Helping and Enriching Lives Through Prison Ministry

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Only our heavenly Father knew…


It is with a heavy heart that I write to you this quarter. Angie Gregory went to be with her Lord on Thursday October 8. She had been in a battle with brain cancer for two and a half years. I want to share with you the story that led me to know Angie and how God’s providence provided for one of His suffering children.

I first met Paul Gregory at the Reception and Medical Center in Lake Butler, FL in 2005 when I began teaching in the prisons. Paul worked in a remote building from the prison that was used for special functions and training. They would serve lunch there on Fridays which was when a couple of other brothers and myself did our visits. Paul was always friendly and talkative, but not interested in God. His best friend attended our Friday night Bible study, but Paul was never really interested.

Fast forward to 2009 to Lawtey Correctional on a Sunday in January. We were doing our afternoon worship service when Paul Gregory walked down the aisle. I recognized him immediately and scheduled a one on one with him that week. It was obvious after meeting with him that he was a different man. He was on a mission now to find God and change his life. He died with Christ in March and was a force for good at Lawtey until his release in January 2011. Paul then became a participant in our transition program. Paul’s change was so evident that we decided to start a Lawn Service to employ men coming out of prison. JOY Lawn Service was born. We entrusted Paul with running the business and he was a faithful steward until later that year.

About this same time a brother from Plant City contacted me about getting involved in the prison work. He came up to Lawtey and went to a Sunday worship service at the prison. He was hooked and began to look into getting involved more. He wanted to come up one weekend and stay with the guys at the transition house to get to know them better. Providentially, Paul was living at the house at the time. He came away impressed with Paul. So much so, that he went home and told his wife about him. This brother was Steve Trubey. His wife is Connie Trubey, Angie’s mother. Angie was 33 at the time and was struggling. Her husband had left her for another woman three years earlier. She was left raising two daughters by herself, Kamryn and Makenzie who were seven and nine at the time. Despite her hardships Angie remained faithful in her service to God. Steve was so impressed with Paul that he suggested they introduce him to Angie. Connie about had a heart attack, “You want to introduce my daughter to a prisoner?” Connie insisted on meeting him first. She did and it wasn’t long after that she consented. In November of 2011, I had to find someone else to run our lawn business because Paul and Angie were married. Might I add, against my advice! I wanted them to slow down. Boy was I wrong! It was obvious that they shared a love for God and for each other.

Less than two years later, Angie began to have severe headaches. An MRI revealed she had a brain tumor. She would need surgery right away and she was in for the fight of her life. To be honest, there were some people who wondered if Paul would just leave. After all, look at how hard this was going to be. Certainly he had never bargained for anything like this. Paul didn’t leave. In fact, he was a rock. He and I talked often about his situation. He often would say that the things he had learned about being a real man of God weren’t just about when things went well, but were about when things get hard. Well, they got hard. The first surgery seemed to go well. Chemo and radiation followed. Then another surgery. This time Angie’s ability to talk and communicate was greatly affected. Paul stood strong. Although they continued to pray for her healing, it became obvious that they had to consider that she may not make it. That discussion turned to the girls. What would happen to them? Their father was not at all involved in their lives. Angie wanted them to be with Paul. Angie and Paul reached out to their father and received his consent for Paul to adopt the girls. He did so in April of last year. Angie’s condition continued to worsen until last week when she finally put off the body of sickness and put on a body of immortality.

As Paul’s situation evolved through this ordeal, one verse continued to resonate with me and Paul and we often shared it…

Esther 4:12–14 (ESV) And they told Mordecai what Esther had said. 13 Then Mordecai told them to reply to Esther, “Do not think to yourself that in the king’s palace you will escape any more than all the other Jews. 14 For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”

Angie needed a man to lead her, love her and care for her. She needed a man to care for her girls. God offered the challenge to Paul and he accepted. Just like Esther. I do not exaggerate when I say that I do not know of another man who could have served his family any better or at a higher level than Paul has. Who would have known in 2005 when he rejected God? Who would have known in 2009 when he walked into the chapel at Lawtey? Who would have known when he was released and came to Middleburg? Who would have known when Steve Trubey stepped out in faith to help men in prison? Who would have known when Steve and Connie dared to trust their daughter with an ex-con? Who would have known that Angie would marry the man that would care for her and be at her side when she breathed her last breathe just four years after he was released from prison? Only our heavenly Father knew. Who would have known that you would have played such a critical role by supporting the preaching of the gospel in prison?

Daryl Townsend

Paul Gregory’s conversion story is detailed in a book by

Brent Lewis, Was Blind, But Now I See