By Faye Gaston
A chaplain at the local prison, Frank Gassett, speaks at different churches every Sunday. He is booked for the next four Sundays. He gave his Christian testimony at the Senior Citizens Nutrition Center in Union Springs on August 28, 2019.
He states his purpose as being an example of hope for those who think they have no hope and that God will "make a way out of no way.'' He served time in the local Bullock County prison and is now ministering to the inmates here.
In 2015, Alabama Governor Robert Bentley honored him for his "prison ministry." He began his testimony with Scripture in Mark 5 about the violent man who was often "chained" hand and foot because he was possessed with many demons and not in his right mind. Jesus cast out the demons and told the man, "Go home to your family and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you." So Frank tells how his "chains" of addiction to the drugs of alcohol and powdered cocaine were broken by Jesus while he was in prison in February 2008.
Frank's father was an abusive alcoholic.
Frank began drinking at age eight, doing other drugs at age 11, sold drugs as a teenager and most of his adult life. He and his wife got high together.
Stress was compounded with the loss of their home to pay a debt and his wife's family blaming him for her death at age 28. He tried to ease his pain, stole money, and tried to end his life several times with drug overdoses and car wrecks.
In September 2001 he went to prison for the first time. He was out after a couple of years and went straight to a crack house. It took $200 to $300 a day to buy his drugs. Four men shot at him from a Birmingham housing project where drug dealers lived. His life was spared. His friends were dying of AIDS and drug deals gone bad.
In 2005, he was sentenced to 25 years in prison, still getting drugs in prison.
He did not grow up in church. However, In February 2008, while in prison, Jesus broke those "chains" of addiction, shame and guilt when he surrendered his life to Jesus.
In the unusual quiet of a noisy prison, Jesus took away every taste for alcohol and other drugs and took away the guilt and shame for all the wrong things he had done. His body was saturated with peace.
He talked about being offered a "special program." On March 31, 2010 he was sent to a "half-way house" in Atmore, but the background check found two more charges that would put him in prison for the rest of his life.
On August 7, 2011 he was in court and through intervention for him, the judge set restitution at $18,300. With a part-time job at minimum wage and payment for speaking in churches the money was raised in 3 months time.
On August 7, 2013 in Montgomery he received a full pardon for his crimes. He said, "I was a slave (to sin) and set free by the blood of Jesus.
"I have the same rights as you have, the right to vote, to carry a gun. I am washed clean by the blood of Jesus. My Jesus can restore your life."
In December 2013 he married his present wife. Her oldest brother is a prison warden and her younger brother is in law enforcement.
To contact him for a speaking appointment, Frank's e-mail is email@example.com and his phone number is 251-348-3890.