I was lead to Christ at an early age by parents who love the Lord. My mother made sure that all of her children knew Jesus and accepted Him into their hearts. I grew up attending church and being active in the youth ministries that I attended. My parents have always led by example the way to serve, whether singing in the choir or volunteering when needed. I wish that was the end and that I followed their example all my life, however, that isn't the case.
As an adult, I began experiencing difficulties in my life that I did not handle very well and I made some very bad decisions. I got into drugs and to support that habit, committed crimes to pay for it. There were many days of being high and homeless. These choices of mine led me down a road that eventually ended up in a 20 year prison sentence in 1999. Fortunately, God is faithful to His word and full of grace. He turned my choices into something that would glorify Him an spread His kingdom. It was at my lowest point that I truly discovered that God wanted all of me. Even though I felt broken, He would still use me to change lives; so I surrendered wholly to Him. The moment I stepped foot into prison, God started working on me which included taking away my desire for drugs.
While incarcerated, I began to teach Bible studies in my cell. Eventually other inmates asked me to hold a mixed race Bible study on the yard; something you just don't do in prison, yet God made it happen. As time passed, and I grew in the Lord, I began to be used in chapel services by teaching and preaching. I prayed that as God used me and opened doors for me to minister, I promised to be ready to step into these new roles that He had for me. I began studying at Moody Bible Institute and graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Biblical Studies. As I continued serving my time, I eventually transferred to San Quentin State Prison. This is where God began to really open doors for me to serve Him. I became the first man ever to be Ordained at San Quentin in the Protestant Chapel. I was Ordained to the gospel ministry by the American Evangelical Christian Churches and continued to serve in a teaching and preaching role. Then, without warning, the Protestant Chaplain was removed from his position and we were left without a pastor. I petitioned the Warden of San Quentin to allow me to continue the ministry there while they tried to find a replacement. Because of my Bachelor's Degree and Ordination, the Warden agreed. For 3 years I was allowed to act as the Senior Pastor at San Quentin, facilitating all protestant religious services. Never before had inmates been allowed to run a religious service on their own. God used me again to start an outreach ministry called, "Reaching Beyond the Walls." Inmates who made less than 50 cents a day working, gave their money to build churches and support missionaries around the world. This ministry that God gave us raised over $30,000 in 5 years.
Since my release from prison, God has continued to show Himself faithful. I had returned to school to work on my Master's Degree during the last portion of my incarceration. In 2018, I graduated from Veritas International University with a Master of Arts in Theological Studies. While incarcerated, God brought me my wife, Jennifer to support me and stand beside me. He is faithful, opening the door to Casa De Oro Baptist Church. I stand upon Henry Varley's statement that encouraged D.L. Moody; "The world has yet to see what God can do through one man wholly surrendered to Him." I am excited to see what God is going to do in our lives and through this church.
In His Custody,
Pastor Bob Lott