The Inmate and His Bible: The Inspirational Story of David Cantrell

David Cantrell Crop (2).jpg

For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved, it is the power of God.  

1 Corinthians 1:18

What can one Bible do? It can change a life or a whole family. It can awaken an entire nation or just one soul. One Bible – one particular Bible – transformed the life of David Cantrell.

His story, and the story of his Bible, began in a Georgia prison in the autumn of 2005. It was there where David’s drug, booze, and sex-fueled life would be altered forever. Shortly after arriving at the prison to serve a three-year sentence for burglary, David would recall the moment in his life that he accepted Jesus into his heart as a young man and how it had changed him until he had fallen away to the temptations of the world. He wanted to rediscover that David.

One day he encountered a fellow inmate reading a Christian book and asked where he got it. The inmate told him about a prison ministry called Christian Library International. David wanted a study Bible so that he could immerse himself into God’s word. But they were expensive and hard to come by inside prison walls. So he sent a letter off to Christian Library with his request, never really expecting to hear back from them. “When you’re in prison it seems like no one on the outside wants to have anything to do with you,” David recalled, “I had written to other organizations and never heard back so as the weeks went by, I became certain that I would never hear from Christian Library.”

Four weeks later a beautiful, leather-bound study Bible arrived at the prison. David was so overwhelmed with his new Bible that he sent another letter off to Christian Library thanking them for the precious gift and vowing that no matter where his new life in Christ would take him, that Bible would never leave his side.


The Bible became David’s new companion. Wherever he went, that study Bible went with him. It was with him when he entered Bible college after completing his prison sentence. It was by his side the night he spoke to an inspired crowd at Christian Library’s 2009 Author’s Dinner. It is still with him today as he prepares to pastor his first Christian church, and as he sits down to write his first book, the story of his life journey in Christ. “My life is where it is today because of a prison ministry called Christian Library,” he said as he held up his beloved study Bible, “This Bible is a testament to their love and compassion for the imprisoned. For me, it’s a daily reminder that the Word of God can change everything.”

Will you help us send Bibles to even more inmates like David? Through your gift we can reach inmates by sending the Bible, the living word of God, to the least of these. Right now you can reach twice as many as your gift is honored as part a $30,000 matching gift. You never know how a Bible can be used to by the Lord to transform someone’s life. Make your gift today and have twice the reach!

Teressa BertonComment