The Jericho Journey

He was a drug kingpin

He has served time in prison, 

He was a recovering crack addict

He’s now a minister, 

He’s now an author, 

He’s now an actor and a retired military veteran. 

Meet Ronald Baldwin, Sr

Today his activities include involvement with numerous groups for the 

Empowerment of men which includes Male to Men’s United.

He’s involved with a reentry program for men coming out of prison and 

He’s politically active in outreach in his community.

Ronald Baldwin Begins His Story

Have you been burdened with this addiction to crack cocaine? 

Crack cocaine is a very, very, very powerful drug. 

I’m just so happy to be one of the survivors of that drug and to share my story with you and let you know what happened and how I overcame it.

I’m from a family of five boys and four girls and I’m the middle boy. 

My dad was in the military for 30 years in the Navy and he taught us to be stern 

be dutiful 

to be responsible

all the qualities of a man that we were to receive from my father we received it in this middle-class neighborhood that I grew up in. 

At the same time, my mother stayed home and took care of all nine of us. 

My dad did not really like for her to work so we became more like being a provider minded type of man to be there for our children and our family and that’s what my father taught us.

Things went south when I started experiencing minor drugs 

I would say, the alcohol, back in the day 

they had this thing called black beauties and it was speed. 

then the crack cocaine scene, 

the marijuana was there and I dabbled with marijuana in high school

I was going to ask you when did you start first using drugs?

When I was in high school I really, wanted to play football and I only weighed 110 pounds in my ninth grade year. 

I went out for the team and couldn’t make it because I was too small. 

The coach encouraged me to gain some more weight and to do so I really, became tougher 

If you tell me I can’t do it I’m going to do it. 

So, I finally made the football team. 

I got on the football team and begin to meet other people in different environments, 

people from different cultures and hanging around them not only at school but at practice too. 

Then from practice, we would normally go to their neighborhood or go to my neighborhood and hang out for a little while and then we’d go home. 

We started just puffing marijuana, 

puffing cigarettes. 

That’s how it all started.

My Time in The Military 

Well, I went into a delayed entry program while I was in high school. 

I went into the military as an E3.

When I entered the military I was just gung-ho happy to serve my country 

My dad being in the military 30 years in the Navy. 

No one in my family really went to college at that time. 

They went their separate ways on jobs, careers, and different things like that.

I wanted to be in the military and be like my dad. 

I went into the military, 

I met a lot of people, 

People from all over the world and had different things that they did.

The first thing I started really, getting involved was drinking beer. 

In the military soldiers would get a couple of cases and we’d sit around in the barracks and drink all weekend. 

I knew my body rejected the alcohol the moment that I started drinking. 

After two or three beers I would leave the room like I’m going somewhere and go throw up in my room and come back just to be able to hang with the boys. 

I pushed myself into an area where I felt personally I wanted to fit in somewhere. 

That’s where addicts really lose focus from themselves and start putting a focus on other people and the acceptance of other people.

Joining the military everybody was smoking, everybody was drinking and then the marijuana people started bringing in marijuana. 

It was just crazy with all the different peer pressures that we had. 

There were people doing drugs, shooting up and doing heroin, and doing all different types of drugs. 

All of that really, begin to make an impact on me in my decision making.

When I started the marijuana it was just having it to get high and then you go and get the munchies it was a fun thing at first. 

It was accepted in modern society just like alcohol is today. 

Back then as long as you didn’t do any heavy drugs you were fine. 

If you did marijuana you were accepted in a lot of groups and people wouldn’t give you such a hard time about it, now it’s different.

Then we really enjoyed the freedom while in the military. 

The Jericho Road

During My time in the military marijuana gave you a free will spirit 

As God said, he has always given us a free will spirit. 

Sometimes our free will spirit leads us down a dangerous Jericho Road. 

That’s why I have always used that term, 

the Jericho Road experience because that was a winding road that headed downward. 

It took you to a wall.

The reason why I came up with that term Jericho Road because I can recall a scripture where they say so many people came by this guy who was in need of this Jericho Road.

A priest came by, pastors came by, moms, dads came by, children watched him came by shaking their head, wagging their head. 

I can imagine what this person felt like when all these people passed him by seeing that he needed help but did not give him any help. 

I asked God all the time during that period I said, “God, why did you choose me to go down this road knowing that it was a lonely road?” 

How Did I become a Drug Kingpin?

Well, when I got out of the military I began to dibble and dabble around people that were doing and dealing cocaine while I was going to college.

Getting out of the military you have four years where you can go to school. 

I took advantage of that and I went to school and while in school I ran across a guy who was using crack cocaine. 

Now, I never laid eyes on crack cocaine before this. 

Then when I knew the areas of crack, 

Where people were doing crack cocaine 

In my community where I was raised in Wedgewood was a bug-infested area of drugs and money and people would get cars and fancy houses and all of that stuff. 

And I wanted it.

A flashy lifestyle. 

Unbeknown to me I didn’t know the pain that was behind it. 

I began to start working at this particular car dealership and at this particular car dealership, there were people that were doing certain things. 

And so, I wanted to get a part of it. 

Even though I was making plenty of money. 

We were making a lot of money selling a lot of cars. 

We would meet up at this bar a few miles from the dealership 

We would drink 

We would talk and 

We would do our marijuana smoking, 

Smoke our cigarettes 

Drink and tell a bunch of lies and jokes if you 

Just hanging out, who would’ve thought that something that seemed relatively innocent would lead to such destruction.

Does Ronald’s story sound familiar to you? Do you relate to it at all? Find out how Ronald’s decisions lead to his destruction and how he rose outs of that by watching the video.

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