Thomas J. Crouch is our lead minister in the Texas Department of Correction. He currently serves as volunteer chaplain on the Hodge/Skyview and Diboll units. Tom is a wealth of knowledge and the mentor of many successful men that were incarcerated and released to become strong men of God. The work he does in prison is incalculable and priceless.
If you would like to donate directly to Tom, please send email to email@example.com with designation instructions.
For more than 25 years I lived a homosexual lifestyle. Nineteen of those years I lived in Dallas in the Cedar Springs area in the gay community. I was on drugs of all descriptions, dope, alcohol and cigarettes. I went to bars weekly. I was very active, to say the least.
In 1986 two of my best friends died of AIDS related illnesses. Also, in 1987, two more of my friends died of AIDS related illnesses. In January 1987 I was diagnosed with HIV. For a year I was doing my thing–all the time walking in fear of dying.
On February 6th, 1988, I came home to East Texas to my niece’s wedding. My brother and I went for a ride in his pickup, and he started talking to me about my life style and how it was wrong. What he didn’t know was that I was afraid of dying anyway, so I was open to listening to what he had to say. He spoke to me about Jesus and how He could help me and set me free from sin and my homosexual lifestyle.
Please listen to what I am about to tell you now. I prayed the sinner’s prayer and received Jesus into my heart. I rebuked the homosexual lifestyle to leave me and when it did, a demon, yes, I said “demon,” presence left me. Homosexuality is a demon from Satan and it will overtake you and live in you, all the time telling you that you were born this way, and there is nothing you can do about it.
I am a living testimony that you can be free. Trust me when I tell you. You can be free. For nineteen years now, I have been free and living for the Lord.
On February 24, 1988, I moved from Dallas back to East Texas. I moved in with my brother and his family. I left everything that I knew, a part time business I had started and a full time job in a major showroom in Dallas. I made up my mind to serve the Lord and did a hundred and eighty degrees turn.
At first, I didn’t know what I was going to do, but within six months, I was working for a company in Jacksonville and had my own home with seven acres of land. God gave me twice what I had in Dallas, and to date. He has taken care of me ever since, even when I wasn’t able to.
In 1995, I was told I had full-blown AIDS, and I was put on protease inhibitors. They would work for a few months and quit. So, the doctor would change me over to another, and it would work for a few months and quit. This went on until the beginning of 1998. I tried all the protease inhibitors on the market, but none worked for very long.
On December 12, 1998, my doctor started me on an experimental protease that wasn’t approved for sale on the open market. Keep in mind now, all this time I am standing on God’s Word, praying and believing I would be all right. On December 12th this year will be nine years that have come and gone since I started this last protease. The viral-load is non-detectable. My T-cells have risen high enough that I am no longer AIDS related, but HIV. My immune system is able to fight off infections, and I have a healthy life all because of Jesus and standing on His Word! I’m still standing, believing I will be healed.
On December 9, 2000, a group from my church, New Faith Church in Sacul, Texas went into Diboll Correctional Center in Diboll, Texas for the first time. Pastor Mike Williams preached and three from our church gave their testimonies, of which I was one. This being my first time in prison, I was a little uncomfortable, but the moment I took the microphone and turned to address the inmates present (250 men) the anointing of God came over me like I had never experienced before. At that point I knew I was called to prison ministry.
In January 2001, I started going into the Diboll unit on a regular basis as a mentor each Monday afternoon, and also every first and third Tuesday evening. Over that year I witnessed to several inmates. Two of these inmates were homosexuals who wanted to be free of this spirit. I prayed with them and they received the Lord Jesus as Savior and freedom from homosexuality. To God is the Glory. On the first and third Tuesday each month, I worked in a mentoring program assigned to the same inmate through 2001 and the beginning of 2002. During that time, the inmate was healed of a heart problem and knee trouble. He has grown so much in the Word of God that he has lead two or three inmates to the Lord, and has also been teaching the Word of God on the unit. Praise the Lord for what He can do through someone who will be a vessel for His use.
From around the end of February to the middle of March 2001, I started going to death row at the Polunsky Unit at Livingston, Texas. On this unit you have to schedule through the warden’s office to see inmates for a ministry visit. All other visits go through the front office at the gate. My focus at first was to only call out inmates who had an execution date set. Later in the year, because of inmates and other ministries speaking to me about inmates who needed help, I started calling others out as well. During the last seven years, I now have ministered to fifty to sixty inmates, of which ten have been executed knowing the Lord as Savior. Four others were homosexuals who all have received Jesus into their hearts and stand free from that spirit. Another man was a Satan worshiped and after six weeks of ministry, received Jesus as his Savior. All the rest have come to know the Lord as Savior with the exception of three, whom I am still working with and praying for. Please pray for these men.
On August 29, 2001, I went into Skyview-Hodge units in Rusk, Texas for the first time to give my testimony of God’s Grace and Mercy to about 150 men. About 30 came forward to receive the Lord Jesus as Savior, and seven homosexuals came forward to be freed from that spirit. Since that time, I have been going in on each Wednesday and Thursday to counsel any inmate needing help. Since that time I have counseled over several hundred inmates. Several of these inmates were homosexuals that I prayed with and the Lord Jesus saved and set them free. Almost every week that I go in the Lord has a new inmate that is a homosexual wanting to see me to pray to be set free. During 2003 Chaplain Thibodaux of Skyview/Hodge units nominated me for an award as volunteer of the year. In January 2004 I was notified that I was to receive this award. It was awarded to me from Governor Rick Perry’s office in Dallas the 16th of April 2004. The Wardens of the Precinct that Skyview/Hodge is in, also gave me an award the same year. At the close of 2004 I became a Certified Volunteer Chaplains’ Assistant through Chaplaincy Department of Texas Department of Criminal Justice. On this unit after this certification I started to teach Bible classes so to better help these inmates to become warriors for the Lord, of which I will speak on in more detail later in this article.
In May 2002, I was a spiritual advisor for an inmate who was executed. He was one of the homosexuals who was delivered and set free. On January 2005 I was the spiritual advisor of another man executed and later conducted his funeral. To date, these have been the most awesome experiences the Lord has used me in. To know that I played a small part in helping two young men to leave this world to go home and be with Jesus! It still has a strong effect on me when I stop to think about this and what it means. I will never forget these men.
As I stated earlier, the Lord has given me a teaching ministry. I begin teaching inmates a 13-week course at the Diboll unit at the close of 2002. The subject of the course was “How to Get Out of Prison and Stay Out” it showed them who they are in Christ and how to love themselves as God loves them. At the end of 2003 the Lord gave me a new teaching about Spirit, Soul and Body that I started teaching at the Diboll Correctional Center in April of 2004. This teaching has taken the place of and upgraded “How to Get Out of Prison and Stay Out.” It is helping the inmates to better understand the areas each of us struggles in to over come. To becoming practical minded, by being anchor in the Word of God, lead by the Holy Spirit and dealing with issue in our lives through prayer. To date I have completed nine 13 week sessions. Also, after my certification with TDCJ becoming a Certified Volunteer Chaplain I started teaching Spirit, Soul and Body at Skyview/Hodge Units in April 2005 and the response from the inmates has been over and above what I could have hope for. In 2006 about midyear I upgraded this Spirit, Soul & Body to calling it “Deliverance.” Now over a year has pasted and I saw God do deliverance on sixty men from generational curses, soul ties, and all manners of demonic holds.
During our 2004 Camp meeting, The International Word of God Fellowship of which I’m a member in good standing gave me an award as “Ministry of the Year” for 2004. I was very honor to be the first to receive this award, as this is the first year our fellowship gave out this protective award.
To God be the glory for the great things He has done and continues to do in my life. I’m a living testimony that the Lord Jesus can change a man’ life and set him free if he can only believe. It is my prayer that this testimony of the saving power of my Lord will greatly affect your life. To receive the Lord yourself if you don’t know as lord and Savior. Are challenging you that know Him to reach out to someone today. God can and will work through you, if you will let Him. GOD BLESS ALL WHO READS THIS WITH HIS SAVING POWER.