Pastor Bill Purvis was stabbed multiple times and left for dead.
Pastor Bill Purvis was stabbed multiple times and left for dead. (Facebook)

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"When I came in, he put his hand on my throat and said, 'Get the district attorney, this boy has been stabbed to death, and he'll be dead before the DA gets here.'" 

Pastor Bill Purvis' Southern accent swirls around the details of his miraculous life.  

"I fell in love with Jesus that day, and He change my life," Purvis says. But what ended with the life-saving miracle began under less-than-savory circumstances.  

Forty-two years ago, Purvis was a 17-year-old rebel, who picked up a prostitute and brought her back to a house.  

But the whole situation was a set up for murder.  

"This guy came out of a room, I was fully undressed, and this guy came in the room with a butcher knife," Purvis recalls. "He stabbed me in my chest, and the knife came out my back. Second time, he stabbed me in the throat, cut my jugular in half. I'm one of four in world to live (from this). 

"I tried to run out the door, and the third time, he stabbed me in the stomach. In a matter of seconds, I wound up with three mortal wounds.

"I knocked the door down, and stepped out on it. I had a friend waiting in the car. He saw me covered in blood, and I hit hood of car and screamed to get out of here, ran 50 more feet, fell in in parking lot and grabbed a light pole." 

What happened next was pure God.  

While clinging to that light pole, Purvis remembered a young man who knocked on his door two weeks before the incident.  

"He said, 'Everything you're looking for can be found in Jesus,'" Purvis says.  

So holding on to that light pole, bleeding to death, Purvis cried out to God for forgiveness for his life and asked Jesus to transform his life.  

During his prayer, Purvis' friend who had been in the car found him and rushed him to the hospital, where a cardiovascular surgeon happened to be on call.  

Eleven and a half hours of surgery later, Purvis thought it was all a bad dream, but the district attorney's documents prove otherwise.  

Fast forward more than four decades, and Purvis leads a megachurch in Georgia. He hopes his story, which is detailed in the pages Make a Break for It, will bring hope to anyone who encounters it.  

"God just changed my life, radically changed me," Purvis says. "I was the aimless boy. If God can do what he did for me, He can do it for anybody. The story I wrote about making a break for it means to break free from an old life, anybody can do it if God's doing something in their life, they have to make a break."

Jessilyn Justice is the director of online news for Charisma. Born and raised in a pastor's family in Alabama, she attended Lee University and the Washington Journalism Center. She's passionate about sharing God's goodness through storytelling. Tell her what you think of this story on Twitter @jessilynjustice.

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