Georgia-Cumberland Conference of Seventh-day Adventists

Baptized Prisoners Spread the Gospel

Mike Lombardo, former Kingsport Church pastor, baptizes Hector in a Virginia prison in 2010.
Mike Lombardo, former Kingsport Church pastor, baptizes Victor in a Virginia prison in 2010.

As the song says, it only takes a spark to get a fire going.

Several years ago in a Virginia prison, an inmate named Hector began studying the Bible and felt convicted to keep the Sabbath. After completing Bible studies on his own, he requested to study with a Seventh-day Adventist. Darrell Hite from the Kingsport Church, located in Tennessee about 50 miles from the prison, heard of Hector’s request, and along with three other members, he began studying the Bible with Hector, Rick, William, Victor, and Mark.

Eventually, the prisoners made decisions to surrender their lives to Christ, and on July 17, 2010, Mike Lombardo, Kingsport Church pastor, baptized the five men. Although they’ve been separated since, they’re spreading the gospel wherever they go.

While Rick and William are still in prison in Virginia, they are diligently giving Bible studies to fellow inmates.

Victor was released from prison early on probation due to kindness, service, and lifting morale. He’s now doing missionary work with ADRA in Mexico.

Mark was transferred to a West Virginia prison, where he was reunited with his brother. He’s been giving Bible studies there, and as a result, his brother accepted Christ and was recently baptized.

As for Hector, he is transitioning from prison to living at a halfway house in New York City and has become an active member in the Manhattan Seventh-day Adventist Church. Hector is teaching Sabbath School, forming a youth drama team, and becoming involved in city ministry.

The men continue to receive love and support from the Kingsport Church through letters and cards, a blessing to them as they faithfully stoke the fire, spreading the love of Jesus everywhere.

Written by Shana Michalek, Communication intern
Photos contributed