In Loving Memory of Donald Evans
"In 1977, I was convicted and sentenced to 99 years in prison for aggravated robbery. After arriving at prison I was given another 2 years for aggravated assault on a correctional officer. At the age of 22 I was facing 101 years without any hope of ever being free again. I felt like a dead man walking with the attitude of a madman. I hated the world!
“And you were dead in your trespasses and sins in which you previously walked according to the ways of this world, according to the ruler who exercises authority over the lower heavens, the spirit now working in the disobedient. We too all previously lived among them in our fleshly desires, carrying out the inclinations of our flesh and thoughts, and we were by nature children under wrath as the others were also.” Ephesians 2:1-3
I came up with every excuse to justify my actions. I led myself to believe that I was right and everyone else was wrong. Oh how I hated and hurt on the inside. It had gotten to the point that I did not want to live any longer. I wanted to die. I could not imagine being locked down and away for the rest of my life.
“If we say, ‘We have no sin,’ we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:8-9
I began to participate in so-called revolutionary activities; staging work strikes, hunger strikes and riots, if necessary, to get the attention of head officials to acknowledge whatever demand we were requesting. This was a very, very dangerous activity, but I did not care because I was ready to die anyway. I considered myself a revolutionist, ready and willing to give my life to the prison struggle.
So there I was, out of control. I was recruited into a gang and moved up in its ranks by carrying out senseless attacks on prisoners and officers alike. Because of this so called bravery, I was voted supreme leader over all the other leaders. What this position did was give me the opportunity to become more corrupt and violent that I had ever been before.
“When the wicked increase, rebellion increases, but the righteous will see their downfall.” Proverbs 29:16
I was placed in solitary confinement for my gang activities. For the next 12 years I would be housed in a 5x6 foot cell with no contact with anyone. This is where I gave my life to Christ. I was so tired of hurting on the inside that I just broke down and asked God to forgive me for my sins and to free me from the hurt inside, right then as I ended my prayer with “thank You Jesus”!
I began to feel the Holy Spirit come down over me. I was so holy! I felt freed of my hurt and pain, which was Jesus’ way of saying my prayer had been heard and I had been forgiven. I was released on August 16, 2012.
“Some sat in darkness, in utter darkness, prisoners suffering in iron chains, because they rebelled against God’s commands and despised the plans of the Most High. So He subjected them to bitter labor; they stumbled, and there was no one to help. Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and He saved them from their distress. He brought them out of darkness, the utter darkness, and broke away their chains. Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and His wonderful deeds for mankind, for He breaks down gates of bronze and cuts through bars of iron.” Psalm 107:10-16
“Blessed are those whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the one whose sin the Lord will never count against them.” Romans 4:6-8
I spent 35 years in prison. I had given up on freedom and life itself, but God delivered me. I never thought I would ever see freedom again, but JESUS FREED ME!
“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32
“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” John 8:36"
- Donald Evans
September 6, 1955-April 30, 2016