Collin Dozier was driving home at midnight when he realized something wasn’t right.
Dozier saw a car pulled over near a bridge in Virginia Beach, but couldn’t see the driver anywhere nearby.
When Dozier felt a tug from the Holy Spirit, he knew he had to investigate.
“I just felt the Holy Spirit speak to me and tell me to go up there,” Dozier said. He hopped out of his own car and went to find the missing driver.
And it turned out that God had a plan for Dozier — and the other driver — that night.
Jacob Palmer had pulled over and gotten out of his car in order to jump from the bridge that night. He was still contemplating the jump when Dozier arrived.
“At that point I was like, ‘Hey man, don’t do it. Jesus loves you. He’s got a plan for your life,’” said Dozier. He walked over to Palmer and tried to talk him out of jumping, sharing his own Christian testimony as proof of God’s love.
“I was like, ‘Man I’ve gone through a lot of hard times in my life and there’s only one thing that’s really going to help me get through those hard times and that’s turning to the Lord.’”
But Palmer couldn’t bring himself to listen. High on meth, PCP, heroin, and cocaine, he wanted to end it all, and Dozier’s testimony didn’t shake his resolve.
“No matter what I said he wouldn’t listen,” Dozier admitted. “So, that’s when I did the only thing I knew to do in a situation like that and that’s to pray.”
Dozier began to cry out to God on Palmer’s behalf, knowing that only He could move the suicidal man’s heart.
“I reached out my hand and I was like, ‘Lord Jesus please speak to this man. I pray right now you open up his eyes and show him your love.’”
Palmer wavered, but he was still on the edge of the bridge. So Dozier called the police, hoping they could help him hold Palmer back.
When the police officers arrived at the scene, things escalated quickly. Palmer threatened to attack Dozier and the police if they didn’t leave him alone.
But Dozier wasn’t about to stand back now. A former high school and college wrestler, he knew he could get Palmer to safety if he could just get close enough.
“I went for it,” Dozier said, describing his move to tackle Palmer away from the edge of the bridge. “I stepped up onto the railing and I sucked him back.”
Dozier pulled Palmer back onto the pavement of the bridge, where the police officers were able to help subdue the suicidal young man.
The drama of the night was over, but God had an even bigger story ahead for Palmer and Dozier!
Since that fateful night, Palmer has attended Dozier’s church. The young man became a Christian shortly after his suicide attempt, and he’s completely sober.
Palmer said that Dozier’s Christian testimony had a powerful impact on him. In fact, when he decided to give his own life to Christ, he came to Dozier for help.
“He said the fact that the love that you showed me, it blew his mind…to the point that he said I want that,” Dozier explained. “He said ‘I want that love.’ I just told him the Scripture and I said if you’d be willing, I’d love to pray this prayer with you.”
Palmer said yes, and he accepted Christ into his heart.
Only a few months after his suicide attempt, Palmer had become a child of God and wanted to be baptized next.
“How can I do this whole baptism thing?” he asked Dozier. “I hear them talking about it at church.”
“I said, ‘That would be awesome man. That’s going to like make a huge difference in your life,’” Dozier responded.
So Palmer was baptized at the Virginia Beach oceanfront. It was a special moment for both Palmer and his mentor Dozier.
Palmer expressed immense gratitude to Dozier for showing him the way to Christ and says he’ll never forget that fateful night on the bridge.
Now Dozier is reaching out to more people like Palmer who are trapped in the throes of addiction and depression but want to know God.
“I’ve been praying for a long time that God helps me be bolder in my faith, and…somehow be able to bring thousands of people to his kingdom one day,” Dozier said. “Maybe this is the start of it.”
Pray for Dozier as he continues to witness for Christ, and praise God for the new life that Jacob Palmer has found!