Prison can be a hard place, filled with people who have committed some of the worst crimes. As we’ll learn today, prison can also be a place of redemption, where people find God. It’s not an easy conversation to have, and our guest today knows that better than any. He went from being in prison and thinking that he would be there until he died to a free man who now preaches from the pulpit.
Howie Close has spent the last eleven years as a pastor at Woodmen Valley Chapel, overseeing the church’s statewide prison ministry. For over twenty years prior to that, he was incarcerated in the same prisons where he now carries the keys. And now he has the privilege of ministering there with his teams. He lives in Colorado with his wife and their daughter.
Please note – there are a few moments of background noise and poor connection in this recording.
What’s your story of growing up to finding yourself in prison?
How did you find a Bible and learn about God while in an isolation cell?
What was it like being so young and being in the toughest and scariest prison in the state?
When did you decide to take your fighting spirit and bend it towards the kingdom of God?
How did you get out of prison and transition to teaching from the pulpit?
How does it feel to freely walk in and out of a building you thought you would be in until you died?
What is it like having best friends who have committed some of the worst crimes, but who now follow Jesus?
When talking about redemption of someone who has committed such crimes, what about the victims and the families of victims?
Can you share another story of a man whose life has been changed through prison ministry?
How can we adjust our stereotypes of prisoners?
Does the writing of Paul take on a different meaning to men who are in prison?
What does it mean for us to live in submission to the truth?