Jim Staley’s Transformation Through Incarceration

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God has shown time and again that He uses unexpected circumstances to hone us and mold us, getting us ready for a next phase of ministry and service to Him.

Stories of imprisonment fill the Bible, from Joseph to Paul, and their stories of triumph include enduring the hard times, the unfair and unjust times, to continue living righteously for the Lord.

Pastor Jim Staley of Passion for Truth Ministries experienced a rapid rise in his ministry, reaching 10,000 live viewers weekly and nearing significant television exposure before being federally indicted in 2014, despite resolving related issues at the state level, he told Charisma Media recently in an exclusive interview.

“I didn’t understand what was going on,” Staley recalls . “They were accusing me of all kinds of things that I never did. And in all of these unbelievable, crazy things were happening, my world was being turned upside down. And I didn’t understand it.”

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Now, Staley views his indictment and imprisonment as God’s way of humbling him, teaching him to trust in God’s plans and reshaping his ministry and personal character.

“This is where I learned that I had to submit to the hand of God, that God uses governments of the world to get His people where they need to be,” Staley shares.

“…And so at the end of the day, like I was horribly embarrassed, I was humiliated. For what happened to me there was no way out of a federal indictment, you can’t get out.”

During his imprisonment, Staley endured physical and emotional challenges, learning to rely on spiritual guidance and growth, transforming his understanding of spiritual warfare.

“There’s things that you need to learn, you’re a little bit too big for your britches, you need to learn to trust Me, you need to learn to follow Me, the prophetic is not built inside of you yet,” Staley says God told him during his time in prison.

“You need to learn to live and a 10×10 cell, out of a locker with people that you don’t like, that hate you, that will come up to you in the lunch line and hit you in the face, even though they’ve never talked to you before because you look like a pastor that molested them when they were a child. You need to be beat down so that I could build up your spirit.”

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As time went by, Staley’s daughter wrote a heartfelt letter to the sentencing judge, resulting in a unique correspondence and eventual friendship between Staley and the judge, demonstrating the power of faith and forgiveness.

“She didn’t know that the judge was a Christian and was so impacted by this letter, that he wrote my daughter back, and said that he was going to take this letter and put it in a special pile that he’s had for 40 years…it only has about 20-25 letters in it from dignitaries, presidents, college deans, and so on,” Staley says.

Upon release, Staley started over, emphasizing the importance of spiritual growth and reliance on God, viewing his ordeal as a means to serve others better and share his testimony of faith and resilience.

“It is a beautiful thing to watch God hold to His Word when He says, ‘All things work together for good for those who love the Lord,’ all things,” Staley says.

“Five years later, and an extraordinary amount of horrible things that happened to me, the Lord began to move in, to blossom. And it ended with a beautiful relationship with a judge that now I can consider a friend.”

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James Lasher is Staff Writer for Charisma Media.

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