When My Dad Went to Prison


“Emily Colson looks back on her father’s public fall from glory and his redemption in Christ.” - Breakpoint


My Journey Back into the City

I’m originally from Philadelphia and spent my earliest years in a Philadelphia housing project. My dad was a prison guard for the city prison system and I was usually on the wrong side of the law. My brother John became a Christian in 1970 and for three years hounded me about “getting saved.”

In December 1973, God won the battle going on in my life and I surrendered. After my conversion I left the city for Chicago to get away from the drug culture, the police, and from anyone looking for me to settle scores. In 1982, much to my surprise, the Lord returned me to Philadelphia (after graduating from seminary) to start a church in Roxborough in Northwest Philadelphia.

After that church was established, I left the city again with my family—this time for France and then Romania—before returning to the United States in 1998. My wife Kathy and I are now back in the city of Philadelphia planting a church with my brother John and his wife Dawn and with three other committed families in our leadership team. We are in an area of West Philadelphia called University City. Among other schools Drexel University and the University of Pennsylvania are located there.

We did not choose to return to Philadelphia because it would be the most fun place to live, the safest place to live, or the least expensive place to live—nor was it the place where we would find the most square footage for our money. We believe God has led us back to the city of my roots to witness to His great works and point others to Jesus. We are blessed to have families working with us who have counted the cost and have committed themselves to church planting in Philadelphia.


Getting to Know You, Part 4

Adam Blumer, Managing Editor

Confessions of a Classic Performer

I grew up on a farm without animals—domesticated animals, that is. Wild cats came and went like vagrants seeking shelter for a few months before setting off in search of something better. Those cats especially liked our classic circa 1900 red barn. As a boy, I remember sitting in the barn’s hayloft while dust motes danced in shafts of sunlight at my feet.


Getting to Know You, Part 2

Susan Raber, Accounts Manager & Ladies’ Forum Director

I have been thinking about how to include my story of how I came to know Jesus Christ as my personal Savior in this blog since I began writing it back in October 2007.


Getting to Know You, Part 1

Jim Peet, Forums Director

I was asked to provide my testimony for SharperIron. I am trusting that God might use this to bless a reader. I was saved in November 1969 through the ministry of Hebrew Christians at the University of Cincinnati and the ministry of Westwood Baptist Church in Cheviot, Ohio (Metro Cincinnati).


The Testimony of Casey Foster

Note: This year at SI, we’d like to feature stories of life change. If you are aware of a story that is current and shows the power of Christ in the life, please email it to jasonjanz@sharperiron.org. The stories should be 1,500 to 2,000 words long and should include a photo. Also, we’d like to have a pastor’s recommendation sent along with the testimony.