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       I        t is just another day at the office and Rev. Greg  While God was ministering to people through him, he
                                                                                                        by Charles Gee

                James has owned his Blackberry for close to a  could have been easily seen as a menace to society.
                year, he still struggles with the functionality of  “I  felt  trapped somewhere in between message and
                the device. He compares this struggle to men’s  mess,” James says. He was once known for riding in
                struggle with their function in society. The smart  luxury cars and wearing the finest clothing, but inside,
                phone refuses  to  stop  ringing throughout the  he was disastrously failing the test that God had set
        entire day as James continues  to squint his eyes at  before him. While ministering to God’s people, he was
        each call trying to locate the speakerphone. The middle-  simultaneously taking part in a conspiracy to distribute
        aged man could easily pass for 10 years his junior, but  drugs. In April of 1996, James stood trial in a federal
        it is his passionate  leadership  and activism that has  courtroom where he was sentenced to  life plus 40
        men of all ages following his lead. Where does James  years in a maximum-security facility. James believes
        want men to follow him to, you may ask? He wants to  that it was during his stay in prison when a mandate
        take men on a mission that requires them to “Rally for  was given to him to help others.
        Redemption.” He believes that men were once better
        fathers, mentors, and leaders in their communities; at  Once known as a powerful force in the North Florida
        least they were in the community he remembers before  community  for empowering  men and  women  of all
        his abrupt exit some 15 years ago. This exit redefined  ages. James was faced with the same task, but this
        his vision, purpose, and life as a man.                time amongst  ruthless criminals in prison. His new
                                                               mission was to translate a powerful force into a positive
        In 1995, James was living a life of fear and restlessness;  force. Yet, just like he did on the outside, James now
        he could always find a degree of refuge in the pulpit.  captured  the admiration  and  respect of his  fellow
        “It was the word of God that drew people to me, but it  prisoners.
        was the same word that kept me as well,” says James.
        He recalls the days before his life would  change.  “I worked with guys in prison, and you would be amazed

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