharing their testimonies and presenting the Gospel. He has joined the team’s regular prayer meeting and has been on the road with them. The emptiness in his life has now gone and he is committed to sharing the gospel, particularly with young men.