Bobby Hayden is an “in-your-face” example of Jeremiah 29:10-12.
“I’ll show up and take care of you as I promised and bring you back home. I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out–plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for. When you call on me, when you come and pray to me, I’ll listen.” Jeremiah 29:10-12 (The Message)
That’s the message Bobby hopes to convey to those who are looking for a life change. God pulled him out of the pit and gave him a plan, and he’ll do the same for you.
At the age of 8, Bobby was already getting national attention with his rich voice and mature stage presence. At 13, he signed with Ed Cummings with the Gerald Purcell Agency representing talent in Nashville, New York, and Hollywood. He appeared on the Ted Mack Amateur Hour, the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tennessee and the Milton Berle Show. All of this is fairly standard these days with parents pursuing entertainment options for their gifted and talented children. However, it was not in 1963. Cummings quoted Mr. Berle who remarked that “he had never seen anything like this boy in his 50 years in show business.” As years past, music was changing, and Bobby was becoming a teenager.
Bobby’s Music Career Landed Him On MTV
With the onslaught of rock and roll, Bobby opened for Mitch Ryder, as well as Paul Revere and the Raiders. Bobby’s parents became worried about where the rock and roll would lead, so his parents put him back in school. However, by this time, Bobby was already addicted to the applause and attention from his show business career. After joining various bands and traveling throughout the midwest, he ended up in Los Angeles. In L.A., he formed the Bobby Hayden Band, which included Rick Bozzo, formerly with Meatloaf, and Randy Castillo, who later went on to perform with Ozzy Osbourne. The band had a popular local following, as well as appearing on MTV with V.J. Martha Quinn.
Bobby Became A Heroin Addict and Lived 10 Years in a Cardboard Box
With the rock and roll, came the proverbial sex and drugs. Occasional drug use became a serious heroin addiction, not once, but twice during Bobby’s life. The second time from 1997-2007 led him to Hell’s Kitchen in L.A. where he lived in a cardboard box for almost a decade. His life as a panhandler to support his habit, and all that came with it, put him in perilous situations that only by the grace of God, did he survive. He had no hope. No reason to live. No plans for the future. But God did. God sent his box mate’s mother by way of a local Hispanic baker to deliver him out of his hell. And after not seeing his family in Indiana for 10 years, God began simultaneously preparing their hearts to receive him.
Bobby Surrenders His Life to Jesus Christ
Bobby Hayden is drug free today. He gave his life to the Lord in the bathroom of a gas station while traveling out of Los Angeles to Phoenix, Arizona where he would spend the next year in physical and spiritual rehabilitation. He moved to Carmel, Indiana in 2009 and found his voice again. Not in a bar. But in a praise and worship rock-and-roll band where the Lord uses his talent every Sunday to inspire and bless others. Bobby has a children’s teaching ministry to pay his bills–kids of all ages who are inspired by music, but are mostly in need of encouraging words and an enthusiastic teacher who believes in them. And now, Bobby has launched Cardboard Box Ministries – speaking to churches, rehab centers, homeless shelters and youth groups, to an audience of one to infinity, from across the street, to wherever the Lord tells him to go. His story has been told to the Current in Carmel of Carmel, Indiana and on WISH TV’s IndyStyle and The Hour of Power. He’s been featured on Full Circle on WHMB, and the internationally syndicated talk-show that is aired in 138 countries, LeSea Broadcasting, the 700 Club and the Christian Broadcasting Network. His most recent interview was with Monica Schmelter on the show “Bridges” on CTN in Nashville, TN. Bobby was also interviewed on the LeSea Broadcasting Network – Watch Interview