Rick Warren Appoints Just-Freed Prisoner as Saddleback Church Pastor

Saddleback hires a paroled "Double Lifer" as newest pastor after 32yrs in prison
Saddleback hires a paroled "Double Lifer" as newest pastor after 32 years in prison (Facebook/Pastor Rick Warren)

Danny Duchene was nearly 20 years into a double life sentence in California's Sierra Prison when he first encountered Saddleback Church Pastor Rick Warren through his bestselling book The Purpose Driven Life.

The book not only changed Danny's life, it resulted in a Saddleback-inspired "Purpose-Driven Church," started by inmates in the prison, and the adoption of Saddleback's Celebrate Recovery program by the correctional institution as its official recovery program. In the past 13 years, thousands of lives have been changed and prisons across America have followed Sierra's example.

After 32 years in prison, Duchene was freed, partly in response to a letter sent by Pastor Rick Warren to the parole board asking that they do so in order to allow him to hire Duchene as a pastor at Saddleback Church.

This weekend, Danny Duchene will be officially installed as pastor of Saddleback Church's Prison Ministry. He will share his 32-year spiritual journey behind bars as a part of Pastor Rick Warren's message: "God Can Use Anybody." The sermon is the second in a series of messages titled The Miracle of Mercy.

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