In 1988, arrested on assault charges, Edwin was forced to abandon his promising career in the military and trade in his army uniform for prison garb.
Looking back on his prison life, Edwin is clear-headed: “When I get asked questions … my standard answer is, ‘All things work together for good … it doesn’t say all things are good.’”
Edwin struggled, as anyone does, going into prison. But because Prison Fellowship supporters helped send the Gospel behind bars, prison turned out to be the place where he met God. And in meeting God, Edwin was saved from one life and prepared for another. Edwin participated in every Bible course he could find in prison. He used his years behind bars to be reclaimed, redeemed, and recovered.
Not Just Serving Time
He’ll tell you stories about how it was Scripture that got him through 20 long years of incarceration; his Bible is well-used and worn.
In prison, Edwin found a mentor—a brother in Christ who encouraged him in his faith. Their friendship sustained Edwin through a tumultuous period in 2003 and 2004. First, his father—with whom he was very close—died. Then, Edwin learned he had been denied parole.
Finally, on Sept. 12, 2008, Edwin walked out of the Huntsville Unit prison in Huntsville, Texas. And he couldn’t help but savor the freshness of his freedom.
“It was the first time in 20 years I had seen the outside without razor wires and gun towers,” he says.
Prepared to Serve
When Edwin was released, he found a welcoming church, a stable job, and a reliable vehicle with the help of Prison Fellowship staff. Last year, he started his own landscaping and general maintenance company.
He lives on the east side of Detroit now—a businessman. He paid his price to society, and he’s out now as a child of God. It hasn’t all been easy, but he’s making the most of his second chance at life.
Edwin is also now part of a reentry program in the city, welcoming men that come out of prison and coaching them toward success.
But he’s never forgotten how the Gospel changed his life forever—and made possible a new beginning.
“We’d call Edwin a success story of our American criminal justice system,” says Prison Fellowship President and CEO Jim Liske. “But it’s far more a story of the success of the grace of Jesus.”