Saved In Prison and From Prison
A Personal Testimony by Larry Price – Teacher/Evangelist
I wasn’t raised in a Christian home. I was sent to Sunday school, rarely taken, when I was a little boy. As a teenager I chose to “do my own thing”. I was thirteen when I began using drugs. By the time I was fifteen, there were probably no drugs I hadn’t done and no way I hadn’t done them. At first, I found myself doing the things I wanted to do, but then doing things not so much because I wanted to do them, but because I felt that I couldn’t do anything else. In other words, I really couldn’t seem to find the ability not to do them anymore or the resistance not to do them.
It all seemed like a big party. It all seemed like a big game. I saw no other reason to live at that point, other than to have a good time, to party, to hang out with my friends, and to have no restrictions of any kind put upon me. I dropped out of school, not completing the 10th grade.
I grew to disdain any authority within the home and authority of any kind. I began to run into conflicts with the law. My life was a life of problems with crime and drugs and all of the things associated with them.
By the time I was 20 I had already been in the State Penitentiary in Florida and Georgia. I was released in early 1978 on an educational release. They released me to live in a halfway house and to go to college. I had only been out for about 75 days when I found myself arrested on a drug-related charge and on my way to prison for the third time. It was then I really hit bottom. I was in jail in a little town in Georgia. I can remember I felt as if the rug was pulled out from under me. I was in such a state of despair that I thought about ending my life, because to me, if there wasn’t anything else, and if life just consisted of going from one problem to the next, and from one high to the next, or one drunk to the next, or one jail cell to the next and I had to go back to prison again, then life just wasn’t worth living.
What happened then was the Lord intervened. When I was arrested in this little town, I didn’t know anybody in the town except for one person, a former counselor in a drug rehab program. I used my one phone call to call him, but he wasn’t home. His parents were there and they happened to be members of a Bible-believing church in this town. They came out to visit me. They didn’t know me, had never met me before. They brought me a Bible and they talked to me and what they were saying to me seemed to hit home, and the sincerity of them coming out to see me in my situation – they didn’t know me from anybody – seemed to speak to me. I believe now it was the Lord using His Word and using the witness of these people to bring the Gospel to me.
I went back to my cell where I was by myself. I had heard the Gospel many times as a child. I got hold of some Gospel tracts that told how to be saved and I read them. I began to read the New Testament. The thought came to me that if I wanted to tell somebody else how to get saved, where could I find it in the Bible? I remembered when I had gone to State Prison in Florida as a young man 18, a dear lady had written me a letter and she had written at the bottom of the letter, Romans 10:13: Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. Just like a flash, all those years later, that verse came to me.
I looked up that verse in the Bible, Whosoever shall call upon the Name of the Lord shall be saved. I believed that I could be saved and that I could use that to show someone else how they could be saved. It was there in that little jail cell I trusted Christ Jesus the Lord as my Savior. I began to notice He began to take away from me, even in that place where many things were still accessible, the desires for some of the things I had desired before. While it differs for various people, God immediately delivered me from the desire for drugs and alcohol abuse and from all of the things that went along with it.
In 1992, I received a complete pardon from the State of Florida. I am thankful to God for what He has done in my life and pray, as you’ve heard my story, God might impress upon you His claims on your life. He is no respecter of persons. What He has done for me He can do for you.