“You’re talking someone who should be dead.” said Gregory Glaude, prison ministries director at the Silver Spring Seventh-day Adventist Church (Md.). At the age of 24, while crossing the street, Gregory was hit by a car traveling 65mph with two other friends. “We were leaving a night club and while crossing the street the three of us were hit,” he recalls. “My girlfriend died a day later. The other girl was hospitalized for six months, with both legs broken. I was thrown more than 50 yards down the road and didn’t get a broken bone.” At age 35 Gregory was held at gunpoint and fought two men for his life in an apartment hallway. At age 47, he was diagnosed with cancer. “The fact is, I know God did not spare my life all these times for nothing,” he says. “God doesn’t do anything by accident.”
Gregory grew up in a Catholic family and always felt close to God, but says he didn’t have a real relationship. After a failed marriage and years of drug abuse, Minerva, a high school friend and now his wife, convinced him to visit a Seventh-day church. Later that year, he was baptized in the church.
Gregory began to regularly attend the Silver Spring church and soon became a Sabbath School teacher. In 2011, he was invited to the North Branch Correctional Institution (Cumberland, Md.) to give a sermon to the men of Mountain View of Calvary Seventh-day Adventist Church, a prison church started by Chesapeake Conference Pastor JJ Moses. “All the drugs and alcohol I did never gave me a high like that,” said Gregory. “The prisoners were so alive and vibrant! They could show us all a thing or two about praising God!”
Caption: Gregory Glaude, Josephina Navedo and Paul Bright, members of the Silver Spring church, regularly witness to men incarcerated at North Branch Correctional Institution.
Gregory is usually joined by his two friends and members of the Silver Spring church, Paul Bright and Josephina Navedo, who make the drive to be a part of the Sabbath School and the worship services every third Sabbath of the month. The three agree that God is blessing them richly with this experience. “Paul and Josie are such willing companions in our quest to lead souls to Christ,” said Gregory. “ It is never about us. We always come expecting to ‘bring a blessing’ and yet, every time we are leaving, we all agree that we received much more than we gave.”
Twenty prisoners have been baptized through this ministry and four have been sworn in through profession of faith, all because of faithful followers inside and outside the prison church, including the faithful work of the prison elder and leader, Martin F. Scott, who is the caretaker of the men in the prison and Gregory’s dear friend. Martin has written a book, Reaching The Unreachable which has powerful insights inside the walls of the prison.
Recently, Paul, Josie and Gregory were honored to attend a Volunteer Appreciation Ceremony at the prison, where they were asked to give a testimony about their experiences at the prison.
The Silver Spring church now provides Sabbath School Quarterlies to over 40 men and Sabbath School studies are conducted during their monthly visits. This ministry continues to grow as are the members of Mountain View of Calvary.
Gregory says his past has given him a path to relate with and talk to the prisoners on a more personal and spiritual level. “God doesn’t love me anymore then he loves them,” he says. “I believe this ministry is one reason God kept me alive. I want to thank the folks at the prison who helped us get in the front door, and a give a special thanks to Chaplain Kevin Lamp. This ministry has already brought many blessings.”