Master of Divinity student Josue Klauser is the man who went to prison during spring break. In fact, while he was gone, his wife, who is still learning to speak English, asked church members to “pray for my husband; he’s in prison.” Naturally, this led people to respond, “Whoa! What happened?” 

Upon his return, many people asked Klauser why he was in prison the previous week, and this gave him the opportunity to explain that, as part of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary’s annual Revive This Nation effort, March 10-13, he traveled to Welch, W.Va., in order to preach revival services at the McDowell Federal Correctional Institution (FCI McDowell), a medium-security prison. In short, Klauser explained that he went to prison in order to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. 

Unfortunately, Klauser’s journey there did not begin smoothly. In fact, it took him 21 hours to arrive in Welch.

“I should have seen it coming when I was on the TexRail and we had to stop twice because hail was going to break the windows; so we had to stop and wait for the storm to pass and then keep going,” Klauser says. “So that’s how it started.”

Klauser left for the airport at 4:00 a.m. and did not arrive in West Virginia until 1:00 a.m. the following morning. He only managed to sleep three hours before he had to get up and drive another three hours to get to the church at which he was preaching that morning. “So yeah, it was interesting,” Klauser says. 

Klauser preached four sermons that first Sunday, beginning at the church attended by the chaplain of FCI McDowell. The remaining three were at the prison, followed by five sermons at the prison the rest of the week. 

“That first day was long,” Klauser says. “By the last sermon, I was exhausted. But it was awesome. On that first day, nine people came to know the Lord. The chaplain was excited.”

Throughout the rest of his time there, Klauser continued to witness the Lord do amazing things around him. Specifically, he was impressed by the culture of the prison. 

“These people were so hungry for the Word; I had never seen that before,” he says. “The chaplain is doing a very good job there. I had very interesting theological discussions with a lot of inmates; they like to study and argue about what they know, which was interesting.”

By the end of the week, four more people had made professions of faith. The chaplain jokingly blamed Klauser for giving him a lot of work to do—“I have to baptize 13 people.” “It was awesome,” Klauser says. 

“I’m just excited about what God did,” he concludes. “It was a long couple of days, but it was worth all the tiredness. God did great things in Welch, W.Va.”