Help Pastor Jay Preach to the Nations!

Today, if you encountered Pastor Jay, you would more than likely find him holed up in some cell or small room surrounded by the pastors and deacons he teaches.  Everyone's eyes locked in on him respectfully and attentively.  Everyone laughing about some deep spiritual truth that Pastor some how turns into a simple street metaphor.  The "hood version" of the Bible. 

Or, you may find him in his element preaching passionately from the pulpit in the chapel or multipurpose building, watched by a crowd of men who love him and value him as their pastor. Or preaching just as passionately into a pay phone receiver to a friend or family member that Pastor considers a part of his church.  Or you may find him walking from cell to cell praying with the men about their health, their families and their needs.  On the recreation yard, he may be passing out tracts to the men.  Or he's giving away tasty free meals at the holidays to the men to help them feel a little joy, even in prison.  Or he may be preparing to preach his message right into your phone or computer screen as he launches the first inmate hosted church podcast. But this is not the person you would have found almost twenty three years ago.

J'Gerrard Paul Williams, now known to most as Pastor Jay, was, at best, a gang member and an aspiring gangster rap artist.

He has the familiar story of so many others like him.  Raised by a single mother in low income housing in one the most dangerous neighborhoods of Jacksonville, Florida.  Although a bright, intelligent, and charismatic young person, "Jay" as his family called him, chose the street life at the age of twelve, when he sold drugs for the first time.  It was also at this time when he and his friends wrote their first gangster rap album. At the age of seventeen, he joined the violent Blood organization. This would lead to a series of destructive decisions.

ARRESTED or RESCUED?

But all this would end five years later when Jay was arrested for being involved in a gun fight with an older drug dealer and carjacking someone while fleeing from law enforcement. His bad decisions had finally led him to complete ruin. The court sentenced him to forty years in the Florida Department of Corrections.

Law enforcement arrested Jay in 2001, one week before he would unwillingly attend a Bible study in the county jail that would change his life forever.  On February 7, 2001, he surrendered his life to Jesus Christ.  He was "rescued not arrested".  His prayer went something like this: "God, I have run game on a lot of people.  But I know I can not run game on You.  I'm not asking You to get me out of jail.  I'm asking You to give me peace of mind because I am miserable. If You do, then I will serve You for the rest of my life."  And that is exactly what Pastor Jay has been doing for twenty-three years.

Pastor Jay began teaching Bible studies in the county jail at twenty-two years old.  He amazed the older Christians and hardened inmates by his dedication to and understanding of God's Word.  He also became active in just about every educational and life skills program available dealing with his dysfunctional childhood, ignorance, and anger.  He has received many certificates for these programs.  He has also completed vocational training in computers and barbering.  Most recently, he completed the three year Xtreme SOULutions ministry and re-entry program at Marion Correctional Institution with excellence and was featured in the Ocala Gazette newspaper.

Pastor Jay is one of the rare incarcerated persons who change their lives and never look back. Because of his consistent commitment to Christian ministry he is widely respected by the inmate community.  Many of them recognizing him as their pastor or spiritual father.  Pastor Jay emphasizes mentorship as one of his main lessons for Believers.  He recognizes Richard Branson of Living Waters Ministries, Living Waters to the Nations, in West Palm Beach, FL as his mentor and spiritual father.  Even family and friends outside of prison recognize Jay as their pastor, mentor, and spiritual father.

So, now, Jay, the once gang member / gangster, is a completely different person.  He gives his life full-time to prison ministry inside.  He has trained other inmates to pastor who now occupy at least four other prison facilities.  They all willingly hold to the essential values that are specific to Pastor Jay's church culture. They all actively evangelize and disciple other inmates in prison. And Pastor Jay's ministry is looking for ways to reach people even outside of the prison. Such as launching the first inmate hosted ministry podcast from prison.

THE NEXT STEP IN THIS VERY RELEVANT MINISTRY

Pastor Jay is an asset to so many in prison and to the world outside the chainlink fences and barbed wire. WE NEED HIM OUT!  He has been incarcerated for twenty-three years, and fighting in the courts for seven years to get them to acknowledge an error in his sentence.  An error that would cause him to be released IMMEDIATELY. But without a lawyer, the courts have not seriously considered his case.  Recently, a very well known lawyer in Palm Beach County, FL agreed to represent Pastor Jay. This is where your help comes in.

HOW YOU CAN HELP

This lawyer has agreed to represent Pastor Jay for the estimated price of $7,500.  We, Jay's family and friends would like to contribute to this effort to see him released.  We are asking you, friend, to help in whatever small or large way that you are able.  All contributions will go toward retaining legal help for Pastor Jay. Contributions that exceed the amount for the attorney will help support his ministry inside and outside of the prison.  Please help us bring this man home. This man who has been completely transformed not reformed.  Pastor Jay's ministry on the inside is also relevant and needed in our society on the outside.

THANKING EVERYONE IN ADVANCE FOR ALL THEIR HELP!