Former DUCK DYNASTY Cast Member Recounts Giving Up Drugs, Gangs for Christ

Photo from Bryan Rucker’s Instagram

Former DUCK DYNASTY Cast Member Recounts Giving Up Drugs, Gangs for Christ

By Movieguide® Contributor 

Former DUCK DYNASTY cast member Bryan Rucker recounts his conversion, sharing his journey from a drug runner and convicted murderer to a public speaker and director of Christian ministry group Celebrate Recovery at his church.

Rucker grew up in the projects of Houston, living in a two-bedroom apartment with his mom and grandmother. One of the earliest life-shaping events, what he referred to as “trauma points,” was witnessing a man get shot outside his apartment at nine years old.

“So, seeing all this stuff, it wasn’t just the watching the murder happen, but it was, you know, just walking to the corner store to get a Snickers bar. You see prostitutes, you see people selling crack and everything else,” Rucker recalled on the Ryan Ries Show. “It was just how I grew up. And I really didn’t know that there was any other way.”

He eventually got caught up in that culture, began dealing drugs and got involved in gangs. At the same time, his mother was facing health issues.

“I was 12 years old. My life consisted of go to school, get out of school, go to the hospital, see my mom, and then go back to my neighborhood and just hang out on the corner selling drugs,” Rucker shared on the “I Am Second” video series.

His life spiraled further after his mother died when he was 13. Six months later, he was arrested for armed robbery. After serving two-and-a-half years in juvenile detention, he sold drugs again, making $60,000 a month.

Rucker was eventually convicted of a gang-related shooting and faced a lifetime sentence for second-degree murder. He ended up serving four years.

“That was one of those moments in my life I didn’t realize was going to be a turning point,” Rucker said.

Once he had his son, he realized that he needed to give up gangs and drug dealing, but it wasn’t until he moved to West Monroe, Louisiana, to take care of his grandmother that the former atheist started to see God move in his life.

After struggling to find work, he got a job at the Duck Commander warehouse of DUCK DYNASTY fame.

“They just kind of started showing me love, and they told me that they cared about me. They gave me responsibility and stuff that nobody had ever done before. I start going to church with them,” Rucker said.

“The more I went, the more I listened, and the more I listened, everything that didn’t make sense made sense if I put God in the equation,” he added.

Duck Commander founder Phil Robertson eventually baptized Rucker. The Texas native eventually appeared on DUCK DYNASTY, but Rucker admitted he was leading a double life —sharing what Christ had done in his life in public and sleeping with women, drinking and smoking pot behind closed doors. Right before the episode where he appeared was to air, Rucker was arrested for a DWI and drug possession.

“And I’m sitting in jail. And I’m literally asking myself…‘How did this happen? I got Jesus,’ and then it hit me. God was like, ‘Either you’re for Me or against Me. There’s no gray area. You can’t ride the fence. You can’t go around and proclaim Me and then be caught up in all this sinful behavior,” Rucker recalled.

Duck Commander CEO Willie Robertson, Rucker’s mentor Grant Taylor and others bailed him out of jail and asked him to join Celebrate Recovery and move into a sober living house. At first reluctant to attend, he would go on to be a director of a Celebrate Recovery at his church in West Monroe and bought the sober houses he had lived in.

“I’m walking out this relationship with Jesus, and I don’t know what He’s gonna have me do. I don’t know where I’m gonna go. But I do know that… He’s got a plan, and His plan is always going to be better than mine,” Rucker shared.

Rucker will experience another milestone as he marries his fiancé, Kayleigh LeBrun. He recently updated followers on the upcoming nuptials.

“18 more days and I get to marry Kayleigh LeBrun. Can’t wait to change your last name. Love you!” Rucker posted on Instagram with a picture of her smiling into the camera.


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