My journey toward Christ did not begin in Church but discovering my mentor did. I used to go to Saturday morning prayer and I would always see Prison Ministry Director Terry Melancon there. One Saturday he was missing so I went looking for him. I found him at home cutting the grass. We got to talking and we talked about the bible for a long time. This happened to be the night of the NCAA Final 4. We sat down to watch and pretty soon his wife showed up with 10 lbs of crawfish. I ended up staying until almost nine o’clock that night and I left with a feeling of kinship that was going to turn out to be something very important in my life.
When I got home I pulled out my bible and started reading. I read for a long time and then I got to Colossians Chapter 4 Verse 7 which reads: “7 Tychicus will tell you all the news about me. He is a dear brother, a faithful minister and fellow servant[a] in the Lord. 8 I am sending him to you for the express purpose that you may know about our[b] circumstances and that he may encourage your heart.”
I stopped and I re-read the verse and then I read it again! I picked up the phone and I called Pastor Terry and I said, “Pastor Terry, do you have a bible nearby?” He said he did so I asked him to turn to Colossians and read that verse. He read it; no comment. I told him to read it again. Nothing. Then I said, “OK, now I am going to read it to you. ‘7 Pastor Terry Melancon will tell you all the news about me. He is a dear brother, a faithful minister and fellow servant[a] in the Lord. 8 I am sending him to you for the express purpose that you may know about our[b] circumstances and that he may encourage your heart.’ Do you see? You are my mentor! God sent you to me!”
This man has been my mentor and my friend for 5 years now. I am blessed and highly favored to have this man walking beside me. And that g
ot me to thinking. Sometimes we are so sure that we don’t deserve help.
Why would someone want to help someone who has done all the things I have done; seen all the things I’ve seen? So we don’t step out and we miss it when God sends someone to us to guide us; we are thinking, why is that guy gonna help me when he’s already got it all figured out? But that’s the thing. Nobody has it all figured out! I still bump my head, and don’t get it right at times and I still often miss the mark. But I know who I am in Christ and what he has done for me. The bible says ‘He gives us new mercies every morning.” So even when we do miss the mark, Jesus says that he will remember our sins no more – future, past and present. And here is the most important thing. I know I am blessed and highly favored. I know that person that was me before is no longer. I am the son of the Most High God and with him I am protected. None of us is perfect. We all wake up each morning with the same choice as everyone else. What choice do you want to make?
Pastor Terry Melancon was 22 years in the Army. He served under General H. Norman Schwarzkopf, US Commander in Gulf War, and worked for TSU in Houston for 14 years in procurement and printing. He spent another 6 years at DOW and then decided it was time to do something else. He was called to the Ministry at The Fellowship in Texas City and took over the prison ministry. The process was intense with an annual test to ensure a thorough understanding of the rules and regulations for gaining entrance into the prison just to do the work.
He also works with juvenile offenders and after care, helping those who have been released to transition back into society successfully. He is a firm believer in holistic healing – physical, mental and spiritual – the whole person; body, mind and spirit. His job is to develop successful servants through the application of biblical principles. And he points out “If you love me you will follow my commandments.” ?