“From the very first day, I was surprised how much God is in prison.”
Curtis was living his life like many ordinary men. He worked a white collar job. He had a wife and kids. His family members were always Catholic, and he had become Catholic a few years earlier. But, because he had become Catholic mainly for his family, he chose not to fully engage in his faith. Life went on as usual.
Then Curtis was arrested for fraud. He was convicted and sent to prison. He spent time in four different facilities – two jails and two prisons. And one of the first things he noticed in all four facilities was that God was everywhere. He found that many prisoners read the bible, and there was a great curiosity for faith among the incarcerated.
Curtis’s sentence was a real blessing in that it was a significant period to focus on his faith. A Catholic volunteer came in weekly and, once Curtis made the choice to walk his faith, the time in prison helped him get his spiritual life together.
Being Catholic is not popular in prison, especially after the unfavorable publicity the Church has received. The negative reputation of the Catholic Church is amplified in prison. Prisoners do not usually want others to know they are Catholic. So getting Catholic ministers and materials into the prisons is imperative in supporting Catholic inmates. While in prison, Curtis came across Dismas Ministry materials – bibles, study courses, prayer books – and felt that they gave more structure, like creating a map for prisoners’ faith journeys.
“Donors probably don’t comprehend how much of a difference they are making. There is no better cause than helping someone find their path to God,” said Curtis.
He shares his story because he wants people to know there is hope and opportunity in prison. Prison ministry helps a lot of people through the materials and the conversation. Dismas Ministry is a channel to provide a strong faith foundation for those behind bars.
Currently, Curtis is serving on Dismas Ministry’s Board of Directors because he wants to give back. He wants to help the incarcerated the way he was once helped. The support from benefactors makes this possible.
Curtis Gibson is from Oregon City, OR and has been a real estate developer for the last 25 years. He received God’s grace while incarcerated. In his second year of service on the Dismas Ministry board of directors, he was recently elected to serve as vice president.
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