FERRIER FILES: Sermons and songwriters, a prison ministry like no other
It's rare, perhaps something that never happens anywhere else in Tennessee, except for the Davidson County Jail. Musicians travel to prison to sing to inmates about their own lives.
“Not every guy in prison wants it. Some guys just want to do it again, but many of these guys are broken and tired and desperate for something different, but don't know where to find it or how to find it," said Curt Campbell of Men of Valor. "Those are the guys who need us.”
Curt Campbell knows what he's talking about, most of the men who complete his Men of Valor program stop committing crimes. Campbell says 90 percent of them never re-offend.
One of the tools used by Men of Valor is of all things, Bible study. 50 men studied the Beatitudes, the famous sermon of Jesus with eight promises.
The 50 Davidson County inmates also journaled about the Beatitudes. Then eight singer-songwriters took those journals and turned them into songs.
A gift to the men who opened their hearts to change, a reminder that God does not forsake "the least of these."
Nathan Lee is the founder of Send Musicians to Prisons. A former teen sensation, Lee has given up record deals and tours for a truly captive audience.
“The only answer I know that is safe, it is my responsibility to love," Lee said. " I have music, but we can all do it. That's the end to remind people that they matter, that they are not forgotten.”
This is the first time Malcolm Crawford has ever been incarcerated. At 50 years old, it has shaken him up and also cleared his head. Crawford clings to the promise that "blessed are the pure of heart."
“It convicted me so. Because I realize I cannot do this ever in a million years without Him ever, because it takes a very special person to be humble, stay at peace to be righteous, oh man. This is where I needed to be to finally learn this,” said Crawford.
Two ministries working on the heart in different ways, but working toward the same twist ending.
“If we will put ourselves last, God will put us first," Campbell said. "It is crazy, but it's true. Put God first, and others and everything turns out good."
“This is not the last chapter in your book," Lee explained. "You hold the pen. This ain't it."