(The Michael Mc Kinney Story)

(a.k.a. Tom Williams)

The following testimony is that of a prisoner. We trust that if you are going through a difficult time in your life, God will use it to give you hope in YOUR time of need.

I was raised in a dysfunctional home in eastern Kentucky by my dad and stepmother. They more or less kidnapped my brother Rick, my sister Terry, and me from our biological mother. I also had two half brothers, Dean and Doug. We were raised as "slaves" for our stepmother, doing her every bidding sometimes 'till passing out from heat exhaustion - physically and mentally abusing us.

Sunday mornings we were her showpieces as she showed us off to the church folks. By age 14, I had had enough of the hypocrisy, and ran away from home to a cousin's in California, continuing in drugs and alcohol (which I had hidden so well since the age of 12). Some of the drugs I used included Crystal Meth, Peyote, Mescaline, Cocaine, Crack, Angel Dust, and my three favorites - Pot, LSD and Opium.

After turning 18 in May of 1974, I joined a traveling sales company, which I left in August and came to Ohio where my mother lived at the time. I was always searching for something that wasn't there. I married in March 1975 to Brenda. In October 1976, my life was really sad and I gave my life to the Lord - really making an attempt at turning my life around, and receiving the Holy Spirit in my life.

I made a mistake during that time - I was looking for my family's approval and thought if I changed my life for the best, they would accept me again. What a let down it was when my WIFE, my brothers, dad and stepmother only ridiculed me and continuously accused me saying I hadn't stopped drinking, doing drugs, or having adulterous relationships. These were people who were supposed to be Christians telling me that I was not a Christian and certainly hadn't received the Holy Spirit!

After three months (January 1977), I decided that if they were what being a Christian was about, then I didn't need it. So, I listened to the devil and went back to my old ways. The Lord surely watched over me the next 14 years as He spared my life in several car accidents (while under the influence) and even during a tree accident where I fell 45 feet tied to a 25-foot Beechtree limb - (didn't get a scratch - Praise God!).

In 1990 while on my third marriage, I caught a criminal case and evaded the law. I left the car dealership (where I sold cars at that time) only minutes before the law arrived to serve me a warrant for my arrest. I left the state in August 1990 and went by bus to Los Angeles, California. My newest wife, Ruth, came to visit me in October 1990. In November 1990, a chain of events led me to give up the drugs and alcohol.

I surrendered my life to the Lord and in September 1994, law enforcement agencies (SWAT team) arrested me at Ruth's and my home in northeastern Tennessee Mountains where we had moved in August 1992. I have since gone through many trials and tests for my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Family(?) members have falsely accused me and have left me cutting off all communication. Even my wife, Ruth, who was with me while evading the law, cut off all communication with me in February 1996. Only two months before, I felt the Lord ask me if I loved Ruth and Sarah (our daughter) more than Him. I answered Him "I certainly hope I love You more, Lord." The next six months found that to be true, as that was surely a hard time for me.

While being incarcerated the last four years, I have been used by the Lord many times, and have seen a number of lives turned around completely. I continue working on appeals, and know that His will shall be done concerning such. To Him be the glory forever!

I pray to never turn my back on the Lord, as I know, He has never turned His back on me. I believe that whatever trial or test we are going through now, is only preparation for our next promotion. These scriptures I leave you with to help encourage you in your time of need. May God bless you all very richly!

Michael McKinney

"Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though such strange thing happened to you;

But rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ's sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy.

If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified.

But let none of you suffer as a murderer, a thief, and evildoer, or as a busybody in other people's matters.

Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter.

For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God?

Now "If the righteous one is scarcely saved, Where will the ungodly and the sinner appear?" (Prov.11:31)

Therefore let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator." (I Peter 4:12-19)

"He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says..." (Rev. 2:7)

If anyone reading this would like to write to Michael, we are sure he would be most blessed to hear from others in the Body of Christ other than just those Christians in prison. The address he can be reached at is:

Michael McKinney #307245
Chillicothe Correctional Institute
P.O. Box 5500 H-1
Chillicothe, OH 45601

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A Special Message:

Dear Reader - are you at peace with God?  If not, you can be.  Do you know what awaits you when you die?  You can have the assurance from God that heaven will be your home, if you would like to be certain.  Either Jesus Christ died for your sins, or He didn't (He did!).  Are you prepared to stand before God on the Judgment Day and tell Him that you didn't need the shed blood of Jesus Christ on the Cross to have your sins forgiven and get in right-standing with God?  We plead with you ... please don't make such a tragic mistake.

To get to know God; to be at peace with God; to have your sins forgiven; to make certain heaven will be your home for eternity; to make certain that you are in right-standing with God right now ... please click here to help understand the importance of being reconciled to God.  What you do about being reconciled to God will determine where you will spend eternity, precious one.  Your decision to be reconciled to God is the most important decision you'll ever make in this life.

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