Sex, Drugs, Rock & Roll…and Hope Rising

In 1978, Rochester native Nick Costello signed a recording contract with the rock group ‘Toronto’, and for the next several years lived the life of a rock and roll star. Limos, tour buses, radio and TV interviews, videos on MTV, platinum records, performing in front of 40,000 screaming fans. Also sex, drugs, alcohol, loneliness, misery, unhappiness, emptiness.

“I always wanted to be a rock and roll star,” says Nick. “It began during a high school dance when I witnessed all the attention a local rock band was receiving from my peers.” Nick wanted that attention, wanted to be part of the “in crowd”, wanted to be a somebody. So he bought a $35 guitar and taught himself how to play. He hooked up with some other musicians and formed a band. And he met his best friends for the next decade: drugs and alcohol.

He had no idea that “one hit off a joint and a couple of beers” would gradually take control of his life and nearly destroy his health and him in the process. But it did, and Nick was left battling the effects of his immoral lifestyle, feeling empty and lost.
“People had been telling me they were praying for me,” says Nick. “At the time, I wasn’t interested, because I had dreams of rock stardom to chase.
Finally, I recognized that I was on a collision course with death. I was also on a collision course with God.”

In 1988, at a Billy Graham Crusade in Rochester, Nick accepted Christ, surrendering to Him and experiencing the peace and hope of God’s grace.
Nick Costello has experienced the “glamorous” life and lived to tell about it – and now he’s eager and willing to use those experiences to share Christ with the lost.
Along with former Toronto band member Jim Fox, and Rochester, NY music veterans Gary Liotta, Dave Costello, and Dana Gregory, Nick has formed a new rock band called G Force, and the group is ready to take their message of hope to the lost.
“Music is simply a way for us to communicate our mission,” says Nick. That mission? To boldly spread the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to
people of all ages, through good music and preaching.
Last July, G Force began sharing that message at Hope Rising, an outreach event geared to teens. “This is not a Christian worship meeting,” Nick warns.
“This is an evangelistic event. We want kids to bring lost friends. We will share the gospel and give an invitation each night, and we’ll hopefully have a
counselor and people to pray with.”
Forming a band with an evangelist mission is a natural extension of the band members current ministries. Gary Liotta, guitarist and songwriter, is the
founder of Solid Rock Gym Ministries, an evangelistic weightlifting ministry to inner city men. Dave Costello, keyboardist and songwriter, and drummer
Jim Fox, are Christian songwriters and the co-owners of Upper Room Publishing. Dana Gregory, percussionist and vocalist, has been working in youth
ministry for 15 years.
The members of G Force emphasis that they believe people are to be treated with dignity, patience, respect, and love – regardless of race, color or spiritual
standing. And through that love, the band wants to share the hope of Jesus.
“Christ is the reason we do what we do,” says Nick. “Everything we undertake is done with the purpose and goal of bringing glory to His name.”

To volunteer to help out at Hope Rising, or to make a tax-deductible donation, contact Combat Ministries at (716) 393-0151 or combatzone

From our archives 11/1/01


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