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A Deadly Game and A Cry for Help

Caleb Wood - 700 Club Producer

“I just kept thinking like, ‘How did I get here? What am I doing in this position?’ I’m just completely helpless. I figured at this point they was going to kill me,” Gary Bethea said as he recalled the details of his kidnapping.

“It was just a normal night. I had my sister's car, but it was getting late. We was just hanging out and then all of a sudden you got these girls pulling up. They're – you know, they're flirting with us. I didn't know where it was gonna go fully that night, but I did know that there was a good chance of us, you know, having a girl to ourself. That was – that was my goal. And then when it came that they wanted us to follow them back to their place to get ready to go to a party I was excited. Man, even though I need to get this car back, you know, we can spend a little bit more time. I was just all for it."

“We got there and I'm thinking I don't want to go in the house with everybody else. I want to invite one of these girls into my car, more like one-on-one time. And so we was there probably about 20 to 25 minutes and we hop out the car to head inside", recalls Gary.

“When I walk in, I see my friend sitting on the couch. I hear the door close behind me, and I feel this – something touches my head. So, I initially turn around to see what it is. And that's when I see the shotgun –just fear. They start emptying out my pockets, grabbing the keys from me, grabbing my wallet, yelling. And my reaction was, ‘What have I got myself into?’ It was terrifying."

“So, I'm sitting in this single chair, and my friend’s on the couch. I was tied up so I couldn’t do anything. They just start yelling, just asking what do we have? We was teenagers, so we didn't really have any money. So, they just started punching. Just taking turns just punching me in the face. It was also the girls as well, which just makes you feel even worse because you just realize how bad of a setup this was. How bad you've been deceived."

“I realized that it wasn't so much about the robbing. They was having a good time doing what they was doing. They continued to laugh, joke, uh hit me in the face. At this point I had been getting assaulted for hours. My face was bleeding. My eyes were shutting. I started realizing that maybe I'm not going to get out of this alive. And then that's when they took me, and I see my sister’s car and they put me in the trunk."

“I'm in the back of the trunk, I'm tied up, it's dark, I’m beating myself up for getting in this situation, I'm worried about how I'm gonna die. And I just – I just started praying. Praying, to ask God to forgive me for chasing after these girls. I prayed that if He gave me more time, I wouldn't – I wouldn't disappoint Him. And then God just started whispering to me. He started reassuring me that, ‘I still love you. This is not something that will make me not love you.’ Then that's when my mind became more at ease. I felt this peace come, and I just fell asleep in the trunk of the car."

“When the car stopped, I woke back up and the guy opened the trunk. And that's when I thought they was gonna kill me at that point. The guy told me that I better not say a word of this to anybody. That’s when he hit me and I fell to the side of the road. They got in a car that was following, and they sped off. I was just thanking God. Thanking God for just giving me more time."

“After that long night, me and my friend, we did survive. We was taken straight to the hospital. What happened to all the other people there that night, everyone was arrested, some were minor, so they didn’t go to jail, but they were all arrested and some did do jail time."

“It's been 20 years now. Getting out of that situation was definitely an act of God. And I just feel like ever since that point in time, I've just been aware of Him in my life, how He's just opened up so many doors. He's blessed me with a beautiful family. He blessed me with this dental practice in which I'm able to help the community."

“I know God heard my prayers that night. It was in the midst of just darkness, quietness, that's when I first heard His voice. I know that He was with me the whole time. And I know it was only because of Him that I was able to make it out of that situation alive.”

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