Sunday August 22, 2010 - Cherokee County Jail
I began my normal Sunday services at about 9am. We are permitted to bring small pieces of peppermint candy into this facility. In all my years of ministry this is the only jail that allows an outside minister to bring anything inside. I knew I was assigned to minister in the C-Max maximum-security block and the E block where the violent offenders are held. The men in C-Max are locked in their cells behind a 3” thick steel door. I usually give them several pieces of candy by putting them on the floor and kicking them under the door. I had about 150 pieces of candy and I used about 60 in C – Max, leaving me a balance of about 90 pieces. When I entered the E block there were a lot more men who came to the tables than normal. I feared I would not have enough candy for all the men. So I gave each man 1 piece leaving approximately 30 pieces.
I apologized for not having enough candy to give each man another piece. I put the bag down on the table next to my bible and began to give my testimony. I told them how the Lord spared me from a prison sentence of 315 years and totally restored me, as I continued to speak. Suddenly I was inspired to tell the story in Luke 9 about Jesus feeding 5000 with 2 fish and 5 loaves of bread. I told them that all the people ate and there was 12 baskets left over. I began to tell the men that he is the miracle worker and that I believe through faith he will provide us with all of our needs. I began to talk about the liberty they had for being able to receive candy while in jail. I told them it was a “sweet fragrance” of the taste of our Lord Jesus Christ. I picked up the bag of candy and held it up over my head and prayed. “Lord if it be thy will multiply this candy so each man can have another piece”. I put the bag down and said nothing is impossible for God. Several other men got up out of their beds and came to the table.
I am estimating about 15 more men. At the end of my testimony I picked up the bag and began to pass out the candy. I was quoting scripture and giving the E E gospel presentation as continued to give each man a piece of candy. All 75 men received a piece of candy and I went back to the table and turned the bag over and about 20 more pieces fell out on to the table. At that time I gave my invitation, everyone prayed to receive Christ as their savior. I am estimating that 50% of the men were already saved. Approximately 30 to 40 men were saved.
At the end I noticed one man on the side and I asked him if he had received a second piece of candy. He stated that he did not. I remembered that I had dropped a piece on the floor in C-Max and put it in my top pocket. I reached into my pocket pulled out the last piece and tossed it to the man. Everyone stood up and clapped and praised the Lord. On my way out I asked the Guard if he knew the Lord. His reply was yes but he never saw anything like this. I am just amazed to see how our Lord works behind prison walls. He truly does “Proclaim Freedom to the Captives”.