Gone Fishing Ministries was founded by John Sullivan as a means to minister to the county jails and juvenile facilites. Since then it as grown to so much more. It has expanded to cover many aspects of ministry as well as training ministers and working with existing prison ministries. Gone fishing ministries also serves the homeless in downtown Ft. Wayne Indiana, providing food and holding church services for them.
Ninety-eight percent of the people in prison today will be relweased and those who are from your area are coming back. Of that 98%, there are 75% who will commit another crime and return to prison. Half of them will return in the first six months.
Gone Fishing Ministries believes that every time you can lead someone to Jesus, you save a life. When you lead these people to Jesus, you don't know how many lives may be saved; how many murders won't take place; how many women won't be raped or children molested; or people robbed.
We can't do much to keep people from going to prison, but we can make an impact on how they will return to society. Will they return to your neighborhood as a Christian or a criminal?
John was raised in Columbus, Ohio. He was arrested for the first time at the age of 11, the second time at the age of 13; and by the age of 16 was branded an incorrigible criminal and sentenced to the reformatory until he reached the age of 21. This sentence would be suspended if John enlisted in the military. John entered the U.S. Army where he was court-martialed twice but somehow managed to receive an honorable discharge after completing a European tour of duty.
By this time John was a hopeless alcoholic and spent the next 13 years in and out of trouble. By age 33 he had been arrested over 30 times. John was locked up in city prisons, county jails, work camps, psychiatric wards, and detoxification centers. Nothing worked until 1977 when John asked Jesus into his heart.
When Jesus saved John, He set his heart and body free from bondage. John was delivered from alcohol, drugs, tobacco, gambling, and just an outright life of sin. Everyone who knew John from his old life, knew something was different after Jesus came into his life. The change was drastic.
John entered prison ministry in the winter of 1979 and was licensed by his church as an evangelist in 1981. John has ministred in over 300 prisons in 40 states. John's ministry includes teaching seminars to inmates, from death row all the way to minimum security farm camps. He has also worked in foreign missions in Jamaica and Trinidad, and the prisons of Scotland, England, Wales, Latvia, Ireland, Canada, Estonia, Romania, Ethiopia, India, Tartarstan, Ghana, Benin Kirgizstan, and Russia.
John served on the board of directors at the Allen County Jail ministry for over fourteen years. He has served with Prison Fellowship Ministries for twenty years as an in-prison seminar instructor. John also serves on the board of C.O.P.E for over eighteen years, most of that time as the foreign missons director.
Pam joined the ministry 8 years ago after she finally surrendered her life to Jesus. Up until then she'd been in & out of prison, on and off of drugs with no purpose and no hope. Her enthusiasm for going into prison now is fueled by her love for a Savior who exchanges judgement for mercy, hopelessness for hope and worthlessness for value. He's the great exchanger!
Pam is also passionate about homeless ministry. Every weekend she's not ministering in prison, she spends sharing an outside meal and a church service with the homeless.Hear more of Pam's incredible testimony below: