By the Grace of God
I received your names and address from one of the Christian brothers at the chapel here at Soledad State Prison. I had asked if he knew of any Christian pen pals that would be interested in writing me while I was incarcerated.
To let you know a little about myself, a brief testimony: My name is Tommie Covington, I’m 47 years of age, this is my first ever time in prison. I’m in my fourth year of a six year commitment. I know for a fact that I couldn’t have gotten this far without the mercy and love of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Like Moses, God had to take me away from all of the distractions of the world in order to educate me. I’m not saying that God put me here in prison, I made the choice to do wrong and blame no one but myself. I do believe that in order for God and myself to get to that place where He wanted me, this had to be part of the plan.
I am thankful that through this incarceration I’ve been able to receive a three year scholarship from Rhema Bible College. I am also thankful that I was able to attend Grace Bible College in which I’ve received full ordination. I’m thankful that I was also able to finish a course and receive a diploma in “Principles of Political Economy”. I’ve been blessed to have been able to come up with the funds for both schools from outside help; my brother Kenneth & his family, my daughter Nicole, and my dear friends Craig and Tom who all remain very close and supportive when all others left. I had been praying for my daughter to be able to go to college and just recently she sent me a letter from Tennessee State University, she’s now a freshman.
Prior to my incarceration, I had all of life’s pleasures, ie – home, job, cars, etc., and I thought I was a man of God; but I was just playing church, fooling myself and those around me. Even when my crime had happened, God still blessed me by not having me arrested; bail wasn’t set and I was released from court on my own recognizance. I was given 4 years to fight my case and did nothing. I stopped praying, going to church, I ignored the calling that God had on my life. I didn’t believe they would put me in prison. I was wrong, and as I sit here and write this letter, I know only by the grace of God have I been able to do and accomplish the things I’ve done – and it’s not over yet.