Wednesday, January 13, 2010

James Earl Ray - "Twisted Thinking" Changed By God

James Earl Ray accepts the Lord Jesus Christ as his personal Savior. History will not say much if anything about this personal commitment Mr. Ray made while my Dad ministered to him at Brushy Mountain State Prison in Tennessee. The world doesn't know that Mr. Ray while studying the gospel of John in the prison library, was stabbed twenty one times in an attempted assassination on his life.

I was writing to Mr. Ray about his conversion after my Dad died in 1985. Mr. Ray did not want to go public at the time with his conversion because he felt it would be mocked by the world. He didn't want people to think he was trying to get a religious ticket out of prison. He painted this little country church scene and then gave it to my Dad. As a testimony, it shows that Mr. Ray did long for fellowship of other believers. You'll notice the rising of the sun, which depicts a better day ahead for those who know the Lord Jesus as Savior.

Below is an article by Tom Eblen, Associated Press Writer. Mr. Eblen records what happened in prison when Mr. Ray accepted Christ while my dad was ministering to him.

Minister Says Ray Accepted Christ
by Tom Eblen
Associated Press Writer

Knoxville, Tenn. (AP) Assassin James Earl Ray had become a Christian and was taking Bible study correspondence courses when he was stabbed by fellow inmates two weeks ago, Ray's wife and his minister say.

Ray, serving a 99 year sentence for the 1968 murder of the Rev. Marin Luther King Jr., accepted Christ at a prison chapel service four months ago, Anna Sandhu Ray and the Rev. Don Price said Wednesday. Ray had asked that his conversion not be publicized.

"My contact with James began over a year ago and our relationship - friendship - built," Price said. "About four months ago, he made his decision in the chapel service. As far as I can see, he's had a real change. When I first started talking to him, he said, 'I don't have time for that.' I said to him, 'James, I thought that you had 99 years.' He said, "yeah that is a long-time, isn't it."

Price, who said he has worked with prison inmates the past 30 years, said he goes to Brushy Mountain every Friday. "James started on the (Bible correspondence) courses and he's completed about 10 courses in the Gospel of John," Price said. "I have one of his paintings here. He painted a church with a steeple on it and on the back of it, it says, "To Rev. Price, A new beginning, James Earl Ray."

My wife and I both have a great feeling for this man and we've been working along with him," he said. "I was with him a couple of hours the other day last Friday, and at that time he didn't seem to have any resentment or any bitterness," Price said. "After making this decision, being in prison for 13 years, it would have been a time that if he was going to show any bitterness he would have, like saying, ' made this decision and now look what's happened.' But he didn't, he said 'God didn't do this to me. And after all, my life is spared and I appreciate that."