Paul Teutul Jr., the star of Discovery's "American Chopper," not only designs amazing bikes, but he also has a touching testimony. He related to CBN how he moved from a child with a tumultuous relationship with his father, to a young man with drug problems, to a Christian.
Paul Jr.’s related how his mom was loving and supportive—instilling Christian values in her children—but she couldn't fix the dysfunctional dynamic of her home. Paul's father Paul Sr. was an alcoholic and a workaholic. He worked hard to support his family, but he also drank just as hard.
Still, his mother influence would play out in his later life:“She planted seeds that would have a great impact on me years later,” shares Paul Jr.
When Paul Jr. was twelve, his mother took the family to a filming of Paul and Jan Crouch of the Trinity Broadcasting Network. Meadowlark Lemon of the Harlem Globetrotters was one of their guests. After he spoke about salvation, Paul Jr. went forward and accepted Jesus as his Savior.
That was the first step for Paul Jr., but it didn't immediately that didn’t immediately transform his life. As Paul grew into a teenager, his relationship with his father became more strained. At the same time, he started smoking, using marijuana, and drinking.
He also worked with his father in the family steel business on weekends during the school year.
He shares, “Working alongside my father that much was a bad thing for our combustible relationship,” shares Paul Jr. “He knew which buttons of mine to push.”
When Paul was in his early twenties, his parents separated and his professional relationship with his father went downhill. Over a ten year period, he smoked pot to avoid having to deal with his relationship with his father.
Everything changed for Paul when he began having severe anxiety attacks. That prompted him to stop using marijuana so that he could deal with the anxiety. At the same time, he became involved in church and he started to read the Bible.
"It was during this time that Paul Jr. began to understand who God truly is and separate his perception of his heavenly Father from that of his earthly father," reveals CBN.
In 2002, Paul Jr. and Paul Sr.'s tumultuous relationship hit the silver screen. Discovery contacted Paul Sr. about doing a pilot for an East Coast bike building show. After the pilot aired with two million viewers, they turned "American Chopper" into a series.
“The arguments, shouting matches, door slamming, and wall-punching were no different from my life growing up with my father, working for him in the steel business and then building bikes together. The only difference once American Chopper started was that there were cameras around recording our blowups for the world to see,” shares Paul.
In 2008, Paul was fired from Orange County Choppers after a heated argument.
Paul recalls, “At the time it seemed devastating, but it turned out to be one of the best things that could have happened to me. Working for my father had long been oppressive and it was time to leave.”
2009 was a year of change for Paul. In 2007, Paul had begun dating a girl named Rachael. The couple attended church together, but they also lived together. In 2009, they met Michael Guido, who had an organization called PR Ministries. They befriended the young couple and guided them closer to God.
One weekend, Paul was invited to spend a weekend with Michael and Rick Marshall, who directed crusades for Billy Graham. It was there Paul felt convicted that living with Rachael was wrong. Together they decided to honor God as a couple, and Rachael moved out.
Nine months later, they married on August 20, 2010. The couple welcomed a son, Hudson, two years after they stopped filming the show in 2013.
After five years off the air, Discovery Channel is reviving American Chopper. Paul Sr. and Paul Jr. are back on board. In the reboot, the duo “set out reclaim their preeminent bike brands and—hopefully, rebuild some sort of relationship."
Paul Jr. shares, “In spite of all the negatives and difficulties, I love my father, because he is my father,” shares Paul. “I think we have tried more at certain times than others to get along well, but our relationship has always been one of adversity."
Watch the full interview here. In other news, Ellen revealed a heartbreaking loss for her family.