Transformation Tuesdays: Monroe Jennings Rebuilds His Life

April 2, 2018
Monroe Jennings Prison Fellowship

Image Courtesy of Prison Fellowship

"I come from a good, middle-class family, but I enjoyed the action of the streets," says Monroe Jennings, 60. Growing up in what he calls a "violent" city in Ohio, Jennings "fought on a regular basis, commited crimes, lived a life of stealing out of stores."

He fell in love with a woman named Francine, and the two got married. However, Francine couldn't abide his lifestyle and the company he kept for long, and she filed for divorce. "She did the right thing, because I wasn't good for her," Jennings says.

Eventually, the law caught up with Jennings. He served two concurrent sentences for armed robbery in Louisiana State Penitentiary, from 1977 to 1993. While he was incarcerated, Jennings found Jesus Christ and enjoyed seminars provided on a number of topics by Prison Fellowship, the nation’s largest Christian nonprofit serving prisoners.

Since his release from prison, Jennings has thrived. "My life hasn't been the same since I've been out," he says. He and Francine reunited and remarried. "He's an honorable man," she says. "It's like starting your family all over again."

For the past 13 years, Jennings has worked in prosthetics and orthodics. "I'm helping people get their lives back by...fabricating braces for their legs and helping with prosthetics," Jennings says.

Watch him share his story below:

To hear more second-chance stories, join Prison Fellowship on April 7 for Road to Second Chances, a special community-wide prayer walk to celebrate the dignity and potential of men and women with a criminal history during Second Chance Month. Along the way, men and women will share personal stories of their search for a second chance. The walk, guided by leaders of the local faith community, will begin at the Anacostia Park Skating Pavilion and finish at the DC Dream Center. A free resource fair will connect returning men and women and their families with information on legal, educational, employment, advocacy, and counseling services. 

(Wear white to show support for second chances. The family-friendly event is free and open to the public. Free food and T-shirts will be provided on a limited basis.)

Prison Fellowship believes that every person is made in the image of God, and that no one is beyond His reach. That means there is hope for restoration and healing for prisoners, their families, victims, and all those who have been impacted by crime. Through biblically based programs and a positive community, those who once broke the law can be transformed and mobilized to serve their neighbors, replacing the cycle of crime with a cycle of renewal.

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