Skip to comments.Devoted Prison Fellowship Founder Chuck Colson Dies (Article Retracted, Mr. Colson still alive)
Posted on 04/18/2012 10:03:13 PM PDT by Borges
Chuck Colson, the evangelical leader who dedicated his life to ministering to convicts after serving time himself in prison and coming to know God, has died. He was 80.
Colson was hospitalized March 30 after having trouble getting through a speech at a "Breaking the Spiral of Silence" conference in Virginia. Doctors found a brain hemorrhage, and he underwent surgery to remove a pool of clotted blood.
Following the surgery, Colson's health see-sawed from stable to worse, and he remained in ICU. Wednesday, Christian leaders who knew Colson well urged prayer because he "may soon be with the Lord."
Colson was a towering figure in the evangelical movement. He not only reached the world through his intellect, but touched thousands through practical outreach to prisoners and their families.
Colson was born in Boston on October 16, 1931 --a child of the great depression.
"That was tough. I got used to being poor. I never knew what it was. never knew we were poor because it was just the way we lived," Colson once said. "My dad was going to school at night. He was working very hard at a job making $32 a week, and we would share with people in need on the block who didn't have as much as we had."
Despite humble beginnings, Colson went on to graduate from Brown University and earned a law degree from George Washington University.
He also served as a captain in the U.S. Marine Corps and eventually landed a job at the White House during the Nixon administration.
But that's when Colson's promising career took an ominous turn. He was soon caught up in the Watergate scandal, as President Nixon's infamous hatchet man.
In the midst of that turmoil in 1973, Colson became a Christian after reading the book, "Mere Christianity" by evangelical author C.S. Lewis.
Colson was indicted in 1974 for conspiring to cover up the Watergate burglary. When news of his conversion leaked to the press, the Boston Globe reported, "If Mr. Colson can repent of his sins, there just has to be hope for everybody."
Colson admitted he was guilty of political "dirty tricks" and was willing to do almost anything for the cause of his president and his party.
"I was stripped of everything -- public enemy number one and thrown into a prison," Colson said of the scandal in an interview with "The 700 Club."
He served seven months at Maxwell Prison in Alabama.
As Colson walked into freedom, he promised fellow inmates he would never forget those behind bars.
"I thank God now, Pat, that I went through it because I carry with it a heavy burden for the men and women who are in prison," he told CBN's Pat Robertson.
That burden led Colson to establish Prison Fellowship, an international ministry working in more than 100 countries, committed to prison reform and prisoner rehabilitation.
"With the prison population exploding and with the crime rate just soaring, we're not dealing with the root causes of crime," Colson once said of his ministry. "We're just putting men in cages. We're treating them like animals, and we expect them to come back and be rehabilitated."
"There's one way and that's when a man turns his life over to Jesus Christ," he added.
Colson also became a prolific commentator on popular culture, writing more than 30 books and selling more than 5 million copies.
In his books, he often stressed the importance of a Christian worldview.
"It won't do for us to just sit around in our sanctuaries, entertain ourselves, sing our 'happy clappies' and feel good about ourselves," Colson said. "This is a time for the church to engage the world, and it has to be done through the church."
In the end, the only thing that mattered to Colson was having a right relationship with Jesus christ and ministering the grace he received with as many people as possible.
"I live everyday to the fullest because I live it for Christ," he said of his purpose. "And no matter what I do today ... I'm going to do something to advance the kingdom of God."
"Does that make you fulfilled?" Colson asked. "You bet it does, and it gives you joy about living."
I was just thinking of him and wondering when he would ascend. I pray for his family.
God bless him and hold him dear.
Ah, well, those who remain behind must mourn his passing, but I’m sure he’d a thousand times rather be dead and with the Lord than staying on earth. Right now he’s hearing, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.” What greater joy?
Praying for his family; praise that he now worships at the feet of Jesus
RIP, good man.
I know He will Receive His Reward, He did a lot for a lot of People.
This was a very good man and a great and noble Christian. As a Catholic I mourn his passing, because he helped bring us together with our evangelical brothers.
RIP Mr Colson. God Bless you.
Aw....I’m very sad to read this, so sad.
He is now with the Lord. Job well done, brother Coulson. See you on the other side.
Prayers for his family, who grieve.
Yes, Lord, yes!
Accept the soul of this humble servant into your everlasting fellowship, Lord God! Amen!
It’s not sad but he will be missed. Peace to his family.
He was one of those giants in Christendom that persuaded me so much over the years about what was truly good and worthy.
Get ready for the MSM to drag out that old Watergate incident and drag Colson and other members of the Nixon Administration through the mud and pretend that the Watergate matter was a big event orchestrated by Republicans.
RIP for a good man.
One of the worst to one of the greatest of our time. A brilliant and bold man of the faith. He kept his word to those in prison, and was solid in the ministry of our Lord Jesus Christ.
“Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of His saints.” (Psalm 116:15)
Prison Fellowship as of 1:04 AM (same time as this report) said he was still alive, and reports of his death are wrong.