“He’s got a heart for evangelism, even though he’s the guy that took the life of a man.”

In December of 1980, a troubled young man approached John Lennon with intent to kill him. Mark David Chapman shot and killed the well-known singer and was sentenced to prison for the rest of his life.

The death of John Lennon caused shock and despair worldwide, and many wrote letters to Mark expressing anger and hate.

Pastor Ken Babington was one of the first to reach out to Mark as he sat in a prison cell. His was one of the only letters with peace rather than hate, and he had hopes of sharing the Gospel. He shares Mark’s journey from murderer to evangelist in the book Not my God.

Ken has spent thirty-five years communicating with Mark, including in-person visitations and going through Bible studies. Mark carries deep remorse and regret for what he’s done.

“When it all started, he wanted to be famous… instead he is infamous. Looking back he said, ‘I would do anything to take back the second before I shot the first bullet.’

Mark is currently kept in involuntary protective custody to protect him from the other inmates. But that hasn’t stopped him from reaching out to them and sharing his faith in Christ. He and his wife Gloria started a ministry called All About Jesus Ministries for the sake of spreading the Gospel. Mark has written three tracts about his life and provides those tracts free of charge to any prison ministry, as well as pays for the postage.

The man who is so eager to share about Jesus is making use of his time by telling his own redemption story. He’s even reached out to John Lennon’s widow.

Ken says Mark will live with the consequences of his choice for the rest of his life, but he’s looking ahead to how God might use him in the future.

“To this day he refers to John Lennon as ‘Mr. Lennon,’ [with] tears in his eyes. He is remorseful. But then at the same time, he’s looking at the reality that he’s still alive…He just wanted to spend time getting to know Jesus and the Word. And that’s when things started changing.”

Even the most horrific sinners can be brought to repentance by a holy God. You can read more about Mark in Ken’s book, which was written with Mark’s permission and at his request.

Key Scriptures: 2 Corinthians 5:21; Matthew 7:12

Featured Songs: Come As You Are by David Crowder; From the Day by I Am They; Grace Wins by Matthew West

Highlight : How God redeemed Mark David Chapman

Not my God