Johnathon's Story

For over 30 years this organization has ministered to the inmates at the Cass County Jail. Approximately 7,000 people a year pass through the doors of the jail. They are our neighbors, family and friends. POJCA exists to provide quality, caring, effective and professional ministry to inmates and law enforcement personnel.

Johnathon was a young man who knew the drill. He knew the faith-based programs were there and how it all worked. He had played the game and yet kept hoping for a different outcome. Something needed to change, and it was about to happen when he stepped into the Cass County Jail for the tenth time.

Using drugs had led to many charges including assault and suspension of driving privileges that resulted in stays in jail. Now, at the end of himself he was entering jail again. He was mad at God and even denounced Him. He was losing his connection with his children, there were painful confrontations regarding child support warrants and now a drug delivery charge. That was on April 1st, 2010.

In the days to come, Johnathon was drawn to attend the bible studies and church service available. Someone got him a Recovery Bible on April 20th, 2010 and he found that he could relate. God knew him and his pain. Nothing had ever stuck before but the day he got his Recovery Bible was the day he gave his heart to Jesus Christ.

He began attending every program possible and completed his GED in a record two weeks. He had no family contact but didn’t feel alone. He prayed every night and read his bible. Confusion left and God had rewired Johnathon from the 14 year old on a path of crime to a brand new person. It wasn’t all about him anymore, it was about God.

When he was released on April 21st, 2011 his sentence had been much shorter than he had been told. He went into a treatment center in Rugby and began ministering to people in that program. He became a mentor, encouraged prayer and got church music going in the facility. He planted in Rugby what was a powerful work in his life while at the Cass County Jail that continues today.

When Johnathon came back to Fargo he connected with Mike again at Center. After praying and looking for a job a man walked right up to him and asked if he would come to work. God brought a job to him! Today he has a great job, his bills are paid and he is living a dream that he thought could never be – a normal, productive life with a hope and a future.

Johnathon called Ben Schwandt and asked how he could give back to Jail Chaplains. He will now be coming in to give testimony so other’s will have hope and the world can see that Jesus Christ changes. God has blessed him and given him the desires of his heart.