Former bank robber found ministry following crimes

A slug fA slug from a .357-caliber Magnum ended Ken Cooper’s 13-year career as a bank robber and started him on the path toward redemption and a network of five prison ministries. Cooper describes the moment when he encountered a sheriff’s deputy as he walked out of his last score in 1982. “As if in slow motion, fire flashed from the shooter’s pistol.. Someone screamed, the sound bouncing around my mind like an echo.  Cooper wrote in his book, “Held Hostage: A Serial Bank Robber’s Road to Redemption.” Ken Cooper’s 13-year career as a bank robber and started him on the path toward redemption and a network of five prison ministries.

 Cooper details his double life as a respectable husband, father and “gentleman bank robber” and the punishment for his crimes: Spending a few years in “The Rock,” Florida’s toughest prison, known for its murders, rapes and suicides.

But before he got there, he says he found Christ in a county jail while awaiting sentencing. He wrote that his conversion occurred after he fell to his knees and prayed, “Jesus, I’m a horrible sinner; please come into my heart and change me. I’ve made a terrible mess of my life — and the lives of others.”

After being released from prison about four years later, Cooper co-founded five prison ministries, which have sponsored more than 2,000 men coming out of prisons.

The ministries provide inmates with a place to stay and help with their adjustment to life outside the bars. They teach classes on overcoming addiction at Lawtey Correctional Institution, one of the state’s four faith and character-based prisons. .

The faith-based prisons are an effort to reduce the number of people returning to prison by offering character-based programming for prisoners.

(This is a cool story  which shows the power of Jesus that saves souls and changes people on the inside. Read more on this man who was changed by the living God who is Jesus- right here.)

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