The year was 1985, I had just been sentenced to 7 yrs. Out of Pascagoula, Ms. For armed robbery. I was confused, deaf, dumb, and blind. Not to mention I was angry, distraught and completely broken in Spirit. I had lost my football scholarship at (USM) Southern Miss my Jr. year, a long way from my home Boston, Massachusetts. Estranged from my girlfriend and baby daughter, my family. While my behavior was a significant cause of these misfortunes and not knowing Jesus Christ. It took the love of Christ in Sheldon to see that i was truly lost and needed the Lord even more now!!I learn that there were other equally valid causes that were going on with me by walking talking and working out with this brother- And I needed a new life, a new insight, needed to be set free - in the inside world! I was lead to the Lord right in a dorm at Rankin county - Pearl, Mississippi by Sheldon Gooch. He didn't stop there he mentored me and paved the way for me to serve the Lord with the same urgency that I previously served in sin. Praise God I am ordained (AME) African Methodist Episcopal Minster with a Master's Urban Ministry. I am also a licensed psychotherapist and Director of Well of Hope second chance re-entry program here in Massachusetts. I will forever be grateful for being set free.
Rev. Mathew Holloway, LMHC I
"There's not many people I can give credit to for inspiring me, motivating, and encouraging me to be all I can be. But I can say with all honesty that when I met Mr. Gooch, the influence he had on my life was priceless. He is gold in human form."
"I was in a sea of uncertainty, feeling abandoned. Mr. Gooch was there like a rock to help me out of the rough and get me back to safety. He always reminded me of prayer and patience. I am very thankful our paths crossed, because it made me a better man today." *
"After reviewing the information I find it very well thought out. It is transforming for people expecting a change. It is informative, yet, it is not over powering."
"Great discussion topics as well."
"You are a prime factor in your life story...
...Never quit, never give up, never lose faith, never stop believing that you can make a change."
Sheldon has spoken in every school district and on every college campus in the state of Mississippi as well as across the United States.
He has conducted workshops and ministry in over 30 prisons around the country. He shares personal development concepts that not only empower the prisoner and ex offender, but also improves upon those who have never been in a 'structured' prison. His honest, down-to-earth style leaves a lasting impact as attendees leave with ownership of what they learned.
Sheldon Gooch has sung and spoken in over 700 churches in Mississippi and scores throughout the United States, including keynote addresses for mayors' prayer breakfasts and civic clubs, for conferences and for professional organizations. He enjoys sharing God's Word.
Sheldon Gooch offers an autobiographical account in graphic detail of how, at fourteen, he entered the dark world of drug abuse. He shares the progressive steps he took to mount and ride one of the deadliest, most addictive drugs to hit his neighborhood.
His personal values and morals became negotiable, transforming him into a riotous public enemy suitable only for death or long-term incarceration. This was unacceptable to Sheldon. While incarcerated, serving LIFE plus sixty years, he embarked on a different journey.
Through faith and personal development, he became an example of criminal rehabilitation. His story was thrust into the national spotlight to include appearances on DATELINE NBC and The Oprah Show.
Sheldon Gooch received LIFE plus 60 years in Parchman Prison for several armed robberies. While in prison, he made a commitment to "live for the Lord." When he was given a governor's release, he became a full time minister, earned several college degrees, and travelled throughout the United States speaking in churches, schools, universities and in over 30 prisons. On this episode of Oprah, entitled "I'm Sorry" Day, Sheldon Gooch faced two of his victims to say he was sorry for their hardship which he caused. They are now friends. The account is described in detail in Sheldon Gooch's first book, entitled "I'm Free." available on Amazon.
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