Prison Ministry


3/18/15 – San Quentin

From the age of one year old, my parents separated and I was bounced around various family members. I never really felt loved by them.  And I would attend Catholic Church because they went and took me along. My Father was murdered in Alaska when I was 8 years old. When that happened, I developed a lot of anger and hatred, and I started to get into trouble with the law.  Then when I was twelve, a drunk driver murdered my mother. I was mad at God so much that I cursed God. I fell deeper into sin and I was in and out of the justice system- from juvenile hall to adult prison. I’d see people going to church and I’d look down on them. Then when I was 18, I murdered somebody.  I went to court and they offered me a plea-bargain. When I was in the county jail, I said, “If there is a God, get me out of this.” And I did ask for forgiveness. I ended up going to prison anyways, where I passed time lifting weights. I got out and immediately went on a crime-spree, that same day. Within two weeks, I turned myself in for multiple murders. I knew that the Death Penalty awaited me, so I turned my back on God thinking I would never be forgiven by God anyway. When I got sent here to San Quentin, I occupied myself with television and radio (sports). After many years, my attorneys came to visit me and told me that the Supreme Court had given me a new trial. At that time, I thought to myself, “What for”.

Then, transferring back to Los Angeles County Jail, I was housed in high security, which is called High Power. I noticed various religious leaders would come in to talk to the inmates that were willing to converse, and these volunteers would help the inmates with religious materials and writing material. One day I heard the gates open and I noticed a Chaplain wheeling a cart in my direction, and I thought I’d get some writing material, but not to engage this man in conversation. You see, I thought I had done too much wrong and I’d never be forgiven, so I thought – why bother. But something happened to me when he stopped at my door. He said, “My name is Ed Welsh and I’m the Chaplain here at the County Jail.”  I started talking to him, and explained my situation to him, and how I felt about myself, what I had done in my life and about God. I basically was saying that I did not believe. So we talked awhile. He set me straight. He told me that no amount of wrong was too much to not be forgiven, if I only came to God in repentance, from a sincere heart,  that God’s love is so great, its unconditional. That He gave His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ to die for our sins, to put us in right standing with our heavenly Father. When he had to leave, he gave me some literature to read and said he would be back, and that he was not going to give up on me! I was there from 2001 to 2007 and he kept his word the whole time. He ministered to me the whole time.

One day when I was reading the Bible, God spoke to me, and He directed my thoughts to all the great men in the Bible; such has Moses, David, and Paul, and the things that they have done. And although they did wrong too, they are God’s forgiven people. So, who am I to say that God will not forgive me too. He forgives all who come to Him in faith. At that moment, I thought of Chaplain Ed and of his testimony and how he said God changed him. He (Ed) had also told me about others and God changed them too. At that moment, the Holy Spirit touched my heart, and I got on my knees, with Chaplain Welsh, and I prayed and gave my life to God.

I have come to realize and I thank God for it, that had I not gone back to court, I would have never met Chaplain Ed Welsh and I would still be an unforgiven sinner, without God and my Savior Jesus Christ in my life. I know that God arranged it so we could meet and so God could save me through Chaplain Ed Welsh.  In the word, it is written, “Fear not what man can do to you, but fear Him who can destroy both body and soul.” I used to judge and worry about being judged until I read Matthew 7:1. Chaplain Ed also introduced me to two other brothers that would come with him named Galo and Greg, and they too became friends and brothers to me, just like Chaplain Ed. They visited me when they could. Oh yeah, I did go to trial, and I was sent back to San Quentin’s Death Row. And honestly, it’s been a struggle, but God is on my side helping me to stay strong in the Faith. And I give all praise and glory to God, amen.

To the reader, I say: “If God could change me for the better for His glory, you are not too far gone for yourself, to be the clay in the Master’s hands. God be with you and bless you.”

Brother in Christ,