A Prisoner’s Testimony

by | May 10, 2017

The following is a testimony by a man in prison. He is slated to be released in 2020.


By Bryan Parker

A person’s steps are
directed by the Lord. How then can anyone understand their own ways?

Proverbs 20:24

Before realizing that I didn’t understand my own ways I went
off in a very dark direction. I was raised by a loving mother and two wonderful
sisters. I had a very abusive father who left us when I was a child. My mother
remarried in 1980 and my life as I knew it was about to turn. My stepfather did
everything he could to drive a wedge between my mother and I. On two different
occasions he talked my mother into placing me in different care, one being
Lakeside Hospital and the other a group home for a year and a half, called
Dogwood Village.

I can’t put all the blame on them because at the age of
twelve I began to experiment with drugs and alcohol – marijuana at first, but
it didn’t take long before I was using acid and cocaine at the age of thirteen.
I was sneaking out of the house late at night and partying all night, then
sneaking back in. A lot of it was indeed my fault!

After getting out of group home at the age of fifteen I was
already rebelling against my stepfather and I began my addictions again. I didn’t
realize it, but I was an addict of the worst kind. I stole from everyone to
support my cocaine and now crack addictions. I was an alcoholic along with
being a drug addict, a disaster waiting to happen.

I quit school in the 10th grade because I could
never stay sober to go to school. I was out on my own by the age of seventeen,
a childhood addict sleeping in the bushes, in vacant houses, mom’s garage…
anywhere I could fall asleep. I will never forget Christmas morning in 1990. I
sat on a tree trunk, drunk and  high,
watching from a park as my family had Christmas at my mother’s house. I
couldn’t stop crying. I was one hundred yards away.

In 1994 my life hit a very hard time. I won’t go into full
detail, but I was drunk and high, and I severely hurt someone, putting them in
the hospital and myself in prison for the first time. I served three years and
got out in 1997. I was doing good. I got engaged to a bartender, but again I
began to drink and do drugs. In 1998 I shot myself in the chest, an inch away
from my heart, and again I wasn’t allowed at my mom’s house. I lost my fiancée,
and yet again ended up on the streets, and yes, again by myself and back on
drugs and alcohol. It didn’t take long to catch my second prison term, robbing
a BP gas station to support my habit. This time I did seven and a half years
and got out in 2005. Once again I was back on drugs and alcohol, and yet again
in 2005 I was back to prison where I am today writing my testimony, but it was
all about to change.

When I first got to prison this time I got involved with a
white supremacist group and I did terrible things, hurting others and ordering
hits on others just because I could. Well, that took ten years of my life,
until they turned on me, so that now I found myself in protective custody. I
was a violent man, a hard nosed criminal and drug addict in fear for his life.

In 2010 I received the worst news imaginable. While serving
time in maximum security for assault and possession of a cell phone, I got the
terrible news that my mother had passed away on June 24th. It broke
my heart and I cried for three days straight until finally I got on my knees
and prayed.

That day, June 27th 2010, I asked God to come
into my life and take control. Brothers and sisters, I prayed and cried for
about 20 minutes, and when I opened my eyes I felt full of the thing they call
the Spirit. Being a beginner I had always heard about the Spirit, but I tell
you I felt this sensation throughout my body that was a life changer.

I knew something had happened. I was tired of my way of
living. I was tired of hurting innocent people. I was tired of the pain. I was
tired of being afraid. In order for me to change my old ways I had to be born
again, is what the Bible told me.

“Very truly I tell
you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.”
John 3:3

So again I asked God for me to be born again. I read my
Bible daily and tried so hard to do what it says.

“Love thy neighbor as
Matthew 19:19

It is hard to love your neighbor in prison because in here
people prey upon weakness and you have to be humble to be a man of God. Like my
brother Saul turned into Paul, I was in prison trying to live for Christ. The
persecution was endless. I’ve been assaulted several times while trying to be
humble, and I’ve been robbed trying to be humble. But even after Satan made
numerous attempts to come between me and God, to this day I haven’t given up.
For seven years I have been clean and sober thanks to my Lord and Savior Jesus
Christ. For seven years I have lived for the Lord. Through trials and
tribulations along the way I have lived for the Lord. Today as I write this I
have been in the hole for four months with a broken knee cap. At times I feel
so alone. But I know that even though no one is physically around me, I have
Christ with me at all times. In the Bible it says:

“Ask and you will
receive, and your joy will be complete.”
John 16:24

I ask every day to be fed the word, but I have to take baby
steps. The Bible takes time and studying to understand.

Like newborn babies,
crave pure spiritual milk so that by it you may grow up in your salvation.
I Peter 2:2

I had to learn that I can’t just say that I am saved by
faith – I had to put it to work like the Bible says.

As the body without
the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.
James 2:26

We have to work every day, every minute, to be a believer.
It’s not easy. We have to believe that Jesus died on the cross at Calvary to
save us from our sins. We have to repent daily for the sins we commit daily. We
have to pray daily.

Brothers and sisters of Christ, we are in a struggle to be
true Christians. But I tell you, if a drug addicted alcoholic for thirty years
can change his life in prison after becoming a white supremacist and hurting
people, I tell you anyone can! Saul sought to kill Christians before changing
his life, so why can’t you? It is never too late.

While we were still
sinners, Christ died for us.
Romans 5:8

For God so loved the
world that He gave His only begotten Son, that who so ever believes in Him
should not perish but have everlasting life.
John 3:16

Now if God can give up His Son on a cross, to be nailed
there for our sins for us to be saved, should we not at least try to live right
and live for Christ? I have a very good friend and he helps me daily live for
Christ. We study together through the mail and I have found that it truly helps
to have a support group.

I live my life for Christ today. I’m happy today. I’m sober
today. I can love any and everybody today because it says:

You were taught with
regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being
corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your
minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness
and holiness.
Ephesians 4:22-24

Brothers and sisters, we are all one body in Christ Jesus.
We all have our part. We are still sinners, but Christ died for us so that we
could have eternal life.

This is my testimony, written in hope that at least one
person can give their life to Christ and live for the Lord. I ask that we all understand
that a man died on the cross – a brutal death – for us sinners. So why can’t we
at least try to live right? If I can, we all can! It’s not easy and I still
sin, but now I know I can be forgiven just like you. I’m here for you.

“Father, please let
this testimony teach someone’s heart and lead them into eternal life. Amen.”

Heart4God Website: http://www.heart4god.ws  


Parables Blog: www.parablesblog.blogspot.com  


Mailing Address:
Joseph Herrin
P.O. Box 804
Montezuma, GA 31063

1 Comment

  1. ByWaterAndBlood

    Amen. This reminds me to hope and pray for my brother.


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