Celebrating God at Work
Free Indeed: The Freedom Weekend Experience
Excerpt on Freedom Weekends reprinted here by permission.
Published by The Spirit Today. Vol 2. No. 2, April 2016
While they may be incarcerated in the flesh, inmates at the Darrington prison unit in Rosharon, TX, are experiencing true freedom. In collaboration with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice and Rickie Bradshaw of Union Baptist Association, Free Indeed Church and Pastor Johnny Gentry hosted Freedom Weekend there in late January 2016.
It was a powerful weekend of deliverance -- and the realization of a dream by former Wynne Unit Warden Vernon Pittman. More than 100 inmates participated in services held over three days.
Sessions throughout the day included worship and praise along with strong, anointed preaching about sin and its consequences, the identity of Jesus Christ, every individual's need for salvation, the filling of the Holy Spirit, and holy living.
During the services when men were convicted and repented of sin, the power of God fell. Souls were saved, lives were delivered from addictions, bitterness and hatred. Forgiveness was given and received, burden were lifted, and hope was restored.
Tattooed arms were raised high in praise to almighty God, and tears flowed freely, unashamedly.
Many of the men had been "inside the walls" for more than 20 years. Some will never be released. yet all who reached out to God found the freedom that comes through Christ alone.
Freedom Weekend at the Darrington Unit was part of an ongoing ministry led by Bradshaw and a team of dedicated volunteers. The weekend culminated a year-long process of prayer and seeking God in which inmates gathered weekly in small discipleship-oriented life change groups.
Weeks later, 95 inmates gathered to hear Claude King, co-author with Henry Blackaby of Experiencing God and Fresh Encounter with Henry & Richard Blackaby.
In a day-long "prayer camp," King taught inmates important Biblical truths about prayer and how to pray strategically. Once again, God honored the gathering with His presence.
For the full article with Pastor Johnny Gentry's story, Free Indeed, click here to read in pdf.
"From addict to inmate to evangelist: Johnny Gentry's long road to grace."