Do you believe in miracles? What about second chances? Matthew Charles certainly does. In less than one month, he went from a jail cell to the State of the Union Address.
That road to Washington, D.C., however, includes a criminal past that started in Tennessee.
"In 1995 I was arrested by the U.S. Marshals for selling crack cocaine in Clarksville, Tennessee, and for several gun violations," Charles admitted to CBN News.
Under old laws, he was convicted and sentenced to 35 years. But before he boarded the bus to prison, something happened.
"It was in February of 1996 that I confessed Christ and received him as my personal Lord and Savior," said Charles.
A friend leaving jail for prison gave Charles a few of his possessions. One of those items was a Bible.
"I just started getting into my comfort zone and my mind based on God and what I was reading and I just started crying like a baby," he recalled.
"I hadn't cried since I was a baby because I had a hard life, and I was a hard man," he continued.
Charles Heads to Prison
But squaring things with the Lord didn't mean absolution from the Feds, so off to prison he went. Over the next 21 years, Charles became a law clerk, a mentor and led prison Bible studies. He also managed to keep himself from a single disciplinary infraction.
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