A FORMER Glasgow bouncer who turned his life around after an overdose has been elected as the new president of the Boys' Brigade. 

Dez Johnston, an ordained Baptist minister and the Director of Alpha Scotland, said he was "excited about being part of the BB’s work to advance Christ’s kingdom and of supporting their vision of young people experiencing life to the full". 

Before becoming a Christian, Dez worked in retail by day and as a bouncer in Glasgow by night - jobs he has previously admitted he only took to feed "his cocaine addiction". 

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Following an overdose, Dez was able to transform his life from being a "violent, loveless drug addict" to a "man who is happily married and full of love" thanks to meeting his future wife Fiona at the store he worked at during the day.

Fiona challenged his ideas of faith and this led to him reading the Bible and attending Church for the first time. After becoming an ordained minister, he went on to join Alpha Scotland as their youth co-ordinator, before becoming director in 2018.  He was also recently appointed as Europe, Middle East and North Africa Youth Director for Alpha.

Dez, who succeeds Lord Leslie Griffiths as president, said: “It’s amazing to be joining the BB family as president. I’ve been working together with the BB over the last three years and have loved being involved and seeing for myself the work that is going on.

"I know I might not look like a president, but then again what does a president look like?”

Jonathan Eales, chief executive of the Boys’ Brigade, said: “I am delighted to welcome Dez as our new President.

"As a Christian youth organisation we are determined to build and to strengthen our partnerships both locally and nationally with the Church.

Glasgow Times: Boys' Brigade members at a previous parade in Glasgow Boys' Brigade members at a previous parade in Glasgow

"We believe that Dez will be able to support this work and that we will be able to learn from his experiences of working inter-denominationally. Dez has an incredible passion for the love of Jesus which is at the centre of our work.”

After a challenging last 18 months, BB groups across the UK and RoI are now restarting their face-to-face activities for the new school year. You can find your nearest BB group at boys-brigade.org.uk/join