DEATH ROW CHAPLAIN

UNBELIEVABLE TRUE STORIES FROM AMERICA'S MOST NOTORIOUS PRISON

Death Row Chaplain

By Rev. Earl A. Smith

With Mark Schalbach

From a former criminal and now chaplain for the San Francisco 49ers and the Golden State Warriors, comes a riveting, behind-the-bars look at one of America’s most feared prisons: San Quentin. Reverend Earl Smith shares the most important lessons he’s learned from years of helping inmates discover God’s plan for them.

In 1983, twenty-seven-year-old Earl Smith arrived at San Quentin just like everyone thought he would. Labeled as a gang member and criminal from a young age, Smith was expected to do some time, but after a brush with death during a botched drug deal, Smith’s soul was saved and his life path was altered forever.

From that moment on, Smith knew God had an unusual mission for him, and he became the minister to the lost souls sitting on death row. For twenty-three years, Smith played chess with Charles Manson, witnessed twelve executions, and negotiated truces between rival gangs. But most importantly, Smith helped the prisoners of San Quentin find redemption, hope, and understand that it is still possible to find God’s grace and mercy from behind bars.

Edgy, insightful, and thought provoking, Death Row Chaplain teaches us that God’s grace can reach anyone—even the most desperate and lost—and that it’s never too late to turn our lives around.

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"With the eloquence of a gifted sage, Earl A. Smith delivers a kind of visceral imagery that can only be acquired by firsthand knowledge of a life lived on both sides of the bars. He is uniquely qualified to bring the untold tales of faith, endurance, and perseverance from inside one of the world’s most notorious prisons."

- Bishop T.D. Jakes

“This book shows how one man’s life was changed not by iron bars, but by a leather book. That book allowed him to open his heart towards the love that God had for him, which changed his life, changed his household, and ultimately changed the trajectory of the future generations of his family.”

- Mike Singletary,

Coach & NFL Hall of Famer

“A riveting, clear-eyed but supremely compassionate journey, through one of the darkest corners of the American judicial system. Death Row Chaplain compels the reader to a renewed assessment and appreciation of the human potential for constructive, even inspired, change.”

- Harry Edwards, Ph.D.,

Professor Emeritus of Sociology, U.C. Berkeley, Consultant for the NFL & NBA

San Quentin Ministry

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