SPRINGFIELD – Thirteen years ago, as John Stroup sat in a prison cell, the gospel arrested his attention. He placed his faith in Christ, his sins were pardoned by God and his life was transformed. Late last month, the former-drug-addict-turned-minister received another pardon, this time from the state of Missouri.
Stroup serves as executive director of Freeway Ministries, which is transforming lives not only throughout Missouri and in Nebraska, but also throughout the globe. The ministry established a branch in Cape Town, South Africa, in 2017. Freeway Ministries reaches out to the homeless, drug addicts, ex-convicts and other hard-to-reach people with the gospel.
On May 28, Missouri Gov. Mike Parson recognized Stroup’s transformation and his Christ-like service throughout the state, officially pardoning him of his felony, wiping his record clean and restoring his rights.
“In 2007 I was convicted of selling drugs in a school zone, and in 2008 they caught me homeless living on the streets,” Stroup wrote on Facebook after receiving news of his pardon. “I was sent to prison, and in prison I was pardoned by Christ Jesus, who took my place. In 2009, I was released after long-term treatment and started my life over in Springfield, Mo., 21 days after I left prison! God called me to preach, make disciples and help people who come from my people group.
“I applied for a pardon (from the governor), and today I received my pardon in the mail! Thank you Gov. Parson for wiping my felony away and restoring all rights back to me. I hope that there is someone encouraged today that all things are possible through Christ Jesus! No one ever thought I would amount to anything! Many told me I was wasting my time going for a pardon, but they were wrong. Do not let anyone put your fire out or try to hold you back!”
Stroup is the author of two books: From the Pit to the Pulpit, which shares Stroup’s testimony of being transformed by Christ’s love; and Stop Loving Your Kids to Death: Breaking the Destructive Cycle of Enablement in Addiction from a Biblical Perspective.
To learn more about Freeway Ministries, visit http://www.freeway-ministries.com/.