PMW 2019-049 Caleb Parke (Fox News)
A Texas megachurch has seen incredible things happen since planting a church inside the state’s largest maximum-security prison six months ago.
But what happened last week was a first in the history of the prison.
The warden at Coffield Unit in Anderson County, which is located about 90 minutes outside of the Dallas/Fort Worth area and houses roughly 4,200 criminal offenders, invited Gateway Church to baptize a handful of inmates in administrative segregation, or solitary confinement, where they spend 23 hours of their day behind solid, steel doors with air holes in them because of how dangerous they are.
Niles Holsinger, Gateway Coffield Prison campus pastor, told Fox News what he witnessed last Wednesday was “mind-blowing.”
Five of the men – confirmed gang or cartel members – were brought into the gymnasium, shackled hand and foot and around the waist, and they had to clear the prison because of safety concerns.
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“They couldn’t lift their arms above their waist, each one has a guard on each arm, and wouldn’t leave their side until they were in the water,” Holsinger said.
Three of them were placed on one side. Two men on the other. A field guard told the pastor it was because they were from rival gangs and the only way for them to leave the gangs or cartels is death.
Holsinger spoke to each one of the guys in solitary confinement, each with a violent history.
“I have tried it my way my whole life and it’s gotten me here,” one of the prisoners told the campus pastor. “I want to try it God’s way…we’re going to come out of the water as new men.”
One by one the men were baptized.
These guys from two different gangs professed the same Lord and were baptized in the same water together and they walked out together, guards not holding onto their arms anymore because God had done something in their life,” Holsinger said.
But it was what he saw afterward that shocked him.
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