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'Ex-Con: The Remarkable Second Career of Chuck Colson'

12:01 PM, Apr 23, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
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Over a decade ago, Joe Loconte profiled Chuck Colson for THE WEEKLY STANDARD:

Charles Colson

Charles Colson

"Sixty-seven-year-old Chuck Colson looks almost spry as he threads his way through the New Jersey State Prison, a maximum security facility in Trenton, New Jersey. The barbed wire, watchtowers, and 15-foot walls suggest a pretty exclusive club: Only men who've committed crimes earning them 25 years to life are admitted here.

"But it is Easter morning, and Colson is here to preach. Over 200 inmates, in khakis and T-shirts, turn out to hear him. 'Jesus turned the values of the world upside down," he tells them, "because he came not for the victors, but for the losers.'

"So while other religious celebrities are exchanging pleasantries with well-groomed congregants, Colson is mixing it up with violent felons. He shakes hands, embraces them, prays with them. Several slip notes into his pocket, thanking him for coming. 'I'd rather preach in prison than anywhere else,' he says later. 'You're meeting people at a point of incredible need. You don't have to explain that they're sinners. They know it, and they're hungry.'

"As the founder of Prison Fellowship, the world's largest prison ministry, operating now in 83 countries, Colson has repeated the scene hundreds of times. Most every warden in America knows who he is. Thousands of inmates have read his book Born Again, where he recounts his jolting journey to Christian faith -- from serving in President Nixon's inner circle to sorting laundry during his stint at a federal prison for Watergate crimes."

Colson died over the weekend. Read the whole profile here. And read Pete Wehner's remembrance here.

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