Ex-Inmate Now Runs Successful Prison Ministry in North Carolina

by | Jan 31, 2001 | Charisma Archive, Uncategorized

Once a reputed and feared prison thug, Reggie Longcrier now carries a Bible and takes the love of God behind bars

There was a time when Reggie Longcrier’s prayer to God was that he would be faithful to serve Him for the rest of his life if God would deliver him from prison and his drug addiction.

“I said I’ll hold my foot in the door for anybody that will come through and have a mind and will to serve the Lord,” he recalls praying so often while incarcerated 14 years ago in North Carolina’s Catawba Correctional Center.

More than a decade later, Longcrier has kept his promise after his 14 years-to-life sentence was inexplicably reduced to a little more than a year. Today, Longcrier shows former inmates that a door of opportunity exists for them.

Inmates get another chance through Longcrier’s Exodus Homes and Exodus Missionary Outreach Center Church in Hickory, N.C., a community known for its furniture-outlet stores located about an hour northwest of Charlotte, N.C.

“The biggest challenge is having more people who have been in prison or have been where these guys have been and can emulate and model a transformed life, having had the Holy Spirit upon their lives,” said Longcrier, who formed both ministries in November 1998.

“When Moses commissioned the spies to go over in the land of Canaan and come back with a report, it was to let others know that it is good and that God has promised us the land. This is what ex-offenders can do…bring back a good report that you can make it, and you can take the land.”

Longcrier, 52, considers himself a prison “alumnus,” having spent most of his youth and adult life in and out of trouble. By the time he turned 11, he had served time in the youth reformatories in New Jersey, earning the reputation of a prison thug, and by the time he reached 30 he had served time in New Jersey’s most notorious maximum-
security facilities.

“I was real wild as a boy. I stayed in trouble in prison for busting people in the head. I was young and foolish. At that time life was cheap in prison. You’d only get seven more years if you killed somebody in prison,” he said. “You really didn’t think you’d get out alive.”

Longcrier’s opportunity for redemption started in 1986. After being convicted for swindling some people out of their life savings, he was facing a 14- years-to-life sentence to be served at North Carolina’s Catawba Correctional Center as a habitual offender. It was during this prison experience that Longcrier came to Christ.

“I just about asked God to take my life. He said, ‘No, I’m going to make you do something you’ve never done before.’ And that was to ask Him to help me.”

Having found true peace in his life, Longcrier began telling other inmates about Jesus. Things also began working in his favor.

Longcrier was assigned a new judge and prosecutor, respectively, to his case. They offered him a reduced sentence of two years because the money had been returned.

“They said this was [my] lucky day. As a result, I knew the Lord had moved in my life,” recalled Longcrier, who ironically serves as a full-time chaplain at Catawba Correctional Center. “In six months I was called to the programmer’s office and was told my term had been terminated without parole or supervision.”

Robert Schoffner, senior pastor at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Hickory, said it has been very inspiring to see someone like Longcrier succeed. “You hear stories about that, but few of us encounter and meet somebody, and it’s genuine, and they do something about it,” he said.

“That’s unique in Reggie’s case. It’s exciting to see how God’s Word grabbed hold of somebody. He’s a proud example of that.”

Longrcrier’s Exodus Homes comprise two renovated apartment complexes in Hickory’s inner city that provide 51 beds for former inmates and residents of treatment centers in the state. A resident’s average stay is six months to two years.

Church attendance is mandatory. Each resident who attends the Exodus Church receives a Bible and Sunday school book. The church currently meets in the chapel adjacent to Schoffner’s church.

Schoffner said the prevailing reason his congregation chose to support Exodus Church amid some concerns voiced by members was that there had been a call of God to explore outreach opportunities.

“It presented itself very forcefully to let this congregation come in and use the facilities–and it’s gone well,” said Schoffner, who oversees a 1,700-member congregation.

CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


MORE FROM CHARISMA

How Divine Wrestling Changes Our Identity

How Divine Wrestling Changes Our Identity

All of us at some point will hit a place of getting the wind knocked out of us. We all experience unexpected detours and times when there seems to be no way out. But there is One who lives in us, the Lord Jesus Christ, who gives us the strength to overcome obstacles....

Spirit-Filled Pastor: How Does God Lead Us Today?

Spirit-Filled Pastor: How Does God Lead Us Today?

Whether it is the Spirit leading or forbidding in the book of Acts, or the Spirit leading throughout Christian history, it’s clear that the leading of the Spirit is important. In the Old Testament, it appears that the Spirit of God could be withdrawn completely from...

Joyce Meyer: Keys to Winning Your Race in Life

Joyce Meyer: Keys to Winning Your Race in Life

Everyone has a race to run. That just means we all have a life to live. The apostle Paul says in Hebrews 12:1 (NIV), “Therefore...let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for...

Prophetic Word: The Lord Says, ‘I Am the Consuming Fire’

Prophetic Word: The Lord Says, ‘I Am the Consuming Fire’

God says that during this season, He is turning up the heat, finding the gold and bringing His refining fire. Job makes a powerful statement of faith as he says of the Lord, "When he has tried me, I shall come out as gold." God knew Job's heart and Job knew the heart...

What Is ‘The One Thing’ God Wants From You?

What Is ‘The One Thing’ God Wants From You?

In 1971, I was invited to spend one month in Singapore at a new institute that had been started by John Haggai. It was still in the formative stages then—a place where Asian church leaders would be trained and challenged to witness for Christ. Today, more than 40...

37 Prayers for the Suffering Persecuted Church

37 Prayers for the Suffering Persecuted Church

It was a Pentecost bloodbath and most Christians never heard about it. More than 50 Christians were killed in one of the deadliest terror attacks on Nigerians this year. Scores of gunmen rushed in to kill Christians in the midst of worship. All told, over 360 million...

RECENT ARTICLES

Prophecy: A Window of Time Has Opened for Believers to Preach the Truth

I was rejoicing and praising God on Friday, June 24, 2022, for the overturning of Roe v. Wade, knowing that an ungodly decree was overturned and one national curse was broken. I heard by the Holy...
The Man Who Spent 23 Minutes in Hell: The People I Saw in Hell

The Man Who Spent 23 Minutes in Hell: The People I Saw in Hell

In 1998, God gave me a life-changing vision of hell. I receive many questions about my experience from people all over the world, but one question I'm often asked is, "Who did you see in hell?" There are others who say they've had an experience like mine, and they...

The United States: Birthed in Prophetic Symbolism

The United States: Birthed in Prophetic Symbolism

One of the most amazing facts about the Founding Fathers of our nation is this: The one referred to as the "voice" of the revolution (John Adams) and the one referred to as the "pen" of the revolution (Thomas Jefferson) both died on the same day—July 4, 1826—exactly...

Why Did God Give ‘This’ to Me?

Why Did God Give ‘This’ to Me?

It’s a question I frequently hear. It’s one I’ve asked. And maybe it’s one you’ve asked, too. The question is, “God, why did You give this to me?” This can be any number of issues, from emotional or psychological struggles to symptoms or sicknesses, disabilities or...

No Evil Can Stop What God Has Planned

No Evil Can Stop What God Has Planned

I sense it. And I perceive a growing number of people in massive proportions sense the increasing momentum of power and might worldwide. Something is on the horizon—something more eerie and ominous than what the people of the world have ever before experienced. Even...

Pin It on Pinterest