Minister finally meets his father as his cell mate after he was sentenced to jail for 15 months for committing fraud.
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Roy Smith always wanted to know who his father was. Even when he already grew up and became a minister, he was still longing for the identity of the father he never met.
Roy Smith got his wish in an unconventional way.
Smith’s church was looking for a building, but they were unable to apply for a loan since the church’s assets didn’t qualify. However, Smith met a broker who guaranteed a loan for any building they want. With the help of the broker, the congregation finally got what they wanted.
However, Smith received a call from the FBI and was informed that he will be charged for committing fraud. It turned out that the broker inflated the congregation’s assets to secure the loan. But because it was Smith’s signatures that were used in the deal, he was charged with the crime and was sent to prison with a jail sentence of 15 months.
Smith was briefed by a counselor and was assigned to his cell. The counselor also talked about Smith’s cellmate who shared the same name of his father, which was Roy Milton. Smith already knew the name of his father, but he still believed that it had to be another man.
When Smith finally reached his cell, he soon realized that this Roy Milton was actually his father. Milton was imprisoned for 20 years after he was caught dealing prohibited drugs.
Smith noticed that his father was actually keeping track of his accomplishments with the use of newspaper pieces. Milton was updated with Smith’s high-school achievements, marriage, and even the case on why Smith was imprisoned.
“On the inside I felt like a six-year-old boy. I just wanted to touch him and see if he was real. I was scared. I didn’t know if I hated him, if I loved him. I didn’t know if he hated me. I had repressed all of that stuff for so long. I wasn’t sure this was a good thing,” said Smith.
Milton was actually proud of his son. When he read an article about Smith opening his first church, Milton was filled with pride. As the months went by, both the father and son slowly built their relationship from scratch.
One time, the chaplain asked for an altar call, and surprisingly, Milton was the one approaching the altar with tears. Usually, not one of the inmates would ever come forward for the altar call since most of them don’t want to get involved. Smith was shocked to see his father and knew that “he was giving his life to the Lord.”
They hugged each other and broke down. Smith described this experience as the first time he had a deeper connection with his father.
Smith was released earlier than the allotted sentence because of his good behavior. Milton was set free by 2009 and the relationship between the father and son became stronger than ever. Smith even wrote a book about the unbelievable story of how he met his father.