I was born in 1944 in Birmingham, Alabama. The youngest of five children, my father was a coal miner and my mother did not work outside of the home. My modest lower middle class home was Christian and my siblings and I were required to be active in the African Methodist Episcopal Church that we attended. Personally, I was on the usher board, in the junior choir and was president of the junior church. Our home was one of strict discipline tempered with love. My father was a hard worker and dependable provider. Whereas, my mother was a great cook, immaculate housekeeper and a kind hearted individual.
I attended public school in strictly segregated Birmingham and was a mediocre student until I reached the 5th grade. Obviously someone, along with my parents and immediate family, was praying for me because I began to apply myself in school and became an “A” student and class president.
This positive pattern continued into high school where I finished as an honor student, student body president and senior class president. I was also student athlete. Throughout my high school years I remained active in church and was blessed with a scholarship to college, being the first in my family to go beyond secondary school.
My college years were truly blessed by the Lord, finishing with honors near the top of my class. During these years my commitment to my Savior had not waivered and though tempted as many college students, I remained steadfast in the faith.
Upon graduation from the Wilberforce University, I was blessed beyond my wildest imagination with an opportunity to attend law school in Ohio. I was accepted and my first racially integrated experience was in professional school. Being a minority, having come from segregated public schools, a family without a professional background, I was very intimidated, realizing that I truly needed the Lord’s help. Continuing in Christian service as superintendent of Sunday school, church trustee and various other offices, I finished law school, earning the Juris Doctor and Master of Laws degrees, with honors.
The favor of the Lord was on my life and I received several attractive offers upon graduation and the most attractive of which were to serve as a clerk to a prestigious federal judge and the other with the U. S. Justice Department as a trial attorney in the U. S. Justice Department Antitrust Division. I accepted the offer from the Justice Department and was privileged to speak to Ivy League lawyers in the Great Hall of the U. S. Justice Department. I was the second African American hired by Antitrust in the history of the Department. My responsibilities in the position included but were not limited to investigating and prosecuting antitrust law violations within the investigating and prosecuting antitrust law violations within the United States of America. I traveled extensively, armed with my G-Man credentials, interfacing with high level corporate officials and senior partners of major law firms. I was assigned to some major investigations. Throughout this time period I remained faithful to my church.
Desiring more extensive trial experience I resigned from Justice and accepted a position as an assistant district attorney in the State of Ohio. In this capacity I tried over one hundred jury trials and handled an enormous number of pre-trials. Many of the high profile cases assigned to me received newspaper write-ups and I was interviewed on radio and television on a regular basis.
Oftentimes during criminal trials I would look across the table at the defendant or to the back of the courtroom at the family of the defendant and I had little to no compassion because I felt that man’s justice was being served. Further, I could not conceive of ever being seated on the wrong side of the table. Admittedly, I was self-righteous as many other Believers are.
I decided that after several years as a prosecuting attorney that I wanted to go into private practice and opened my office specializing in criminal defense and as a civil plaintiff’s attorney. After a few years my practice became very lucrative and afforded me and my family (wife and daughters) a very comfortable life. We were living the American materialistic dream with the homes, cars, jewelry, wardrobe, travel, etc. that accompanies this lifestyle. We had “so called” friends, attended many social events and were in regular church attendance. During this time I recognized God’s call on my life and began studying for the ministry and serving as an associate pastor.
The aspiration of most lawyers is to one day sit as a judge and I was no exception. Still in my 30’s and having served as a part time appointed judge along with my private practice for a number of years, I decided to run for a full time judgeship. I promised God that if elected, I would intensify my ministerial studies and would bring a much needed spiritual witness to the bench.
In 1981 I was elected to the bench, the first African American in this city, and began serving a six year term in January of 1982. I was the trial and administrative judge of my court with a staff of clerks, bailiffs, probation officers, secretaries and other court personnel. At this time I could not conceive of life being any better. I had, as far as I was concerned, it all.
I develop a reputation of being tough on crime and a hard sentencer. I felt that this persona was necessary to maintain a law and order respect in my jurisdiction. Non-law abiding individuals would oftentimes go out of their way not to be apprehended in my area and having to appear before me.
In looking down from the bench at the defendants who came before me I never thought I could one day be in a similar position.
Life nevertheless has its twists and turns and several years into my judgeship I learned that I was under federal and state investigation for receiving kickbacks from contractors’ working for the city wherein I was the sitting judge. Once favored by newspaper articles, they turned negative and hostile. Fellow lawyers and judges would see me and turn the other way. Ministers and other Believers began to avoid me and I started to feel as though I was an outcast.
I was indicted by federal and state grand juries in 1984 and was facing 132 years of incarceration. After a three week trial in 1985, I was convicted and sentenced to 10 years federal and 12 years state to run concurrently. It was as though my life had come to an end ministerially, professionally and materially. I had disappointed so many, mostly my family, in that I was the first in my family to attend college and professional school.
On December 5, 1985 I was required to report to federal prison in Big Spring, Texas, over 1500 miles from my family In Ohio and was assigned the prison number 31850-060. Upon arriving at the institution I observed the door mat with the wording, Federal Bureau of Prisons – U. S. Justice Department. I reflected on the fact that I started my professional career with Justice as a trial attorney and that I had fallen from the top of the judicial system to the lowest level of society. A sad day it was.
While at Big Spring I met men (fellow inmates) from all walks of life; doctors, teachers, bankers, businessmen, pilots, ministers, professional athletes, farmers who never thought it could happen to them as I never thought it could happen to me. I finally decided to inquire of God what happened and the Spirit of God revealed to me that there are laws of life that he has established that I had operated on the negative side of these laws and I was receiving a corresponding harvest. The Spirit of God further revealed to me that he would teach me these laws of life that I would have to develop from Genesis to Revelations whereas I would later be able to teach the laws to the Body of Christ.
It was also revealed to me by the Spirit that upon acknowledging my sin, and repenting that God would reverse my captivity and restore me for His glory.
As a result of God’s mercy, after 40 months, I was paroled from federal custody but I still had remaining approximately 5 years on the concurrent state charge. So upon walking out of the federal gate deputy sheriffs from Ohio picked me up, brought me back to Ohio and put me in county jail in the building where I had served as an assistant district attorney. My family and I were crushed to say the least.
After a few days I was transported to a next to maximum custody state prison number 210-204 which housed murderers, burglars, robbers and rapists, men serving life and double life sentences. Some of these men had come before me on the bench. This was to have been a death sentence for me, but God had other plans. Men who one would have assumed would have been my enemies and determined to hurt or kill me, God caused to be my friends.
I was later transferred to two other state prisons where God continued to give me favor with staff and inmates and I continued to develop the laws of life series.
There came a point in time when I began to wonder if I would ever be released. The Spirit of God then impressed upon me that I should dismiss any pending appeals and rely on Him for deliverance. I reluctantly obeyed and after 7 years of incarceration the state parole board reversed itself and granted me parole to become effective in April 1993.
Approximately a week before my parole date a prison uprising erupted and all the inmates in the state were on lockdown. But on April 16, 1993, despite the lockdown, I walked out, for when God says it is your time no man can stop it.
I returned home and God has been restoring me over the last 22 years by keeping my family intact (my then wife is now with the Lord but God has given me another Christian wife), allowing me to continue with the completion of approximately 50 books and a DVD series on the laws of life, to appear on numerous Christian radio and TV programs, to speak to various groups nationally and internationally, to testify before a congressional sub-committee in Washington, D.C., and to minister the gospel of Jesus Christ as an ordained minister in prisons and wherever doors are open.
I have the dubious distinction of being the only individual who has been a federal and state prosecutor, criminal defense attorney and civil plaintiff attorney, civil plaintiff and defendant, judge, federal and state inmate, and federal and state parolee. God has made it all work together for my good according to Romans 8:28.
My most recent endeavor is as executive producer and presiding judge of Laws of Life Court T.V. This is a forum where individuals (Believers and non-believers) who have a controversy can bring their dispute to Laws of Life Court and receive a decision based upon one or more laws of life which are all Bible based. Also, my wife and I executive produce and co-host Laws of Life Forum where laws of life are applied to current and historical events.
8553 N. Beach Street, PMB 104 Fort Worth, Texas 76248-4919