I was born again on my third escape from prison, and turned myself in to the police and went back to prison. I received a full pardon in 1993, which was nine years after my release from prison in 1984. My book, “Escape From Hell”, tells the entire story.
The Old Chapel Pew
I was the convict pastor and the guards would let me in the prison chapel about fifteen minutes before everyone else. I was very inexperienced and didn’t know what to do. I would immediately go to the front corner of the chapel where there was a little wooden pew. I would kneel down on the concrete floor and put my head under the old wooden pew. I would pray and ask the Lord what He wanted me to do in our church service that day. His presence would meet me there and tell me what song to start the service with and what scripture to read. He never told me everything, just enough to get us started and He would lead us step by step through the service. This happened each day. We had church seven days a week.
One Day Silence Under The Old Pew
One day I knelt down and put my head under the old pew just as I always did. I prayed and asked the Lord what He wanted to do in the church service. I didn’t sense His presence, like I always did, and I didn’t hear His voice speak to me. I was shocked and wondered why. I kept praying and all I could hear was the echo of my voice under the old pew. I got real concerned because I only had about seven minutes before the guard let the other convicts in for church. I didn’t know what in the world I was going to do?! I cried out to the Lord and asked Him what was wrong.
The Lord Told Me To Thank Him Under The Pew
The Lord spoke to me and said, “It is time for you to grow up some. You always come and ask me for things to help you and the church, but you never come and THANK ME first nor worship me.” I repented immediately and asked the Lord what I should do. He told me to obey Psalm 100 each time I came before Him in prayer. I grabbed my Bible and read the verse.
Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands.
Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing.
Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
Enter into his gates with THANKSGIVING, and into his courts with praise: be THANKFUL unto him, and bless his name.
For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations. (Psalm 100)
Thanksgiving Under The Prison Pew
I immediately began to praise and THANK the Lord and His presence filled me with joy! He told me the song to start the service with and what scriptures to read just as always. From that day forward, I obeyed Psalm 100 and always got an answer.
Rev. Seymour Azuza Street
Rev. Seymour used to set in front of the church before he would start the service. He would put an old box over his head and set there and seek the Lord. During that time the Lord would tell him what to do. He would take the box off his head, start the service, and the Glory of God would fall. I wonder if things would be different if we brought the old pew and box back into the church and not move until God spoke? Just a thought.
I certainly thank the Lord today for all of His mercy and goodness in my life. I am thankful for my family, friends, pastor and church. If I have any enemies or those who disagree with me, I am thankful for them also. The love of God has been shed abroad in my heart by the Holy Ghost. Many blessings to you on this THANKSGIVING DAY.