Participants: Aaron Chancy (Host), Alvin Pugues, James G. Owen
Series Code: TNJ
Program Code: TNJ000004
00:10 Welcome to The New Journey: the program where we meet
00:13 real life people with real life testimonies
00:15 with real-life working ministries for Jesus.
00:18 Today we meet a pastor out of Memphis, Tennessee,
00:20 that is pleased with his prison ministry team
00:22 because they're on fire for Jesus.
00:24 We'll also meet a man that lived a life of crime
00:26 but was led to Jesus through prison ministries.
00:29 I'm your host Aaron Chancy.
00:30 Come join us on The New Journey.
01:01 Welcome back to The New Journey.
01:02 Today we have with us in the studio Bro. Alvin
01:05 and we have Pastor Owens. Welcome to the show.
01:07 Good to be here. All right, we want to find out
01:10 some information from you all today. We want to start with
01:12 Pastor Owens. Pastor Owens, how long have you been
01:15 pastoring as well as how long have you been at the
01:18 Longview Seventh-day Adventist Church in Memphis?
01:20 All right. First of all, good to be here again.
01:22 I've been pastoring for about 14 years now.
01:26 OK. And I've been specifically pastoring the Longview Heights
01:29 Seventh-day Adventist Church in Memphis for about 5 years.
01:32 About five years. OK, so you've put a little bit of time
01:34 into pastoring, correct? Yes. OK, OK.
01:37 Now being involved in prison ministries, how much of an
01:40 impact have you seen that having an active church
01:43 in prison ministries has been on your congregation?
01:46 Well it's very good to see an active church.
01:49 It's been a great impact. When members are busy -
01:53 OK - then it's a blessing to the church.
01:55 I've noticed that the busy members - those who are
01:57 involved in some type of ministry - they tend to be
02:00 the happiest members. OK.
02:01 God did not ordain for the members to just sit in the pew
02:04 and listen to the preacher, say "Amen, "
02:06 critique the sermon, and go home.
02:08 That's correct. We are to go to church and listen to the sermon,
02:11 get equipped, and go out there into the world -
02:13 that's right - and minister to people -
02:15 at different levels, different needs -
02:17 and just reach out to the world.
02:19 OK. You know after all in the Great Commission it said
02:21 "Go ye therefore... " Yeah.
02:22 That means we have to get up, we have to go,
02:24 we have to go do something, correct?
02:26 Yeah go... that's an active word.
02:27 "Go... " That means we have to go.
02:29 That's exactly right. Come... and we go. That's exactly right.
02:31 Now how about church growth? Due to your prison ministries
02:34 team how about has the church grown since prison ministries
02:38 has been involved in your church? All right, as far as
02:40 church growth, the Lord has blessed tremendously.
02:44 We have had... for example last year we baptized
02:47 124 total. OK. 29 of those baptisms
02:52 came through Revelation seminar, Amazing Facts seminar,
02:55 Sabbath preaching, and just reaching out.
02:58 OK. The other 95 came through the prison ministry. OK.
03:02 So it's been a powerful team, and they're faithful to God
03:04 every week. Very powerful.
03:06 OK. So you've had 124 baptisms just recently.
03:10 124 baptisms... that's a lot of baptisms.
03:12 You know, we're going to talk more about the baptisms
03:15 at your church to encourage others to even get in this work.
03:18 But first I want to deal with what kind of impact have you
03:21 seen for those incarcerated... that this prison ministry work
03:25 has had on them. OK, those who come out of prison,
03:29 when they to come to church - OK - I've seen that they are
03:33 more on fire. Some of them have become elders.
03:35 OK. The folk love to hear them preach.
03:38 They become productive people.
03:40 And just seeing that excites you.
03:43 I mean, it's great! OK... Amen, Amen.
03:46 You know, many churches aren't as fortunate
03:48 to have a prison ministry team, an active prison ministry team.
03:52 You know, I know for myself with my church
03:54 we don't necessarily have an active prison ministry team
03:57 as yet. So that's a real blessing for your church,
03:59 isn't it? Yeah, they go into the...
04:02 they've been doing it for about 30+ years now. OK.
04:05 And they go into the prison; they give the Bible studies...
04:08 Amazing Facts or so forth; and they will let us baptize
04:12 right in the jail... right in the prison. Amen.
04:14 As a matter of fact, when I first got to Longview
04:16 Elder Tate, personal ministry leader - OK - he asked me to
04:20 lead out in a baptism.
04:22 OK. And they do it most of the time...
04:25 but it was just good to actually be in the prison - OK -
04:28 baptizing people. Amen, Amen. It's a good experience.
04:32 You know, what I want you to do right now, Pastor Owens, is
04:34 take out your Bible and I want you to turn to Matthew 25.
04:38 You know, Matthew 25, viewers, deals with God
04:41 where He sets on the right and on the left.
04:43 He takes the sheep on the right and the goats on the left
04:46 and He says something to them.
04:47 And we're going to have Pastor Owens read some very
04:50 key words and expound upon what's in those verses.
04:53 OK. First off, Matthew 25 verse 32. OK.
04:58 Says: "And before Him shall be gathered all nations
05:01 and He shall separate them one from another
05:04 as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats. "
05:08 Notice you have two categories of people here.
05:10 You have sheep and you have goats.
05:13 And then the Lord begins to say certain things to them.
05:16 In verse 35 He says: "For I was a hungered and you gave Me meat.
05:19 I was thirsty and you gave Me drink.
05:21 I was a stranger and you took Me in.
05:23 Naked and you clothed me" in verse 36.
05:26 And then He says in verse 36:
05:28 "I was sick and you visited Me.
05:30 I was in prison and you came unto Me. "
05:34 Now that told to me right there He identifies Himself
05:38 with those who have been misfortunate. Oh yes.
05:41 Those who have made mistakes. Even those who may be
05:45 in prison unjustly. Yeah. 'Cause there's some folk
05:47 in prison and they don't deserve to be in prison.
05:49 They're in prison... it's like a Joseph situation.
05:53 Yeah, yeah. But the Lord says "I'm related to these folk. "
05:55 And that's why one time I even challenged my church...
05:58 I said: "I don't want the Lord to say to me - neither you -
06:02 that when I was in prison you visited Me not.
06:04 And we have a big prison ministries team.
06:07 So I'm challenging every church member
06:09 to at least go to the prison at least one time this year. "
06:12 Amen. I did that this year to all the members.
06:13 I said: "At least go one time so Jesus will not be able
06:16 to say to you "When I was in prison you didn't visit Me. "
06:19 Yeah, that's great... that's great!
06:20 How have you noticed so far that your members have been
06:22 taking that challenge? Some of them have gotten on board.
06:25 Some of them have gotten excited.
06:26 We have a big group that goes regularly.
06:28 Some have committed... we have one couple that committed to
06:31 go once a month. OK. Do what you can.
06:34 Everybody can't do every week but do what you can.
06:37 OK. But I don't see how you can not go at least one time
06:41 out of the year... and just get that experience.
06:42 Yeah, everybody needs to get that experience
06:44 because folk are going through and they need a visit.
06:46 Sometimes they don't have family folk - yes - to visit them.
06:49 You know, and that's an interesting point is that
06:52 many inmates incarcerated don't necessarily have family.
06:56 They don't have loved ones out there.
06:57 They don't have anybody to send them a letter,
06:59 to send them some money, to do anything for them.
07:03 And you know what? To have an active church that is involved
07:06 in prison ministries and you're ministering to people that
07:09 you don't even know. They have no clue who you are.
07:11 You have no clue who they are.
07:13 But you know what? It's a blessing to them
07:14 and I know it's a blessing to each of you.
07:17 They look forward... Some of your best audiences
07:19 as far as listening to sermons - OK - come through the prison.
07:23 They... As soon as you come in sometimes they're cheering
07:26 for you. Amen. Amen. What words do you have to say
07:28 to us today? I mean, I mean, and they're eating up the words.
07:32 They're not like sometimes in church you have some folk
07:34 hard to keep them up. They're dozing sometimes...
07:37 yeah, they're dozing in church... unless youre'jumping
07:38 up doing - you know - kicks or something... wake them up.
07:41 But man, these folk are thirsty for the Word of God. OK. OK.
07:45 I think it's... and I'm hearing some things about churches
07:47 here and they're getting excited about prison ministries -
07:49 and - OK - it's just a blessing for the church. OK.
07:51 You know what I want you to do right now, Pastor Owens?
07:53 I want you to look into the camera and I want you to give
07:56 a challenge to the viewers. Challenge them to...
07:59 It may not even be prison ministries work, but it may
08:01 be a challenge to just get up and do something.
08:03 You know after all, the Seventh-day Adventist Church
08:06 is a God-ordained church. We're a movement.
08:09 The very word movement starts out with move.
08:12 An action verb: get up, move, and do something.
08:14 Challenge the viewers right now
08:16 to get involved in ministry work.
08:17 Those who are listening right now:
08:19 I want to challenge you to do something for God.
08:22 We're told that no sooner than when one is converted
08:26 he wants to reach out and he wants to be a witness for God.
08:30 He wants to go. It's almost like Jeremiah
08:33 when he heard God say: "Whom shall I send?
08:36 And who will go for us? "
08:37 Jeremiah said: "Here am I, Lord, send me. "
08:40 And we need Jeremiahs today who will be willing
08:43 to respond to the challenge of God to go out.
08:47 And you know, we often pray for the Holy Spirit.
08:50 We are doing it moreso now.
08:52 But the Holy Spirit likes to be used in a sense.
08:56 Uh, don't pray for the Holy Spirit if you don't plan to
08:58 go out and do something for God.
09:01 God says: "I will give you My Spirit, but My Spirit
09:04 wants to witness through you, talk through you,
09:07 uh, work a ministry through you. "
09:10 So if you want the Holy Spirit you have to be willing
09:13 to go out into God's vineyard.
09:16 The laborers are few
09:18 and we must pray for the laborers to become great
09:21 so that we can see the coming of Christ very soon. Amen, Amen.
09:26 Now viewers, you've heard the challenge.
09:27 You've heard the challenge: "Here am I... send me. "
09:30 You may be one that has not gotten actively involved
09:33 in any type of ministry.
09:34 Well, you need to say just as the Bible says:
09:36 "Here am I... send me. "
09:38 Now I want to talk a little bit more, Pastor Owens, about
09:41 those baptisms. Baptism is an amazing thing
09:43 when a person decides to give their life to Jesus;
09:46 they decide to go down in that watery grave.
09:49 Talk a little bit about the feeling of baptism
09:51 because many that are watching do not know what it even
09:55 feels like to give their heart to Jesus.
09:57 Know what it feels like to go down in that watery grave
09:59 and to rise up into newness of life.
10:01 Talk a little bit about that. Baptism is a very special thing.
10:03 Matter of fact, when you brought it up it made me remember
10:06 when I was baptized - OK - at the age of 16.
10:08 I was in the Pentecostal Church.
10:10 And from the Pentecostal Church I got convicted on certain
10:14 truths of the Bible - OK - in regards to God's Sabbath,
10:17 the Ten Commandments, other things in the Bible
10:19 that this church teaches. OK. Literally got convicted. Amen.
10:23 A while... I fought it for a little bit.
10:25 OK. But after a while I accepted it and I got baptized at 16.
10:30 And man, it was a blessing to go down with the anticipation
10:35 of coming up being a new creature. Yeah.
10:38 I know... we know this is symbolic, baptism is symbolic.
10:40 But I do believe that when you go down you come up
10:44 I believe God does put a special anointing on you
10:47 that you normally wouldn't have if you were not baptized.
10:50 A special anointing. Oh yes. Like when Jesus was baptized
10:53 the Bible says that the dove came upon Him
10:56 and then a voice came down from heaven saying:
10:58 "This is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased. "
11:01 So it's a blessing. And it is symbolic because
11:03 once you're baptized you're telling the world
11:06 "I'm burying my old way; I am a new creature.
11:10 When I come up out of this water I'm coming up new. "
11:14 And you're starting a new journey.
11:15 I'm starting a new journey. I went down one way,
11:18 I'm coming up by faith another way. Amen.
11:21 And if you're nervous while you're going down
11:23 that you may not be converted, while you're down there
11:26 you'd better say: "Lord, before I come up
11:28 please convert me because when I come up
11:30 I don't want to come up the same old person
11:34 with the same old situation, the same old habits.
11:37 I want to come up brand new. "
11:39 The Bible did say: "If any man is in Christ, he is a new
11:42 creature. Old things have passed away.
11:45 All things have become new. "
11:47 He is new... he or she is new.
11:49 Not perfect but new. The thoughts are different.
11:52 Things are different; it's real exciting. It is.
11:54 One of the best, the most exciting thing in my life
11:56 was when I was baptized. OK. It was exciting.
11:59 It's a terrible thing to fight against God.
12:01 Yeah. But when you're baptized you're telling God:
12:03 "Lord, I finally stopped fighting against You.
12:06 I surrender all. I'm dropping down my sword.
12:08 I surrender all. You are my Lord and You are my Savior. "
12:11 Amen. "I'm getting baptized because I love You
12:13 and I want to follow You. " Amen.
12:15 Viewers, you've heard that good news
12:16 of the feeling of being baptized.
12:18 Maybe you haven't had a chance to go down into that watery
12:20 grave. Well I tell you, all you have to do:
12:23 find your local church, find a Seventh-day Adventist church
12:26 and ask the pastor. "Look, I'm ready to change my life.
12:29 I'm ready to take that new journey.
12:30 Can I be baptized?
12:31 Can I come up that new man in this newness of life? "
12:34 Well what I want to do right now is transition over to
12:36 Bro. Alvin. And we want to get a little information about
12:39 Bro. Alvin. Thank you for being on the show Bro. Alvin.
12:41 Could we get a little bit of information dealing with
12:44 your early upbringing? How old you are right now.
12:47 You are a direct result of prison ministry.
12:50 The product of... Been in prison yourself.
12:53 Prison ministry team came and visited you.
12:56 As a direct result you're in the church now.
12:59 Talk about your early childhood experience.
13:01 Well, I wasn't raised in the church.
13:07 OK. My parents didn't go to church.
13:12 OK. So I wasn't affiliated... didn't know anything as far as
13:15 about church. I... - OK - you know, I just grew up
13:18 like every other kid that didn't know anything about church.
13:21 And I came to know the Lord years later.
13:26 OK. As I got grown... as I got older
13:30 I got into a little bit of trouble. OK.
13:33 And you know, as most young teenagers do,
13:38 they get in trouble they get afraid. Yeah, that's true.
13:40 Especially when you know they've got time on their hands
13:43 or expecting to do some time. Oh yeah.
13:44 Oh yeah. They say "do the crime, do the time. "
13:47 Well you know, my mom... she was a praying lady.
13:53 I mean, she wasn't a church- going lady but she prayed like
13:55 most mothers do. She prayed for me,
13:58 and of course my crime that I committed
14:03 which was strong arm robbery... OK, OK.
14:07 Now 1978 you were charged actually with strong arm
14:10 robbery. You were sentenced to 5 or 10 years in prison.
14:13 Right. I want you to spend a little time talking about
14:15 what were some of the underlying factors in your life at that
14:18 point that led you to committing that armed robbery,
14:21 led you to a life of crime.
14:22 Well, at the time I was... At that time I had been working
14:26 at Dewpoint. I was working as a custodian.
14:31 OK. In other words, a janitor. OK, OK.
14:34 Um, I worked... and the company went out of business.
14:39 And as a young man, you know,
14:42 not making any money - uh-huh - kind of got discouraged.
14:46 OK. That kind of put me on a corner which, at that time
14:52 I had an automobile, had a condo payment. OK.
14:55 I was... The bills were piling up. Right!
14:59 I was kind of confused - OK - and you know how it is
15:03 when you don't have any money - yeah - you kind of
15:06 begin to wonder - OK - your mind kind of drifts.
15:09 But I committed that crime and that's what led me
15:13 to be locked up. OK, now you did 5 years in prison
15:17 on that 5-10 year sentence. You were released in 1983.
15:21 Correct. Now at that point, what was going through your mind?
15:24 When you were about to get out what was... what were the
15:26 thoughts? What were the feelings at that point?
15:28 Had you found Jesus while you were incarcerated?
15:31 Was it a while before you found Jesus when you got out?
15:33 Talk a little bit about that.
15:35 Well, no, I got saved while I was doing time. OK.
15:38 Um, the Lord saved me. Praise the Lord!
15:41 Uh - praise the Lord; Amen - I didn't know at the time
15:46 that God would put me in this position -
15:50 uh-huh - to bring me to this point. OK.
15:53 But I knew that I wanted to make a difference in my life.
15:56 OK. So all the things that I did prior to getting to where I was
16:01 I started giving up. You know: drinking,
16:04 smoking cigarettes. All those things.
16:07 Now was it easy to give those things up?
16:09 Was it kind of like immediately? I know for myself
16:12 when I began to change my life it was to get off the cocaine,
16:16 the ecstasy, the marijuana, the alcohol,
16:18 prescription pills... the many different drugs that I was on.
16:21 I hear stories of people that say: "Immediately I was able
16:24 to give it up. " For me it took a good 2 or 3 months or so.
16:27 But as I was coming to the cross, as I was coming to Jesus,
16:30 I noticed that this had to stop, this had to stop,
16:33 this had to stop as I was coming to Jesus.
16:35 And He was changing me; I wasn't trying to change myself.
16:38 That's right. How was it for you? Was it easy to give it up?
16:41 Or? Talk about that a little bit. Well, at the time,
16:43 you know, of course I was at the... I was in the correctional
16:48 facility in Memphis - OK - at the Shelby Co. Correctional
16:53 Center. OK. Um, at that time you know we were still getting
16:58 marijuana - yes - gettin' things in jail. OK.
17:02 Of course we would buy cigarettes.
17:05 OK. I had access to these things which at that time I did have.
17:11 But at that same token, God was working on me.
17:15 I was reading my Bible. OK.
17:17 And the Lord was showing me that these changes
17:21 that I was going to have to make to become that new creature -
17:25 OK - I was... Now, did you have that feeling
17:27 of "I need to get myself together first before I come
17:31 to the Lord? Or... you were still doing things
17:34 but you were reading and studying the Word of God
17:36 and noticing that God was changing you?
17:39 Well, in reality yes. At that time God was changing me.
17:43 OK. I mean, I was giving those things up -
17:46 OK - at that time - OK.
17:48 I'm not going to say that they all just fell off all at once.
17:51 No... I'd be telling a lie.
17:53 OK. Cigarettes... it took me a little while.
17:56 You know what's interesting about cigarettes?
17:58 For me that was the hardest thing to get off.
18:01 You know, the heroin, the cocaine,
18:03 the alcohol, and even statistics show that nicotine by far
18:07 is the hardest thing to get off.
18:09 And what's interesting is... it's legal!
18:11 It's the hardest thing to get off but it's legal.
18:14 Just like alcohol they are hard to get off.
18:16 They cause so much damage:
18:17 lung cancer, so many accidents, things like that.
18:20 But it's legal. Right. You know, it's strange.
18:23 So it was a battle for you getting off of these. Correct.
18:26 OK. I uh... After getting the victory over cigarettes
18:30 which means that I stopped smoking after one night.
18:33 God blessed me where I laid on my bunk one night
18:36 after I made my mind up I wasn't going to smoke any more.
18:39 OK. And, you know, after dinner... normally that's when
18:44 you crave the cigarettes the most. Yeah, oh yeah.
18:45 And when I came back to my dormitory
18:48 I laid there and I prayed. I said: "Lord, if You could just
18:52 help me conquer these cigarettes... " OK.
18:55 And believe it or not I dozed off and went to sleep.
18:57 Uh-huh. And I thought about it after I woke up about
19:00 12 or 1 o'clock the next day. I said: 'I didn't smoke! "
19:04 Amen. And so with that one victory over that one night
19:08 that's what gave me the victory and from that point on
19:11 I have never smoked another cigarette.
19:13 So you started to challenge yourself basically?
19:15 Oh, most definitely. OK. You know, I remember for myself
19:18 even so where I said to myself...
19:21 I said: "You know what, I'm going to try going one day
19:22 without a cigarette. Let me try one day. "
19:24 I've been smoking for 10 years now. Let me see if I can go
19:26 one day without a cigarette. " I began to challenge myself.
19:28 And I said: "OK, I made one day. " You know...
19:30 let me try two days. "
19:31 You know, the thing about it is even for a mountain climber
19:34 like if they want to climb Mt. Everest.
19:36 You don't climb a mountain in a day. Right.
19:37 It's a process... it's... steps to it.
19:39 So I took steps. And I said: "Well you know what?
19:41 One day; two days. " Next thing you know it
19:43 turned into a week. I said: "OK, a week, I had no nicotine. "
19:46 Then two weeks, three weeks. Then I noticed
19:49 months and months went past. Now it's been over 3 years.
19:51 You know, the goodness of God; the goodness of God.
19:53 So you were searching for Jesus while you were incarcerated.
19:57 You were searching for Jesus. Definitely.
19:59 As you were searching for Him fasting and praying,
20:01 trying to learn about this Jesus,
20:04 this good God that we serve,
20:05 unbeknownst to you there was actually a prison ministry team
20:08 coming into your prison, kind of like the prison ministry team
20:11 that Pastor Owens has at his church.
20:13 Was coming into... Talk about that process how you got
20:16 involved with that. Well actually it's some of the
20:19 members that were at Longview -
20:21 OK - that were coming in.
20:23 Amen, Amen. Ron Taylor and Glen Parham.
20:28 OK. These were the men that were coming out on weekdays.
20:33 OK. That came in and did Bible studies.
20:36 All right. Of course, we had Granny and Jerry Wilson.
20:42 And Granny which is Huley... Sr. Huley.
20:45 OK. She's the mother - Amen, Amen - the mother
20:48 of the church. I mean... Amen to that.
20:51 She's the one that... She's the mother.
20:55 OK. She's the one that was always there.
20:58 You know, if I needed any questions, you know, she just
21:01 encouraged me to keep going you know.
21:03 Amen. But Ron Taylor and Glen Parham
21:08 were the two that - OK - really
21:11 kind of set the ground for me because the lesson studies...
21:15 I went to all denominational churches, you know, doing the
21:19 studies while I was locked up. And the Lord revealed to me,
21:23 uh-huh, after about a week and a half of fasting and praying
21:28 I was searching for... "Lord, where should I go? "
21:31 Amen. And the Lord revealed to me through Ron coming out,
21:36 you know, studying with me that the answer was
21:39 through what they were teaching. OK.
21:41 OK, OK. And so I gave... that's where I gave my heart
21:46 to - AMEN - where the Lord had led me to. Amen.
21:49 And I knew then that this was the truth. Amen.
21:52 Uh, I was confronted by various churches.
21:57 A lot of people wanted me to join.
22:00 But I made a choice that I was going to do God's will...
22:05 which was the right thing. Yes. I wasn't going to join people's
22:08 churches just to be a front.
22:10 Yes. 'Cause people wanted me to come to be a pastor
22:13 to their churches - OK - and it wasn't about that.
22:16 It was about being sincere and honest.
22:18 And the truth of the matter was that I told the Lord
22:21 when I got saved that I want to make it to heaven.
22:25 OK, OK... you want to make it to heaven. I want to be...
22:26 I want to be serious about this. OK.
22:29 This is not about, you know, money or about fame
22:33 or anything of that nature. OK.
22:36 OK. It's about, you know, getting all the way through.
22:38 Not part of the way but all the way. All the way through.
22:42 You know, Pastor Owens, let me talk to you one thing.
22:44 You know, it must be exciting to work with individuals
22:48 to see testimonies like Bro. Alvin...
22:51 to be involved in this work and hear stories like that.
22:54 It must be very exciting. Yeah, you can't argue with...
22:56 you can't argue with the proof, the fact. You can't argue with
22:58 that. Amen. It brings a smile to your face to know...
23:02 and this is proof that prison ministry can work. Yeah.
23:05 It may not work for everybody.
23:07 Some folk who get out may go back in. Yeah.
23:10 That's true. But some will get out and will become productive.
23:14 Yeah. According to how much, you know, they're worked with
23:16 and so forth. A whole lot of factors to consider
23:19 which you will probably talk about later.
23:20 But this man right here is proof
23:24 that prison ministry does work. Amen.
23:27 And the fact that Jesus mentioned it - yeah -
23:29 means that He was letting us know right there
23:32 2,000 years ago that prison ministry is going to be
23:36 a great thing. Amen. And that some folk will
23:39 go to jail, either because they purposely made a mistake
23:43 or because of a situation where they were framed
23:47 or something. Yeah. Yeah sure. But we all will get close.
23:49 I've never been in jail but I came pretty close.
23:52 I understand you. It was not a good feeling.
23:53 I remember I was visiting somebody in jail that
23:56 was accused of something that he did not do.
23:59 OK. I was visiting and they gave me problems
24:01 just for visiting. Yeah. One time, man,
24:03 nine security guards jumped me. Jumped you?
24:07 Right there... surrounded me.
24:09 And I said: "Man, I don't know what it's like to go to jail
24:12 but I felt so scared at the time. "
24:15 That was while I was in the ministry, just beginning.
24:17 Wow! One almost called for backup. Can you imagine?
24:22 But sometimes folk fall into situations like that.
24:25 Yeah, yeah. Thank God He delivered me from that.
24:27 But some folk don't get delivered.
24:29 They have to be like a Joseph. Yeah.
24:31 But if folk who are in prison right now that are listening
24:35 to this, if they just hold on like Joseph and just keep
24:38 praying and believing, God can set them free.
24:41 Those who purposely made a mistake
24:43 they can't continue to just live in that -
24:46 yeah - because God says: "That's the past.
24:48 I want to build you up here on out. "
24:50 And so don't feel guilty about it.
24:52 If you've actually given this the Lord washed away your sins
24:54 and it's the past as far as He's concerned - Amen -
24:58 then we ought to forget it and go forward.
25:00 I mean, before... while we were getting ready for this
25:02 yesterday we went out to dinner. And we bumped into a lady
25:05 that said she was in jail for ten years.
25:08 Wow! And she said: "I made a mistake. "
25:11 She said: "I'm not ashamed of. I made a mistake. "
25:13 But she has the determination where do I go from here?
25:17 Yeah. It was good to see that she was productive
25:19 and going on from here. OK, OK.
25:21 I don't want to talk it all... Amen; Amen.
25:23 Bro. Alvin: I want to come back to you.
25:26 You know in the book Ministry of Healing there's a chapter
25:28 entitled "Saved to Serve. "
25:31 "Saved to Serve. " God often saves us
25:33 and then turns around and puts us into service. OK.
25:36 Now you're involved in prison ministries.
25:38 You learned the truth while you were in prison.
25:40 Um-hmm. You were baptized while you were in prison.
25:42 Now you're involved in prison ministries.
25:45 Talk about your experience of going back into the prisons now.
25:47 Well, the Lord has impressed on my heart
25:50 to go back and give to the men - OK - what He has given to me.
25:54 Amen. He has blessed me in my profession. OK.
26:01 Over the years I have learned to do home remodeling.
26:04 OK. And it has taken time to get to this point,
26:07 but God has blessed me to be a provider for my family.
26:11 Amen to that. I've been married now 26 years.
26:13 Amen. My... I have four kids.
26:18 Of course I have three boys and one girl.
26:20 My youngest baby is 16.
26:23 OK. I have one that just came out of high school.
26:26 One is in the Navy; and then I've got one
26:29 going to the Marines. OK. I'm proud of my kids.
26:33 I thank God that He blessed me to get to this point
26:39 so that I can continue to do what He's called me to do.
26:42 OK. I've been working in the prison.
26:45 I think when I go in and most of all when I
26:50 testify to my own - OK - personal experience
26:55 the guys, you know, they kind of get kind of excited because they
27:00 see there's somebody that's been where they are now.
27:02 Somebody can identify.
27:04 That's true. And I tell them all the time that, you know,
27:09 being a Christian is not just... it's not a bed of roses.
27:13 Yeah. That is true; that's very true.
27:15 It's a challenge. Yeah. You have your good days;
27:18 you have your bad days. It's like that in the
27:20 Christian walk. You're going to have to...
27:22 you're going to have to be first honest with yourself.
27:25 OK. And... You know what? You know what I want you to do
27:28 right now, Bro. Alvin?
27:29 You're saying some real good things.
27:31 You seem sincere about the work.
27:32 I want you to take some time and look into the camera
27:35 to the viewer. To the mother, the father,
27:37 the individual that is incarcerated.
27:39 I want you to talk to them.
27:41 Give them some words of encouragement,
27:43 some words of hope. Speak into the camera and let them know.
27:46 John 16:33.
27:48 Jesus said: "In me you should have peace
27:51 but in the world there shall be tribulation.
27:53 So be of good cheer for I have overcome the world. "
27:57 Amen. Amen. Amen.
27:59 Viewers: you've heard these words of encouragement.
28:02 You've heard the stories of the baptisms.
28:04 You yourself may not have been baptized before.
28:06 You may not have even chosen Jesus.
28:08 I encourage you to choose Jesus Christ.
28:11 You will not go wrong. You may have bad days
28:14 but Jesus is "the Way, the Truth, and the Life. "
28:17 You've been watching The New Journey.
28:19 Join us next time. God bless.