The story of Johnny Ova
I, Johnny Ova, was raised as an Italian Catholic on Long Island. I had a pretty good childhood but things got rough fairly quickly. My Dad was an alcoholic, yet my best friend. I always looked up to him, not for his alcoholism but because of his love for me, my brother and sister. Also, the way he commanded a room. He was always the center of attention, had lots of friends, and seemed to know everyone! My Mom had put up with a lot. Besides the alcoholism, she put up with the late nights (or sometimes never coming home), the dangerous situations my dad put himself in with gangs and major financial issues. Despite all of these things, my mother was a hard worker who loved us tremendously and had shielded us from a lot.
Throughout their marital struggles, this did have a deep impact on me. It took everything that was once secure away. I remember having nightmares of suicide at 6 years old that scared me because I actually wanted to do it. My parents divorced when I was in 5th grade and from there my identity and perception had never been the same. I felt alone, yet I was loved. I felt a burden on my shoulders that I should’ve never carried. Throughout all of the fights and struggles, my dad had died suddenly on the night of October 9th, 2001, from a blood clot due to alcoholism. My dad was 44 years old.
I had also believed there was a God but never knew about a personal God. I quickly turned to girls and drinking myself, all the while achieving my dream of becoming a Professional Wrestler. Wrestling was my “out” of reality. When I was in the ring I was determined to be better than everyone by outworking every single person that stepped through those ropes. I had to prove myself in life and I had to prove myself within the squared circle. Doubt had always fueled me. When people doubted me, I rose to the occasion.
Johnny Ova turns to Christ
While I was wrestling I met a man named Bobby Riedel, who currently works with me at the church as well! I remember all the late nights of him just asking me questions about God, taking walks around the Delco Plaza in Hicksville, NY. Never pushy, but always made me think. He would always invite me to his church which I would refuse until one divinely appointed night when I said yes to go to a play his church was holding. The play was AWESOME. It struck a chord in me and related to me. That night, I gave my life to Jesus. It filled a void that was there. The constant strength I had, was turning into emptiness and suffocation. Always having to prove myself and “being strong” for everyone…it was on that night that Jesus saved my life, transformed my life and healed all of the wounds inside of me.
Today, I am ordained and am the senior leader of Sound of Heaven Church alongside the love of my life Rachel. We travel the USA preaching and teaching the Gospel of Jesus and applicable ways to reach people for Jesus. We have 4 beautiful children Johnny, Zoë, Massimo, and Lucy. We unfortunatly miscarried our baby Jude in December of 2019, but we are expecting another child in May of 2020. The vision is to change the world by changing people, one person at a time. Pouring into them serving them and helping them serve others. Jesus is KING! He changed me in such a powerful way and I want the world to experience what I experienced.