January 6, 2009, I was arrested for the last time for running a drug house. I was 44 years old, and between my new charges and all of the probation and stayed sentences hanging over my head, I was looking at being locked up for the rest of my life. Up to this point, I had been living a criminal lifestyle for 33 years, spent 27 years behind bars for crimes ranging from petty drug charges to first degree aggravated assault with a deadly weapon when I shot a man point blank range. I had been a drug addict for most of those years, the last addiction of choice being methamphetamine. Satanism and the occult had been a part of who I was for those 33 years. Of course, the lifestyle that follows these activities produced many side addictions, including cutting and self-mutilation, pornography, lying, manipulating, etc. This was the man pictured at the bottom of the above photo. 

On January 22, 2009, a miracle happened. The very book (the Bible) I claimed was a mythology book, like all the others I have studied, led me to know the Christ I had denied existed and made me into the very Christ-follower I had despised all those years. I certainly didn’t “pursue” this incident, all I know is: I had to use the Bible for the homework I was doing for a faith-based addictions program in the county jail. Because I was reading the Truth (Jesus is the Way, Truth and Life), the Truth had set me free (Jesus said “You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free”).

I was released from prison on June 1, 2010, after just 15 short months in prison. I had saturated myself with God’s word, and the Holy Spirit was doing quite the work in me. I had only known the criminal lifestyle for 33 years and didn’t know how to function in society on society’s terms, so He had a lot of work to do.

Within 6 months of my release, someone blessed me with a motorcycle. I joined a motorcycle ministry and use that bike to glorify Him. 18 months after my release I was asked to come into the very prison I was released from to minister to the guys. I had been responsible for starting the “Wiccan/Pagan Religious Groups in the Wisconsin Dept. Of Corrections, and all the inmates knew what I was about. I shouldn’t have been allowed into the prison because I was still on Parole, but God opened the doors, and have been doing jail and prison ministry ever since.

2 ½ years after my release I became an Associate Pastor and Youth/Outreach Pastor at an Evangelical Free church in Stanley, Wi. I was there for over 4 years, and just last September was asked to come to Drummond Wi. as the Senior Pastor of the Oaks Church, and also the Director of Addictions Transformation at Crossroads Outreach in Ashland. 

This month marks the 9th anniversary of the new creation in Christ. Being the new person Jesus created me to be. I could have allowed so many to steer me back into what I WAS by wanting to keep me there. Ya see, the people who knew the old me wanted to keep me that way by saying someone can’t change, or, once a convict always a convict, and the only reason he’s successful is because he’s manipulating you all. 

But here’s the thing. I don’t walk in shadows! That ain’t me no more. As of January 22, 2009, I became a new creation in Christ, the old has passed and the new has come. The very God of the universe dwells inside on me and I dwell in him. You now see that Child of the One True King in the top photos of the picture. I don’t walk in the shadows where others wish to keep me, for I continue to walk forward into the light of Jesus Christ. If the Son sets you free, you are free indeed. 

If you desire a new lease on life and wish to be set free it’s really very simple. Jeremiah 33:3 says: “Call unto me and I WILL answer you…” Call on Jesus today, believe on Him and live for Him. Deny yourself, pick up your cross and follow Jesus. The answer for the darkness you walk in is the light of Jesus Christ. Make today that day. If you wish to talk about this, I Can always be reached at my website: www.setusfree.org or email me at: brian.cole98@gmail.com.

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