“It was 1:30 in the morning. I had several police cars following me, and I didn’t know what to do. Should I make a run for it or accept that I was going back to prison for the third time? I had only been out a year. I was in possession of illegal drugs, and I had not showed up to parole for five months, so my chances of walking seemed pretty slim. Just like most prisoners released on parole, I had no intention of ever going back. My plan was to stay out, stay sober, find a good job, and get married. But I had been addicted to drugs and alcohol for over 25 years, and the longest I had ever stayed sober was one year. This time when I got to prison, I knew I needed to have God in my life, so I started attending church and meeting other believers. In December 2013, I was transferred to the Coffield Unit, and I started talking to other inmates about a good church to attend when I got out. A few guys told me about Gateway. I finally made parole and was released on January 1, 2015.
I attended my first service at Gateway the weekend before Easter. I remember the feeling when I walked into the campus. I was blown away. The people were nice, I felt so welcome, and the message was like none I had ever heard. I knew I had found my home. I kept attending any time I could find a ride. I finally bought a car and was able to take myself. I attended every Saturday and started meeting people. I was baptized on April 15, 2018, at Gateway, and I have been sober for six and a half years. God has done so much in my life since that day I was running from the cops. He gave me a wife and children who I get to attend church with every week! Now, I carry the message of God and His grace to other addicts and alcoholics. Sometimes people ask if I regret my past, and I always remember something Pastor Robert said during a service, ‘If you take credit for all the bad in your life, you will take credit for all the good.’ If it weren’t for the events that happened to me, I would not be where I am today. I thank God every day for the grace He has shown me. And when I heard that Gateway had opened up a prison campus in one of the units I had been in, my heart just leaped with joy.”
Joshua and his family attend the Southlake Campus.