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Love Sets Prison Captive Free

David Vincent’s life of crime began when he stole and shoplifted as a child. He soon got into drugs to escape the pain of his life choices, putting God on a shelf until he reached a breaking point. Read Transcript

I was four years old.

I got my parents kicked out of a trailer park

because I was running around the trailer park

stealing things from around the trailers.

NARRATOR: David Vincent grew up in South Haven, Mississippi.

We moved to a town home and right after that,

I was running around stealing people's mails out

of their mailboxes and storing it up,

and they kicked my parents out for that.

NARRATOR: David learned to steal from a very unlikely person:

his mother.

Growing up, would see her steal a lot of times in front of me.

I would see a shoplifting from a small boy.

I would see her changing tags in stores.

NARRATOR: As a teenager, he continued to steal.

It was almost like when I was stealing

and I was doing that, I was in control.

And it gave me some form of control in my messed up world.

NARRATOR: By this time, everyone knew David as the bad kid.

DAVID VINCENT: Started stealing bikes

and it just got worse and worse and worse.

I was arrested every year of my life from the age of 14 to 28.

NARRATOR: David also started drinking and using drugs.

DAVID VINCENT: I feel like I did it just to cover up the pain.

It's like any drug that they had around,

whether it was marijuana, if it was cocaine, if it was acid,

if it was ecstasy.

Like anything that was around I pretty much did.

NARRATOR: In 1988, David got married.

We were two broken people, and I was the most broken.

And of course I put her through a lot

as I was in jail every single year.

We both abused drugs.

We built a family and had three beautiful daughters.

And we were married eight years.

NARRATOR: David says during this time of his life,

he put God on a shelf.

I knew he was real, but I was running a million miles an hour

away from him.

And so I was always chasing the things of the world,

chasing money, and trying to kill the pain.

But I never really turned to God except in small ways.

I would pray when I needed him.

I would ask him-- it was the jail house stuff like Lord,

please get me out, I'll change.

But I never did.

NARRATOR: Then one night in jail,

David was facing 15 years for several felonies.

He was on his knees thinking about his three little girls.

They were ages 6, 4, and 1.

And I knew that I'm going to be in prison a long time.

I'm going to walk out the doors, they're

going to be graduated from high school.

And that was just so hard for me.

And I just began crying out, begging

God to please forgive me for all the things that I've done.

For the drug abuse, for running from him, for becoming a thief,

and for the man that I had become.

NARRATOR: At that moment, David asked Jesus Christ

to be the Lord of his life.

And what I heard God say was, David, everything

is going to be all right.

I'm going to have mercy on you and deliver you out

of all of these charges.

Everything got still and I felt the presence of God

in that little cell on that jail cell floor.

And I just began weeping for joy.

The tears of pain all at once turned into tears of joy.

And and I just began crying because I

knew the Lord has spoke to me.

And I didn't know what he was going to do.

I didn't know how he was going to do it.

But I knew that he had spoke to me.

NARRATOR: Eventually, all of David's charges

were reduced to a single felony.

When he was finally released from prison,

he joined a church.

And in 1999, he opened the Warriors Center,

a recovery ministry for men.

Today, it also has a substance abuse treatment program

licensed by the state of Tennessee.

Just as his girls need a father, David

says we all need our Heavenly Father.

We can get a million miles from God,

but we can always come home.

And the Lord is just there waiting

the whole time fighting for us.

He's there waiting on us to give him our hearts

and let him work in our life.


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