Mike's Story...

I spent over ten years playing music in the bars strung out on cocaine, determined to experience all the destruction the world had to offer... 

After 23 years in mostly high security prisons, I now know that Jesus has a better plan for my life.  His plan is for me to serve Him and to enjoy the abundant life today!

At eighteen, I was convicted on drug charges and found myself behind the walls at the Oklahoma State Penetentary in McAlester serving a thirteen year sentence.


I was incarcerated most of my adult life and lived a hard selfish lifestyle. I ran the gambling inside, and made about $1200 a week.  Let me tell you, that's quite a bit more than I make now!  I lost my Mom to cancer three days before my conviction was overturned. I was then re-sentenced to an additional 11 years.  As I greived for my Mom, I began to evaluate my life, how I had lived and how I had treated her. She was a Godly woman who didn't deserve what she got from me, but she just kept loving me and never stopped praying for me.  I had an unbeatable appeal on that extra 11 year sentence, and since I had been raised by a good Christian mother, I knew that I shouild probably pray for some help.  I started attending chapel services, but I was far from being a changed man at that point.  I was praying a lot though.  The prayers went something like "God I really want to know Your will for me."  ~ Well what those prayers really menat was "When am I getting out of prison God?"  But God knew I wasn't ready, and I lost that unbeatable appeal, but I had started playing music in the chapel and began writing songs about Jesus and His love and the change He makes in our lives.  Those songs are what God used to convict my spirit and change my heart.  I began to feel the Spirit calling for me to stop just writing and singing those words and to start to live them.  You know the whole time I was singing in the chapel, I was still involved in running the gambling and used the chapel as a place to pick up my gambling slips.  It was hard for a selfish man like me to give up that income, but I finally came to the understanding that I needed to decide who I was going to represent. 

I had a little money, mostly from an inheritance I received when my grandpa died. I decided to use that money to get an education.  I figured I knew all about drugs and addiction , so I would become a drug counselor.  At that time, my reason for wanting to be a drug counselor was simply that I didn't want to do any manual labor.  I guess some things had changed, but it was still all about me.

I studied hard and managed to earn a few degrees... Then I was transferred to the camp. (That means I was sent to lower security.) While I was at the camp, I had the opportunity to counsel five 15 year old boys who had been labeled as juvenile delinquents. They were all in trouble with the law, and they were on their way to a really bad outcome. As I listened to them talk, they began to share about their dads, and I learned that all of them had fathers in prison. My own son had been eight years old when I had to tell him I was going in for a long time... and listening to those boys broke my heart that day. God took that old hardened heart away, and replaced it with the heart of a real counselor, with a sincere desire to see lives changed.