In April 2009 I was finishing a Bible study at my home church, Henderson Hills Baptist and I asked those in the class to pray that God would lead me to a new ministry. I had been involved in pastoral care the previous six years, and all of a sudden I looked up and each of the people I had been calling on had moved on to be with the Lord.
In just a couple of days I received an email from my dear friend and fellow OJPM board member George Rennix asking if I would meet him for breakfast. We met and George began to speak passionately about a love of his life that he had been involved with over the past thirty years. He introduced me to OJPM and within a month I was up on the sixth floor of the Oklahoma County Jail sitting next to Senior Chaplain Jorge Vara.
During this time I met Executive Chaplain Argyl Dick, Jorge and a host of other volunteer chaplains that I would counsel with each Tuesday morning. I was passionate and convicted as I watched the power of the Holy Spirit show up time after time, week in and week out. Will Murchison, Orrie Flynt, Ed Shank, Billy Lewis, Bruce Conley and Allen Threatt are a few of my fellow chaplains who mentored me each week.
In February 2010 I was approached with a “Macedonian call” to lead a crusade inside a prison in southwest Mexico. I rounded up a team and in the summer of 2010 we went inside the largest prison in Guerrero. What happened during those six days is something I will never forget, as 390 inmates accepted our invitation to bring our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ into their lives.
By then Don Duncan was leading OJPM and we met one day and I shared my mission story with him and Joe Williams. They were jubilant with the news and encouraged me to continue going back while growing the ministry under OJPM. I did this and over the next three years made seven total trips to this prison and others, including meeting with the state government to open more doors for future volunteers.
In 2011 I was asked by Joe and Don to serve on the board of directors of OJPM and I was delighted to do so, gaining more and more insight into the growth and success of this amazing ministry. In short, I have absolutely cherished my time with OJPM and have tried to “answer every phone call along the way.” I currently serve weekly as a volunteer chaplain under Bob Schobert at the Cleveland County Jail while making roving chaplain calls to Griffin Mental Hospital, the VA facility in Norman, as well as the prisons in Lexington.
In February of this year I was invited to lunch one day by Joe Williams who explained to me that after 15 years he was going to step down as the president of our board of directors. Over the years I had gotten to know Joe well and consider him one of the finest mentors I have ever had in my career. During this luncheon he mentioned to me that he was going to recommend to the Board at our next meeting that they consider me to be the next president.
As I prayed about this I realized I had already worked with Executive Chaplain Tim Gentry for a few months at the main OJPM office and saw a dynamic leader who would be passionate about our future. I was honored to have been nominated and voted in as president and vow my undying loyalty to a ministry that has given me more peace, joy and excitement than any earthly endeavor anyone could ever imagine.
There is work to be done and I realize that. But, because of the powerful calling to serve our great King, Jesus Christ; our volunteers, our working staff, our board members and all of those who co labor alongside us with financial support, the future of OJPM is every bit as exciting as our successful past.
Yours for Kingdom work,