"Forgiven" by Inmate Rick


My name is Rick.  I’ve been in prison for 33 years. I did the first 15 years in prison my way, by using any and all forms of dope I could get my hands on, including psychotropics from the mental ward here. I drank hooch, homemade wine, a couple of times a week.  


Christ got my attention around Easter 2000. I stopped chasing a physical “high” and started chasing a spiritual “high.” Minus a couple of early slips, I’ve been clean and sober since.

 I struggled with feeling forgiven because of how I used to act. I know that if you ask for forgiveness and truly mean it, then Jesus will forgive you. The big problem I was having is that I couldn’t forgive myself.

I met Mike Swiger when he was a resident here. Gary Koly would come in and preach a couple of times a month. Mike got blessed with freedom and eventually teamed up with Gary to form TFM. Led by the Holy Spirit, these two messengers from God explained to me in a way I could understand that I needed to forgive myself.  And I did—praise Jesus!


Originating with Mike and Gary, TFM has exploded into the most powerful prison ministry Ohio has to offer.  Thanks to them, David Wessel, Frank Scalish, Frank Sinito, and many, many others, hundreds of struggling Christians behind bars can have confidence in the fact that we not only have God the Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit to help lead us along the way but that we also have TFM.

It’s comforting knowing that TFM isn’t just a brick and mortar company with no human face.  Their whole team acts in a “hands on” approach to bringing the Gospel to us who are confined, to the addicted, and to the homeless. I hope and pray that some day I can be of service to TFM and God, as they have been and continue to be for me.


Mike Swiger

True Freedom Ministries is a non-profit organization dedicated to reaching people in jails and prisons, the homeless, the elderly in nursing homes, and those trapped in addiction, in Ohio, with the message of the true freedom that is found only in Jesus Christ.