By Libby Hopkins


Prison357-book    It was once said that, “Faith is not without worry or care, but faith is fear that has said a prayer.” Philip T. Hicks has said many prayers during the course of his life. One of the biggest prayers he said to God was not to spend the rest of his life behind bars for a crime he was involved in when he was in his late 20’s. “As a 29-year-old, I was flying in the fast lane,” Hicks said. “I was reporting sports, eating fire and partying with the likes of Jimmy Buffet, Hunter S. Thompson and Robin Williams. All this came to a screeching halt during a botched burglary where I found myself on the wrong end of a .375 Magnum.” While Hicks was wrestling with his attacker, a bullet from the attacker’s gun shattered his right femur bone before the attacker put the gun to Hicks’ head. “All I heard were two loud clicks,” Hicks said. “His gun was now empty.”

After this altercation, Hicks found himself lying in a hospital before for a year while he was awaiting trial and corrective surgery for his broken femur. It was during this time, Hicks developed a relationship with Jesus Christ. “I was encourage to tell the truth at my trial and God gave me the grace to obey,” Hicks said. He was sentenced to life plus 15 years. He was 18 months into his sentence when he received a letter vacating his entire sentence. “Once again our Lord was faithful to accomplish his word for when I told the truth, God used that to confound the wise,” Hicks said. “My trial judge made a mistake which the Florida Supreme Court later declared justification to reverse my sentence.”

Hicks decide to share his amazing story with others. He wrote a book called “The Cross & The .357 Magnum.” He graduated cum laude from Oral Roberts University with a degree in radio and T.V. journalism. He was later ordained as an Evangelist and he currently ministers in men and women prisons nationwide. “You might say that prison is a hard place to minister, especially if the audiences are men in a prison with a population of 4,000 who are serving anywhere from 25 years to life, some without the possibility of parole,” Hicks said. He uses humor to break down barriers with the inmates and by doing this; he helps them begin to have a relationship with our Lord, Jesus Christ.

God has given Hicks a vision to produce a T.V. pilot, called “Jesus Behind Bars”. Hicks wants to go back to prison to help those behind bars have a relationship with God. The program will include preaching, comedy, music and interviews. He is looking for local churches that will partner with him to get the pilot aired on both the Internet and a Christian network, as well as, having it aired in prisons worldwide.  If you would like to learn more about Philip T. Hicks and his ministry or if you would like to order a copy of his book you can visit his website at or call 916-660-6956.


Caption for Phillip’s photo:

“Philip T. Hicks is an evangelist, an author and a comedian. He recently wrote a book called “The Cross & The .357 Magnum.”

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Libby Hopkins
Libby Hopkins has been a part of the Brandon community for more than 30 years. She is a graduate of USF with a degree in journalism. She has been a freelance writer for The Osprey Observer Newspaper since 2008. She also the Executive Director of Center Place Fine Arts and Civic Association. She is a dog mom to her rescue dog, Marshall. She loves being a part of the Brandon Community and she loves sharing positive news about our community.