FROM PRISON TO THE PULPIT PART II

IN CONTINUING, “FROM PRISON TO THE PULPIT PART I”, I FIND MYSELF STILL IN A PRISON, BUT THIS IS A STATE INSTITUTION CALLED PERRY IN SOUTH CAROLINA, INSTEAD OF FEDERAL.

A GOOD FRIEND, WHO WAS ONCE AN “ACQUAINTANCE IN CRIME”, ZEB OSBORNE, WAS ON THE YARD AS A PRISON MINISTER, AND WE STARTED TALKING OLD TIMES AND OUR PAST.

I NOTICED SOMETHING DIFFERENT ABOUT HIM. HE NEVER MENTIONED HE HAD GOTTEN SAVED, OR THAT I WAS ON MY WAY TO HELL. 

I THOUGHT HE HAD A POSITION WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, SO I ASKED HIM TO HELP ME GET TRANSFERRD TO A BETTER INSTITUTION. HE DID, AND I WAS TRANSFERRED TO DUTCHMAN, AND THEN TO GOODMAN WHICH WAS AND IS A MEDIUM SECURITY INSTITUTION.

I DIDN’T KNOW WHAT IT WAS AT THE TIME, BUT THE HOLY SPIRIT WAS DRAWING ME INTO THE CHURCH SERVICES PROVIDED BY VOLUNTEERS. ON MARCH THE 12TH, 1986, LIBERTY MINISTRIES CAME TO STEVENSON INSTITUTION FOR A CHURCH SERVICE THAT NIGHT.

I RODE IN THE PRISON TO STEVENSON CHURCH SERVICE MANY TIMES. WHEN THE ALTER CALL WAS MADE, I WOULD WANT TO GO DOWN TO THE ALTER, BUT MY HANDS WOULDN’T LET ME TURN LOOSE OF THE PEW IN FRONT OF ME. BUT THIS NIGHT, I LET GO, AND GAVE MY HEART TO JESUS.

WHEN I DID, THERE WAS DEFFINATELY A CHANGE IN MY LIFE. THE LORD PUT A HUNGER FOR HIS WORD IN MY HEART. WHEN I RETURNED BACK TO GOODMAN, AFTER THE SERVICE, I TOOK A PAPERBACK BOOK AND STUCK IT IN THE BLINDS TO CAUSE AN OPENING IN THE WINDOW FOR THE STREET LIGHT TO SHINE THROUGH. THIS WAS SO I COULD READ MY BIBLE. I READ MATTHEW, MARK, LUKE,  JOHN AND A PORTION OF ACTS.

SOMEHOW, I KNEW GOD HAD MORE FOR ME.

WHEN I WENT BACK TO CHURCH, MARCH THE 21ST, LIBERTY MINISTRIES WAS THERE AGAIN. PASTOR ROY PORTER JUST HAPPENED TO BE PREACHING ON THE BAPTISM IN THE HOLY GHOST, AND I RECEIVED THE BAPTISM IN THE HOLY GHOST THAT NIGHT. AND I TELL YOU, LIFE DON’T GET ANY BETTER THAN BEING SAVED AND FILLED WITH THE HOLY GJOST.

THINGS REALLY STARTED CHANGING IN MY LIFE. I WAS GOING UP FOR PAROLE IN A COUPLE OF WEEKS, SO I PRAYED ABOUT IT. MY FRIEND ZEB OSBORNE, SPOKE ON MY BEHALF AT THE PAROLE HEARING. THEY TOLD HIM HE WOULD NOT BE MAKING PAROLE. SO HE CAME OUT AND TOLD ME THAT NEWS, AND I TOLD HIM, “I DON’T ACCEPT THAT.” THEN IT WAS MY TURN TO GOD BEFORE THE PAROLE BOARD. I ANSWERED THEIR QUESTIONS. AND YOU KNOW WHAT? THEY GAVE ME MY PAROLE!!!

I WOULD LIKE TO SAY THIS WAS NOT MY FIRST TIME TO ASK THE LORD IN MY HEART: I WAS WAITING A NEW TRIAL FOR BANK ROBBERY, WHILE I WAS IN JAIL. I WAS READING THE BIBLE, OCCASIONALLY. THERE WERE NO PREACHERS COMING IN, SO I MOSTLY JUST READ. I THOUGHT I HAD GIVEN MY LIFE TO THE LORD, BUT IT WAS LIKE ALL THE TIMES I ASKED THE LORD TO HELP ME, AND I’D NEVER DO IT AGAIN, BUT I DID DO IT AGAIN.

I WAS JUST WANTING HIM TO HELP ME OUT OF A SITUATION.

IT’S WHAT YOU HEAR ABOUT A LOT, “JAILHOUSE SALVATION.” IT DOESN’T STICK. YOU ARE STILL ON YOUR WAY TO HELL, I’M SORRY TO SAY.

BUT IT HAS TO BE THE REAL DEAL.

WHEN I GOT OUT OF PRISON, GOD REALLY STARTED MOVING I MY LIFE. SOMEONE WAS PAYING FOR MY COLLEGE TUITION AT ERSKINE THEOLOGICAL SIMINARY. I WENT ONE SEMESTER AND FOUND OUT THAT THEY HAD EXPELLED ANOTHER STUDENT WHO WAS WORKING ON HIS MINISTRY LISCENSE FOR PRAYING IN THE HOLY GHOST, AND I KNEW IT WASN’T THE PLACE FOR ME TO BE, SO I LEFT.

I WAS AT HOME ON MY KNEES PRAYING AND WORSHIPPING AND ASKING GOD TO SEND A COMPANION IN MY LIFE. I HAD NOR MORE THAT GOT THE WORDS OUT OF MY MOUTH, THAN I HEARD A KNOCK AT THE FRONT DOOR. IT WAS MY EXWIFE. WE HAD BEEN DIVORCED 14 YEARS. SHE WAS SAVED, AND LIVING FOR THE LORD. WE SHORTLY REMARRIED. AFTER A COUPLE OF WEEKS, I WAS PRAYING AND ASKED THE LORD FOR A SON: THREE WEEKS LATER I FOUND OUT SHE WAS PREGNANT. IN ABOUT 3 OR 4 MONTHS, I FOUND OUT IT WAS A BOY. GOD IS GOOD.

GOD PLACED ME IN A MINISTRY OF GOING BACK INTO THE PRISONS TO MINISTER TO THE INMATES OF ALL AGES.

GOD HAS TAKEN ME TO PLACES I NEVER DREAMED I WOULD GO. I HAVE MINISTED IN THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC 10 TIMES IN THE LAST 10 YEARS. WHAT A JOY IT HAS BEEN TO SEE PEOPLE GET SAVED AND HEALED.

I HAVE A TRIP COMING UP JANUARY 2011 TO GO BACK TO THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC. I NEED YOUR PRAYERS. 

I AM OPEN TO GO INTO PRISONS, CHURCHES, AND OTHER COUNTRIES AS THE LORD LEADS AND PROVIDES.

O HOW WONDERFUL IT IS FOR YOU IF JESUS IS IN YOUR HEART!! AND IF YOU DON’T KNOW JESUS, YOU CAN ASK HIM TO COME INTO YOUR HEART AND CHANGE YOUR LIFE. REALLY MEAN IT AND HE WILL COME IN. IT WOULD BE THE GREATEST THING YOU COULD EVER DO.

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