Reaching Our Neighborhoods – Halloween 2017

Calvary Temple - Pumpkin Crosses

I’VE BEEN A MEMBER OF Calvary Temple Church in Sterling VA FOR OVER 25 YEARS. WE ARE PASSIONATE ABOUT REACHING THE LOST AND ENCOURAGING THE BELIEVERS IN OUR COMMUNITY. WE HAVE MANY Events THROUGHOUT THE YEAR TO SPREAD THE GOSPEL. I HOPE YOU FIND THE FOLLOWING TO BE A BLESSING.

I’m personally excited about this post, to share how my church family has reached our local community during Halloween.  Now, Halloween can be a controversial holiday for many believers, who do not support what’s behind it.  I used to be apprehensive of it myself.  However, the Lord has told us to, “Go into all the world, and preach the gospel,” Mark 16:15.  Now, I see Halloween as a fabulous opportunity to reach people who are literally coming up to my door.

Here are the testimonies of how two ladies and I were able to minister to our neighborhoods this year.

My Neighborhood – How it Started

Three years ago, it was on the heart of one of the young ladies in our Young Adult group at church, Kristy Lawrence, to reach the kids in a neighborhood near church.  Over twenty Young Adults volunteered their time and money to hand out Bible tracts, act out Bible skits, and coordinate games.  Feel free to read more about it here.

Noah

Noah

The outreach opened a huge door in my neighborhood.  One of the young boys who had never heard the Bible story of Noah called it the “Pirate Story” because it had a boat.  Cute!  Since that outreach, I keep a, “Kid Box,” with Bible coloring pages, crayons, balloons, several Children’s Bibles, and bubbles.  Any time the kids want, I’ll bring out the Kid Box, and we’ll color, play a game, or read a Bible story.

When Halloween came around the next year, Kristy Lawrence was unavailable, so I organized the outreach that year.  The theme was a Puppet Show, with performances by our Sunday night service’s Puppet Team.  We were able to reach a lot of kids and parents.

Last year, Kristy Lawrence was available.  Since I had been blessed to steadily minister to the kids in my neighborhood, it was on her heart to move the outreach to a new one.  We decorated our cars for a Trunk or Treat, with seven stories from Creation all the way to the Battle for Your Heart.

My Neighborhood – This Year!

This year, however, neither Kristy Lawrence nor I felt like a big outreach was on our hearts.  Instead, I felt that the Lord would perhaps use more of us at our own houses.

 I prayed more than I ever have for the Halloween Outreach this year.

Calvary Temple - Bible Coloring Pages

Calvary Temple - Jesus is the Greatest Treasure signA few weeks before Halloween, I asked a number of ladies from church to specifically pray that the Lord would use the Bible tracts to reach the kids.  Three separate times, the kids in my neighborhood came up and asked to read something!

On the actual night of Halloween, the Lord drew so many kids to my front door that I actually ran out of tracts!  The Lord then reminded me that I had the Bible coloring book, so I quickly tore out some pages and stuffed them in a Ziploc bag with a crayon.  My roommate helped during crunch time, tearing out the pages for me.  So many kids came by that we ran out as fast as we could make them!

One young boy saw the, “Jesus is the Greatest Treasure” sign by my front door.  He said, “Are you a Christian?”  “Yes,” I replied.  “I met a Christian once,” he said.  Then he said he wanted to go to church but couldn’t.  So I encouraged him that, “It’s ok.  God sees.  You can pray to Him.”

 

Overall, it went very well.  What a blessing to see the hand of God.

Kristy Lawrence’s Neighborhood

Calvary Temple - Kristy's Outreach 2017

This year, it was on Kristy’s heart to reach her own neighborhood.  Her two daughters dressed up in princess gowns, and brought out their cardboard castles as decorations.  Glow necklaces, Bible tracts and candy, and a few games completed her outreach.

Calvary Temple - Don't Be Tricked, Jesus is the Treat!

She was able to reach 80 people, both parents and kids!  A couple of parents made it a point to come back and thank her for what they were doing.  One teenager even said, “This is the best house yet!” after he saw the “Jesus is the Light of the World” sign.

Kristy had been praying for an opportunity to share with a particular neighbor.  She hadn’t seen them since she started praying, but the day before Halloween the Lord allowed their paths to cross.  Kristy had a great opportunity to share.

Stephanie Bright’s Neighborhood

For Stephanie Bright, reaching her neighborhood for Halloween was also a family outreach.  Her three young daughters helped assemble Bible tract pacts with candy.

Calvary Temple - Kids Assembling Tracts

Calvary Temple - Praying for Tracts

Dad praying for Bible tracts with his children

While the Brights did not get any specific opportunities to share the Gospel, they had the highest number of visitors yet!  They also ran out of tracts.  Stephanie ran upstairs to get more candy to meet the high demand!

Before kids started coming, Josh Bright prayed over the tracts with his children.

The girls were excited to hand the tracts out, saying, “Jesus loves you!”  A few people thought this was cute and responded with smiles.  One kid even responded, “Jesus loves you too!”

 

 

Overall, our families were very excited to be used by the Lord to reach our local community.  Though full effects of the fruit of this ministry have not yet been seen, we believe that the Lord Jesus is working.  We count it a great privilege to be used, and look forward to what the Lord will do for next year’s Halloween outreach.

About Calvary Temple

Calvary Temple is an independent church which holds to all Assemblies of God tenets of faith. Calvary Temple ministries include Discipleship Training, adult Bible college, media ministry, and an aggressive missions program.

Pastor Star R. Scott is Senior Pastor of Calvary Temple in Sterling, Virginia, where he has ministered since 1973. In addition to the pastoral gift, Pastor Scott functions in the five-fold offices of apostle and prophet. He has planted churches, and currently oversees the pastors and ministries of numerous satellite churches.

Visit Calvary Temple online on FacebookTwitterYouTubeFlickrInstagram.

Carlisle Show 2017

 

I’VE BEEN A MEMBER OF Calvary Temple Church in Sterling VA FOR OVER 25 YEARS. WE ARE PASSIONATE ABOUT REACHING THE LOST AND ENCOURAGING THE BELIEVERS IN OUR COMMUNITY. WE HAVE MANY Events THROUGHOUT THE YEAR TO SPREAD THE GOSPEL. I HOPE YOU FIND THE FOLLOWING TO BE A BLESSING.

We had a great time this year at Carlisle!  …But before I get ahead of myself, you may be wondering what Carlisle is?  Every fall, Calvary Temple participates in a wide-spread car collector and classic car swap in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.  Participants from all over the country bring hundreds of cars, which are appreciated by thousands of spectators.

The Lord has opened a door for us.   Every year a ministry team spends several days at Carlisle, and our pastor is asked to teach the Sunday Chapel service.

Calvary Temple Carlisle 2017 - Pastor Star R. Scott Witnessing

A number of our Young Adults also volunteered their time on Saturday to share the gospel.

This year, we were able to encourage many believers who have come onto our property, as well as present the gospel to those who have never heard.

More than ever this year, we have been blessed by the number of believers we have encountered who are also excited about spreading the gospel.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In addition to sharing the Word of God, we distributed Pastor Star R. Scott’s latest teachings, “Consecration” and “Holy Home.”  Many of Pastor Star Scott’s books were distributed as well.

                  Adam’s Rib                             Divine Guidance                      I Die Daily              Holiness: Jesus’ Imminent Return         Prevailing in Prayer

Overall, we had a wonderful time ministering the gospel, and look forward to what the Lord will do next year.  What a privilege to be used by the Lord!

About Calvary Temple

Calvary Temple is an independent church which holds to all Assemblies of God tenets of faith. Calvary Temple ministries include Discipleship Training, adult Bible college, media ministry, and an aggressive missions program.

Pastor Star R. Scott is Senior Pastor of Calvary Temple in Sterling, Virginia, where he has ministered since 1973. In addition to the pastoral gift, Pastor Scott functions in the five-fold offices of apostle and prophet. He has planted churches, and currently oversees the pastors and ministries of numerous satellite churches.

Visit Calvary Temple online on FacebookTwitterYouTubeFlickrInstagram.

Fall Car & Motorcycle Show 2017

Calvary Temple Fall Car Show 2017 - Orange Classic Car front

I’VE BEEN A MEMBER OF Calvary Temple Church in Sterling VA FOR OVER 25 YEARS. WE ARE PASSIONATE ABOUT REACHING THE LOST AND ENCOURAGING THE BELIEVERS IN OUR COMMUNITY. WE HAVE MANY Events THROUGHOUT THE YEAR TO SPREAD THE GOSPEL. I HOPE YOU FIND THE FOLLOWING TO BE A BLESSING.

The Fall Car & Motorcycle Show in 2017 on Saturday, August 19, 2017 was a wonderful event. Despite the heat, we had over 300 visitors who braved the sun.

Calvary Temple Fall Car Show 2017 - Cars

I appreciated the creative entries, especially a bright red mustang, reminding me that the North Pole may have come to Sterling for a day.

Calvary Temple Fall Car Show 2017 - Red Santa Car

We also had about 50 motorcycles enter the show. I love this color!

Perhaps the biggest vehicle to stand out was the ENORMOUS red truck! I’m sure all the

little kids enjoyed seeing what perhaps looked like a real, live monster truck.

Calvary Temple Fall Car Show 2017 - Huge Red Truck (Large)

In addition to the variety of cars and motorcycles, there was more to see.

Twice throughout the day, our drama team performed a couple Outreach Skits that we do each year in Kenya. The skits are mimes that are set to music, which is very helpful with avoiding any language barriers.

Calvary Temple Fall Car Show 2017 - Drama Africa

This particular skit is about a young man struggling to know Christ, and how Jesus protects him during the battle for his heart.

Another big treat was that both of our missionaries from Kenya were in town getting some rest.

They took shifts at the Missions Tent to share the Gospel.
Calvary Temple Fall Car Show 2017 - Missions Tent

It was great to see some of our repeat vendors out again.

Calvary Temple Fall Car Show 2017 - Ice Cream Truck

The ice cream truck is a big favorite with the kids!

And with a moon bounce, face painting, corn holes, and a playground, there was plenty for the kids to do.

A big thanks to everyone who made this show possible! What a blessing to be able to spend a pleasant afternoon with friends and family.

We’d love to have you out at the Spring Car and Motorcycle show next year. Hope you can join us!

Check out our other blog posts on the homepage.

To check out more pics, please visit our four Summer 2017 albums on Flickr.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/finishtheraceva/albums

About Calvary Temple

Calvary Temple is an independent church which holds to all Assemblies of God tenets of faith. Calvary Temple ministries include Discipleship Training, adult Bible college, media ministry, and an aggressive missions program.

Pastor Star R. Scott is Senior Pastor of Calvary Temple in Sterling, Virginia, where he has ministered since 1973. In addition to the pastoral gift, Pastor Scott functions in the five-fold offices of apostle and prophet. He has planted churches, and currently oversees the pastors and ministries of numerous satellite churches.

Visit Calvary Temple online onFacebook,Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, Instagram

Calvary Temple Outreach Sugarland and Briar Patch

Calvary Temple Outreach Sugarland and Briar Patch

Calvary Temple Outreach

Sugarland Outreach

I’ve been a member of Calvary Temple Church in Sterling VA for over 25 years now.  We are passionate about reaching the lost and encouraging the Believers in our community.  We have many Events throughout the year to spread the Gospel. I hope you find the following  to be a blessing.

Pastor Jeff took the Youth Group and Young Adults to the area parks to spread the Gospel.

Calvary Temple Outreach

Sugarland Outreach

They performed skits, made balloon animals, handed out tracts and witnessed to parents and kids.

Calvary Temple Outreach

Performing Skits

 

Over 200 people heard the Gospel and at least 5 prayed for Salvation.

Check out my other blog posts on my homepage.

About Calvary Temple

Calvary Temple is an independent church which holds to all Assemblies of God tenets of faith. Calvary Temple ministries include Discipleship Training, adult Bible college, media ministry, and an aggressive missions program.

Pastor Star R. Scott is Senior Pastor of Calvary Temple in Sterling, Virginia, where he has ministered since 1973. In addition to the pastoral gift, Pastor Scott functions in the five-fold offices of apostle and prophet. He has planted churches, and currently oversees the pastors and ministries of numerous satellite churches.

Visit Calvary Temple online on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube,Flickr,Instagram

Calvary Temple Outreach Car Show

Calvary Temple Outreach Car Show

Calvary Temple Outreach Car Show

Calvary Temple Outreach Car Show

I’ve been a member of Calvary Temple Church in Sterling VA for over 25 years now.  We are passionate about reaching the lost and encouraging the Believers in our community.  We have many Events throughout the year to spread the Gospel. I hope you find the following  to be a blessing.

The 2015 Car show was a huge success.  We had over 500 first time visitors and more than 100 cars entered into the competition.

Calvary Temple Outreach Car Show

Calvary Temple Outreach Car Show

One of my favorite entries this year was a 1980’s DeLorean.

Calvary Temple Outreach Car Show

Calvary Temple Outreach Car Show – DeLoren

I was so excited because the Drama Team had made a DeLorean for our production of Back to the Bible.

Calvary Temple Drama Team

Back to the Bible

There may be slight differences in quality between the two.

Another cool entry was this:

Calvary Temple Outreach Car Show

Calvary Temple Outreach Car Show

It’s called a Polaris Slingshot, and I have never seen anything like it before the show.

Calvary Temple Outreach Car Show

Calvary Temple Outreach Car Show

This was another fun entry that everyone enjoyed signing the bug.

 

I’m a big sucker for Muscle Cars!

Calvary Temple Outreach Car Show

Calvary Temple Outreach Car Show

 

The car show is a really fun event and a great chance to meet people and share your testimony.

Come check out our 2016 Spring Car show and see for yourself.

Check out my other blog posts on my homepage.

About Calvary Temple

Calvary Temple is an independent church which holds to all Assemblies of God tenets of faith. Calvary Temple ministries include Discipleship Training, adult Bible college, media ministry, and an aggressive missions program.

Pastor Star R. Scott is Senior Pastor of Calvary Temple in Sterling, Virginia, where he has ministered since 1973. In addition to the pastoral gift, Pastor Scott functions in the five-fold offices of apostle and prophet. He has planted churches, and currently oversees the pastors and ministries of numerous satellite churches.

Visit Calvary Temple online on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube,Flickr,Instagram

Calvary Temple Outreach Movie Night

Calvary Temple Outreach Movie Night

Calvary Temple Outreach Movie Night

Calvary Temple Outreach Movie Night

I’ve been a member of Calvary Temple Church in Sterling VA for over 25 years now.  We are passionate about reaching the lost and encouraging the Believers in our community.  We have many Events throughout the year to spread the Gospel. I hope you find the following  to be a blessing.

The first drive in movie I ever saw was The Cat from Outer Space.  The window speaker barely worked, it was hot and muggy, I got eaten up by mosquitoes, and it was awesome!  Back in the late seventies when I was growing up, movie theaters had two screens and two times.  Sevenish and Nineish.  Options were limited.  But then we also only had four channels on the TV so we weren’t picky yet.  Going to a movie was an event and staying up late to watch a huge movie screen outside – in the dark – with popcorn and candy – when you should be home in bed – was epic.

Calvary Temple Outreach Movie Night

Calvary Temple Outreach Movie Night

The drive in theater left such a big impression on me and my little brother that we used to sit in the closet with cereal and a flashlight and pretend we were at the movies.  70’s kids didn’t have a lot of perks, but we had IMAGINATION!

Calvary Temple Outreach Movie Night

Calvary Temple Outreach Movie Night

 

There are still a few drive in theaters left in the United States so they’re not exactly extinct but they are a dying breed.  So there is something very special and exciting for me when Calvary Temple hosts our annual Gospel Movie Night out on the lawn.

 

Calvary Temple Outreach Movie Night

Calvary Temple Outreach Movie Night

 

This year the movie was Do You Believe.

When a pastor is shaken by the visible faith of a street-corner preacher, he is reminded that true belief always requires action. His response ignites a journey that impacts everyone it touches in ways that only God could orchestrate. – IMDB

 

148 visitors attended the Outreach Movie Night and received the Gospel – Praise the Lord!

 

Check out my other blog posts on my homepage.

About Calvary Temple

Calvary Temple is an independent church which holds to all Assemblies of God tenets of faith. Calvary Temple ministries include Discipleship Training, adult Bible college, media ministry, and an aggressive missions program.

Pastor Star R. Scott is Senior Pastor of Calvary Temple in Sterling, Virginia, where he has ministered since 1973. In addition to the pastoral gift, Pastor Scott functions in the five-fold offices of apostle and prophet. He has planted churches, and currently oversees the pastors and ministries of numerous satellite churches.

Visit Calvary Temple online on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube,Flickr,Instagram

Calvary Temple Outreach Summer Sports Camps

 

Calvary Temple Outreach Summer Sports Camps

I’ve been a member of Calvary Temple Church in Sterling VA for over 25 years now.  We are passionate about reaching the lost and encouraging the Believers in our community.  We have many Events throughout the year to spread the Gospel. I hope you find the following  to be a blessing.

Every summer Calvary Temple Outreach hosts three Summer Sport’s Camps:  Basketball, Cheerleading, and Soccer.

Calvary Temple Outreach

Calvary Temple Outreach Sports Camp Bible Lesson

They are a lot like Vacation Bible School, but each with a different sports related theme.

 

Sports skills are honed, but the emphasis is always on the Gospel.

Each day, the kids have memory verses to learn and a Bible lesson is given.

As in past years, the highlight is the Coach’s Corner where each team coach brings spiritual principles and breaks down the Word of God at the team player’s level.

Calvary Temple Outreach

Calvary Temple Outreach – Coach Tony

 

All of our kids are involved in showing the love of Jesus to the campers.  Many of the Coaching Assistants are members of the Calvary Temple Youth Group.

The kids were very open to the gospel message. At last count, out of 115 kids, eleven asked to receive Jesus as their Savior.

 

Check out my other blog posts on my homepage.

About Calvary Temple

Calvary Temple is an independent church which holds to all Assemblies of God tenets of faith. Calvary Temple ministries include Discipleship Training, adult Bible college, media ministry, and an aggressive missions program.

Pastor Star R. Scott is Senior Pastor of Calvary Temple in Sterling, Virginia, where he has ministered since 1973. In addition to the pastoral gift, Pastor Scott functions in the five-fold offices of apostle and prophet. He has planted churches, and currently oversees the pastors and ministries of numerous satellite churches.

Visit Calvary Temple online on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube,Flickr,Instagram

Calvary Temple Outreach – The Message of Hope

Calvary Temple Outreach – The Message of Hope in the Juvenile Detention Center

Calvary Temple Outreach - Hope in God

Calvary Temple Outreach

I’ve been a member of Calvary Temple Church in Sterling VA for over 25 years now.  We are passionate about reaching the lost and encouraging the Believers in our community.  We have many Events throughout the year to spread the Gospel. I hope you find the following  to be a blessing.

On a recent visit to the Loudoun County Juvenile Detention Center, the kids had many questions about Mark’s recent Missions Trip to Africa.  Many of them had been there when the missions team came in and performed skits and gave testimonies, so they were very excited to see how the trip had gone.

Then the topic of discussion transitioned to Hope. Mark had them open to Rom 8:18 – I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.

He explained to them about the Hope we have as Christians. Hope is good as long as it is set on the right things. There is no hope in this world’s treasures. Just look at Hollywood, they have it all and they are miserable.

All of our emptiness inside was made to be filled by God and not other things.

One boy opened up and shared that he was raised in church but hadn’t been living for Christ. He stated that the Lord had gotten his attention in the Detention Center. Now he has been reading his Bible a lot. The Lord is moving in that young man’s life and we are hopeful that eternal changes are happening.

Check out my other blog posts on my homepage.

About Calvary Temple

Calvary Temple is an independent church which holds to all Assemblies of God tenets of faith. Calvary Temple ministries include Discipleship Training, adult Bible college, media ministry, and an aggressive missions program.

Pastor Star R. Scott is Senior Pastor of Calvary Temple in Sterling, Virginia, where he has ministered since 1973. In addition to the pastoral gift, Pastor Scott functions in the five-fold offices of apostle and prophet. He has planted churches, and currently oversees the pastors and ministries of numerous satellite churches.

Visit Calvary Temple online on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube,Flickr,Instagram

Don’t Lose Hope – Calvary Temple Outreach

Don’t Lose Hope – Calvary Temple Outreach

Don't Lose Hope - Calvary Temple Outreach

Don’t Lose Hope – Our God is Mighty to Save

One of my favorite Christian writers is Charles Spurgeon. I have often been blessed by his teachings and God has used them to encourage and deliver me many times. I have children who are not serving the Lord, so this is one his writings that particularly blesses me.

I’ve been a member of Calvary Temple Church in Sterling VA for over 25 years now.  We are passionate about reaching the lost and encouraging the Believers in our community.  We have many Events throughout the year to spread the Gospel. I hope you find the following  to be a blessing.

Mighty to Save

Zephaniah 3:17 – The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.”

By the words “to save” we understand the whole of the great work of salvation, from the first holy desire onward to complete sanctification. The words are multum in parro: indeed, here is all mercy in one word. Christ is not only “mighty to save” those who repent, but he is able to make men repent. He will carry those to heaven who believe; but he is, moreover, mighty to give men new hearts and to work faith in them. He is mighty to make the man who hates holiness love it, and to constrain the despiser of his name to bend the knee before him.

Nay, this is not all the meaning, for the divine power is equally seen in the after-work. The life of a believer is a series of miracles wrought by “the Mighty God.” The bush burns, but is not consumed. He is mighty to keep his people holy after he has made them so, and to preserve them in his fear and love until he consummates their spiritual existence in heaven. Christ’s might doth not lie in making a believer and then leaving him to shift for himself; but he who begins the good work carries it on; he who imparts the first germ of life in the dead soul, prolongs the divine existence, and strengthens it until it bursts asunder every bond of sin, and the soul leaps from earth, perfected in glory.

Believer, here is encouragement.

Art thou praying for some beloved one? Oh, give not up thy prayers, for Christ is “mighty to save.” You are powerless to reclaim the rebel, but your Lord is Almighty.

Lay hold on that mighty arm, and rouse it to put forth its strength. Does your own case trouble you? Fear not, for his strength is sufficient for you. Whether to begin with others, or to carry on the work in you, Jesus is “mighty to save;” the best proof of which lies in the fact that he has saved you. What a thousand mercies that you have not found him mighty to destroy!

Check out my other blog posts on my homepage.

About Calvary Temple

Calvary Temple is an independent church which holds to all Assemblies of God tenets of faith. Calvary Temple ministries include Discipleship Training, adult Bible college, media ministry, and an aggressive missions program.

Pastor Star R. Scott is Senior Pastor of Calvary Temple in Sterling, Virginia, where he has ministered since 1973. In addition to the pastoral gift, Pastor Scott functions in the five-fold offices of apostle and prophet. He has planted churches, and currently oversees the pastors and ministries of numerous satellite churches.

Visit Calvary Temple online on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube,Flickr,Instagram

Calvary Temple Prison Ministry

Calvary Temple Prison Ministry brings the message of forgiveness and hope.

Calvary Temple Prison Ministry Hope 2

Calvary Temple Prison Ministry

I’ve been a member of Calvary Temple Church in Sterling VA for over 25 years now.  We are passionate about reaching the lost and encouraging the Believers in our community.  We have many Events throughout the year to spread the Gospel. I hope you find the following letter to be a blessing.

The following is a letter from an inmate that I’m sure will encourage you.

I am in search of fellow Christians who can offer love and fellowship without judgment.  So often, people seem to have a negative or indifferent opinion of all inmates.  Although it is true, the penal system is an isolated and volatile community ruled by its own rules.  However, Jesus still walks amongst us, and there are many great treasures behind prison walls that have been made into new men and women because of our Lord Jesus Christ, and we need the support of our free Christian brothers and sisters.  God never intended for us to be solo Christians.  One of the first things a person should do after becoming a Christian is find good solid Christian friends.   Galatians 6:2 reads “share each other’s troubles and problems and in this way obey the law of Christ.”  Although God wants us to turn to Him first in times of trouble, He also knows that we need Christian brothers and sisters here on earth to help us through our difficulties.

Often disrespected and physically abused by a select few correctional officers and gang members who consider anyone to be a Christian weak and undeserving of any respectful treatment, it is most encouraging to know there people in the free community who care about incarcerated Christians and the odious conditions in which we are forced to co-habitate.  Please don’t let anyone (Satan) convince you that you can’t be a light or a hope and make a difference in a prisoner’s life.  There is one church filled with believers, and we are all converted by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  God meant for his people to stand together as one against this world’s system and yet Satan wants some of us to feel alone, forgotten, abandon, discouraged, and lost behind steel and brick.

Calvary Temple Prison Ministry Hope 3

Calvary Temple Prison Ministry

42 years of living; 22 spent in the violent of prisons in the state of Virginia where I should have fallen victim to the many traps set to destroy the body and mind has taught me that:

Difficult times come to everyone, yet it is our response to trials that define who we are. 

I believe that each individual soul is meant to be a growing song unto the world.  Although we cannot always remove each other’s heavy burdens, we can share each other’s experiences by listening, playing, visiting, giving sound counsel, writing encouraging letters, sharing scriptures, forgiveness, and the love we all need.  As we comfort and encourage one another in this way, we work together to fulfill God’s plan for His church to be faithful.  Anyone living for Christ must understand that no human heart is worthless.

When I first read about love in the Bible, it appeared very alien to me.  However, it was through the words in the Bible that I learned how much God loved me.  I was deeply inspired by the selfless grace and love of Jesus.  I didn’t know such a love existed.  Needless to say, I was far from God in those years, a terrible person, and a great sinner.  Looking back, it’s easy to see how I got that way.

My parents separated for good when I was nine years old.  The last memory of my earthly father is of him threatening my mother and me with a rifle as we came out of our home and into the rainy cold night in order to escape his rage and uncontrolled drinking.  My mother and I kept looking back as we ran knowing that my oldest brother and only sister were still trapped inside.  When we finally came to a local store, my mom called the police and had my father put in jail.  That terrible night was the last time I saw my father.  On this same rainy night, my 7 year old sister revealed to the rest of the family that our father had molested her several times.  Knowing my father was capable of doing something so evil to his own daughter caused me to feel a bitter shame that broke me, and made me realize there was never going to be a better tomorrow.

Calvary Temple Prison Ministry Hope 4

Calvary Temple Prison Ministry

Alone and not knowing how to provide for her children, my mother moved us in with her family on my grandfather’s tobacco farm in Chatham, Virginia.  Immediately, the physical abuse stopped for my mother, but for children, a new form of abuse continued.  I have always been afraid of my grandfather and uncle.  The constantly called me dumb or lazy.  However, I wasn’t dumb or lazy, but whenever I was around my grandfather or uncle, I became so nervous and afraid of being hit that I usually messed up whatever task they wanted me to do.  My mother knew that I was being physically abused, but she did nothing to stop it.  Her lack of love hurt more than the abuse.

During this period of my life, my mother suffered several nervous breakdowns and had to be hospitalized.  Unfortunately, when my mother had to be hospitalized, her youngest sister became our primary care giver.  She deeply resented having to care for her sister’s children; therefore she often mistreated us whenever she could.  For example, all of my mother’s children wet the bed.  Maybe because of the horrible things we experienced through our father.  Every morning, our aunt would rush into our bedroom and snatch the covers off the bed.  If we were wet, she would beat us with a long piece of stiff wire.  Sometimes, she and my grandfather took turns beating me with a peach tree branch that was pleated together.  During the assault, they would scream that I was dumb or lazy.  They were also fond of making fun of my dark skin.  Words can’t express the shame that I felt from living in a house where I wasn’t loved or wanted.

Unfortunately, with everything going on a home, I didn’t do very well in school.  I quickly learned that as long as the farm chores were done, nothing much else was expected from me.  Around the age of 13, my uncle convinced my mother to put me in a home for boys.  Although my mother had put her children in foster homes before, it hurt me to my heart that she would give me over to a Juvenile Prison.  I felt abandoned and totally betrayed.  I learned that the inside of a cage is a very lonely place.  The walls and steel bars and the things like that don’t create your prison.  It’s the dark feelings that you create in your own mind that create your cage.  It was at this point in my life that I started to hate.  I spent one year inside a cell thinking about how my uncle beat me with two by fours, planks of wood, stiff wire, plastic pipes, belts, his fists, and any object in his reach when he was angry.  Incarceration changed me.  When I finally returned home, my mother and I began having problems.  The truth is, I didn’t respect her anymore.  I was old enough to know now that a mother doesn’t let others abuse their children.  I didn’t respect her because we didn’t have food to eat, but she never ran out of cigarettes to smoke.  She wouldn’t work so that her children could have a better life, choosing instead to split the family up.  The day my two brothers went to live with other relatives was one of the worst days of my childhood.

Calvary Temple Prison Ministry Hope

Calvary Temple Prison Ministry

At the age of 14, I started smoking marijuana heavily and hanging out with much older people.  I dropped out of school to work, and I started carrying a .32 pistol wherever I went.  From the age of 14, no one put their hands on me without a fight.  One evening as I returned home from work, my mother demanded that I give her some money.  I told her, “No.”, because she received a welfare check and food stamps once a month of which she spent on things other than me.  She got upset, and while I was taking a shower, she called the police and told them that I had hit my grandfather which was not true.  I was later found innocent of all charges, but when the Judge asked my mother if I could return home, she said, “No.”.  Therefore, I was sent to a Juvenile Boys home called “Beaumont”.  By this point in my life, I was numb to everything and everyone around me.  While at Beaumont, all I did was fight other boys.  I was introduced to rap music.  I began to dress differently, talk differently.  I was ashamed of being a farm boy.  Therefore, I created a person that I thought others would love.   When people asked me where I was from, I lied.  I would rather have died than tell people I was a farm boy who lived in a house that didn’t have running water in it until I was 10 years old.

I was released from Beaumont and transferred to another home for boys in Norfolk, VA in 1990.  Several months later, I escaped.  Eventually, I ended up living on the streets in a place called Ocean View.  Ocean View was nothing more than a 5 mile strip of hotels, bars, and crack houses that run parallel with the beach.  I met girls as young as 13 years old prostituting themselves for crack cocaine.  Although I knew the destructive powers of crack cocaine, I began selling it to survive.  I was good at selling crack because I didn’t smoke it.  The more money that I made, the more indifferent I became to what was going on around me.  It finally took the death of my girlfriend and our unborn child from a crack cocaine overdose to make me realize the hopelessness of being addicted to crack cocaine.

At the age of 17, I was arrested and certified as an adult and sent to prison for the first time for selling crack to an undercover cop.  I hit rock bottom in prison.  My young spirit yearned to be free.  I soon fell into a deep state of depression.  It felt like my life was over.  Entering prison at such a young age was the most devastating thing that could have happened to me.  I was young and powerfully built, but others my age weren’t as strong.  While doing time in a notorious prison nick-named “The Slaughter House”, I witnessed a young man who was very close to me being brutally raped and beaten.  Although I did what I could to stop it, seeing something like that changed me forever.  It made me cold and turned by heart of flesh into a heart of stone.

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Calvary Temple Prison Ministry

After 22 months of fighting, riots, and sleeping with one eye open, I was given $25.00 and released from prison.  I went back to the city of Norfolk, and it wasn’t long before I began getting drugs again.  One night, two rival gang members robbed me at gunpoint.  Nearly losing my life over a few hundred dollars caused me to search for a safer way to support myself.  When my parole officer learned that a dangerous gang leader was trying to kill me, he made me leave the city of Norfolk.  I found within the city limits of Norfolk, my parole could be violated, and I would be sent back to prison.  A few weeks later, I found myself working in a furniture factory in Martinsville, Virginia where I met the mother of my daughter.  Learning that I would soon become a father again depressed me because I knew I had already committed the crimes for which I am incarcerated now.

In 1993, after losing my job, I committed two armed robberies.  I am ashamed of my terrible past life.  I am not proud of my testimony; neither do I take any glory in it.  If I could go back in time and undo all of the terrible crimes I’ve committed, especially the armed robbery, I would gladly do it.

I was sent back to prison for armed robbery, use of a firearm in a felony, burglary, and failure to stop.  I was numb and happy to let the bitterness and anger consume me.  I soon earned a reputation for being cold and ruthless.  I spent many years in prison building up more time for confrontations with both prisoners and guards.  I was taken back to court and given more time for: assault and battery, malicious wounding, and possession of a weapon.  I ended up with 45 years, 30 months, and 10 days.  Some of it I deserved and some of it I didn’t.  There was a lot of evil done to me as well.  I was beaten by guards, starred, stabbed, had bones broken, falsely accused of crimes I didn’t commit in order to cover up their excessive abuse towards me, electrocuted with a stun belt repeatedly, tortured almost to the point of death by repeatedly spraying me with oleoresin capsicum pepper spray, and isolated alone for years degraded and made to feel less than human.  I didn’t care if I lived or died and my prison record reflected my hopelessness.

I was poised to spend the rest of my life this way, but God had other plans for me.

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Calvary Temple Prison Ministry

One night, after many years of self-destructive behavior, I gave what was left of my broken life to Jesus Christ.  If it were not for God’s undying mercy and impeccable timing, I would be dead.  Ephesians 2:8-9 reads, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.”  God looked beyond my faults and saw my needs.  There is no way to fully comprehend or explain God’s unmerited favor.  All we can do is humbly accept it.

It’s hard to say in words what being saved is like, but that moment changed my life forever.  At first there was a kind of wrenching in my chest – an inner longing for God and a better way of life that gradually grew into a storm.  Kneeling on the cold floor of my prison cell, I called out to God.  Words failed me so I just cried out, “God, please take the pain, bitterness, and loneliness away!”

Immediately, the power of God spoke to me in my heart, and the Holy Spirit pulsed through me like the burn of fire; tears ran down my face and that, in itself, gave me hope because for the first time in my life, I felt completely loved.

The Bible says that “God works all things together for the eternal good of those who love Him.”  My life is a living illustration of this great truth.  Unfortunately, it took the cold reality of prison to teach me to value the things of God.  It is my testimony that God spoke to me with healing words in my darkest hour.  God also gave me the knowledge to go back to school and get my G.E.D.  The Lord has blessed me with a love for writing Christian and classical poetry.  I successfully completed the Source of Light correspondence Bible study program, and at present, I am looking forward to pastoral courses on a deeper level.  All things are possible through God.

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Calvary Temple Prison Ministry

I love the Lord, but my walk with the Lord has not been problem free.  For years, I wrestled with the shame of bringing a child into the world that I couldn’t support.  My daughter was born while I was in prison on March 22, 1994.  Watching your child grow from a baby into a woman from behind prison walls is complete torture.  However, God has continuously blessed my daughter; she is attending her third year at College.

In 1997, I was diagnosed with diabetes mellitus and hypertension, and at one point during my incarceration, I was doomed to spend the rest of my life in prison without any hope of release.  It was only by the grace of God that I didn’t lose my freedom totally.  Now, I could be free via “parole” as soon as 2019.  These setbacks taught me that a relationship with God does not immunize us against the difficulties that life sometimes brings which is why I need the support of Christian brothers and sisters.

Over the years, God has kept a song in my heart.  Now that I am a committed Christian, I want my life to be involved in positive things as I prepare to reenter society.  I long for good Christian friends with whom I can learn from and who God can use to encourage me in my growth in His word and purpose.

Now that my heart is thirsting for a better way, God has also laid it upon my heart to tell my story for His glory so that those who are heading down the same road on which I once traveled, suffering through the toughest of circumstances can know that there is a God who’s reaching out to them in love and longs to give them hope and a new life in Christ Jesus.

Calvary Temple Prison Ministry  Forgiven

When we are willing to surrender everything to Him, God strengthens us in a way that allows us to overcome drugs, fear, violence, alcohol, of whatever the devil has used in the past to try to destroy you.  I now have the privilege of worshiping God and receiving His wonderful promises.  Now that I have a home in heaven, all I want from this world is the love of my Christian family and to show non-Christians what wonders the Lord can do when you merely have an open heart.

I would like to meet people in the church who would be willing to build a friendship of encouragement with me.  I also enjoy sharing Christian poetry with other Christians.  I’ve heard a lot of good things concerning this church and your joy in helping inmates.

Check out my other blog posts on my homepage.

About Calvary Temple

Calvary Temple is an independent church which holds to all Assemblies of God tenets of faith. Calvary Temple ministries include Discipleship Training, adult Bible college, media ministry, and an aggressive missions program.

Pastor Star R. Scott is Senior Pastor of Calvary Temple in Sterling, Virginia, where he has ministered since 1973. In addition to the pastoral gift, Pastor Scott functions in the five-fold offices of apostle and prophet. He has planted churches, and currently oversees the pastors and ministries of numerous satellite churches.

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