Comedian Mickey Bell has been out on the road bringing joy to others with his clean comedy, but the former pastor once suffered from severe depression that caused him to think about ending his life. Now, he is opening up about how he turned that dark season into joy.
Bell, the pastor of Grace Church Bessemer in Alabama who is gearing up to release his first comedy special, has been out on tour with artists Jason Crabb, Mycah Tyler, David Phelps and Guy Penrod.
He is quickly becoming one of the most sought-after Christian comedians, hosts and speakers. But in his new book, Reverse The Course Of Depression, Bell uncovers the causes of depression while offering advice on keeping a sound mind.
"After going through one of the toughest times in my life, to be where I am now is simply a God-thing,” Bell told The Christian Post.
Bell was serving as a pastor of another church when lost everything after making some sinful choices that forced him out of a church position and led him down a dark path of depression.
“I was ready to take my life. In fact, I was praying for God to do so. But, He chose to keep me around and, for the longest time, I really didn't know why,” Bell explained. “I had failed as a pastor and mentor and didn't know if anyone would even care about what I have to say.”
“God chose the comedy stage to allow myself to fully come through and for me to heal,” he added. “Standing on the platform with a mic in my hand is my safe place. It's the one place I can go, and my anxieties take a back seat."
His humor is geared towards people of all ages, while his jokes are filled with his church experiences and stories meant to bring joy to everyone.
"Comedy is unique in that it reaches so many people and the hearts of those people. Anyone from any walk of life can attend an evening of comedy and be carrying the weight of life on their shoulders. But after just a few moments of laughing, they feel the stress disappear, if only for the next 60 minutes,” Bell said. “Once the laughter has removed the walls, it then allows me to plant some seeds of hope into that person that doesn't feel like they can continue on with their life. "
For Bell, it's "more than just about the laughs," stressing that he is a "comedian with a purpose."
"The laughs will come and go, but the words I plant in the lives of those at the show will hopefully impact people in such a way that it helps them actually grow into a better life," he detailed.
The Alabama native often shares his testimony of restoration and the blessing of receiving a second chance despite his failures. Talking about his own experience with depression and his downfall is what he uses to encourage others.
This summer, Bell is slated to fulfill one of his dreams by filming his first comedy special at the Stardome Comedy Club just outside of Birmingham.
"As a comic, you always work and dream of being noticed for your work. Being able to perform at the Stardome Comedy Club is very simply explained as a dream come true,” the comedian testified. "Living in central Alabama, I have gone to see many of my comic heroes entertain thousands. It's very exciting and thrilling that on August 24, 2021, I get to stand on that very spot and showcase my talents."