Chaplain Johnnie Gentry
Our Missionary Chaplain, Johnnie Gentry, has an amazing testimony. He was incarcerated for 42 years, and now he desires to go back into the prisons to freely share God’s Word with inmates.
During his time in prison, he met other brothers-in-Christ, and began to learn of the Love of God. He knew there were things lacking in his life; things like peace. Once he was converted, he realized that no one but Jesus Christ can give him that peace. On April 26, 1979, he had an encounter with the Lord Jesus Christ. Once he was saved, he began to get into God’s Word. The night God saved him, he knew God didn’t save him without a reason, he knew God wanted him to know about His Word. He believed God wanted His Word to become alive in his life, but Johnnie could not read. A pastor there told Johnnie that he could read, and in front of the whole congregation, he placed his right hand on top of his head, and with his left hand raised toward heaven, he prayed, and then told him, “Brother Gentry, from this point on, every step you take, you’re going to be taking it by the Grace of God. Now go stand over there behind the podium.” Behind the podium was a little Bible, and he said, “Now open up that Bible by faith,” and Johnnie opened it up. When he opened it up, he said, “God had me open to the 27th Psalm. When I opened my mouth, the whole 27th Psalm came out of my mouth, and I’ve been reading the Bible ever since.”
Now 72 years old, Johnnie had never walked inside a public school a day of his life, but from that point on, he states, “God blessed me with the ability to read His precious Word. The last two verses of the 27th Psalm I have always pondered in my heart from April 26th, 1979 until now.” Psalm 27:13,14 “I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.”
In closing Johnnie says, “After serving 42 years in prison, I never would have thought I’d be happy when other Missionary Chaplains called me up and said, “Hey Brother Johnnie, let’s go into prison,” but that it exactly what Johnnie wants to do!
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