He came up in the church, but strayed from the message.
It took him 10 years to find his way back and when he did, he made it his mission to share his path so others could learn.
Gabriel Day has been paving his own road to redemption.
This week, the journey took him to Resurrection Power Church in Gahanna where he talked about the man he was and rapped about his transformation.
Day says he was "tied up, tangled up with drug use. Hustling, selling drugs, walking around carrying guns and other things.”
But in his rap lyrics, he says he wants to “be a door of the word, not just hear it.”
It's all part of Day's message.
“I really pray and ask God, ‘give me the words to say to the people who will hear it,’” he says.
Gabriel Day came to Ohio from Rome, New York where he grew up in his parent's church.
He became a dad as a teenager. He says he was ashamed of himself – ashamed of making a mistake so he ran from the church.
But what he ran to, put him in danger.
"You know, just hanging with the wrong crowd, the cool kids, the ones running the streets.” He says that crowd also included gang members.
Day says his transformation and shift back to the church began when he received a message on Facebook.
The post - which he has kept - was from his one-time pastor's daughter. In it, she told him she prayed he'd find his way back to God. “Choose”, she said.
"My heart started pounding,” says Day. “I’ve never experienced anything like it prior to or since. That moment I felt like I was in the middle of a life or death decision.”
The post changed the course of Gabriel’s destiny.
He soon left the life he was living, got back to his family and back to church.
His testimony is in his music:
"Heart new, everything new. Mind new, everything new,” he raps.
He works to share his message whenever he can, especially with young people - including his friends.
"He’s totally turned his life around and he just wants to help others turn their lives around. I think it's totally great,” says Yvette Lewis, Gabriel’s friend.
For Gabriel Day, he says he has gained peace of mind, “joy that can't be taken away.”
At church he rapped, "He changed me, I’m so glad he changed me.”
Gabriel performs, and does motivational speaking. If you’d like to reach out to him, his email is Gabrielmaday@yahoo.com