Thursday, August 6, 2009

Held Hostage - A Serial Bank Robber's Road to Redemption

Held Hostage: A Serial Bank Robber’s Road to Redemption
By Ken Cooper
Published at Chosen
About the book
Husband. Father. Esteemed Community Man. Armed Bank Robber.
The unflinching story of one man's double life--and his ultimate transformation.

To his friends and family, Ken Cooper was the epitome of the perfect citizen: he was devoted to his wife and kids, loved by all, and had a high-profile job for a well-known Christian college.

Yet beneath this polished exterior lurked a man haunted by a broken past and fueled by a dangerous addiction. This man was known to the newspapers and public as the armed and mysterious "gentleman bank robber."

With raw authenticity, Ken bares all--from his tragic past to his time in one of Florida's most notorious prisons--in this unforgettable story of one man's miraculous redemption.

Who is Ken Cooper?
Ken Cooper, who served four years of a 99-year sentence, later worked with four others to found Prisoners of Christ, a faith-based reentry ministry for the transition of inmates plagued with addictions. Now he heads up Ken Cooper Prison Ministries, involved in prison ministry organization development, consulting work, and education on overcoming addictions. Ken has been featured in numerous media outlets including Time, The Christian Science Monitor, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and the Associated Press.Ken and his wife, June, live in Jacksonville, Florida.

My Thoughts
I had the privilege to be part of the 20 bloggers to review this book in advance. Testimonies are always powerful. After all, testimonies can have the power of changing lives. Revelation 12:11 says “They overcame him (meaning the accuser) by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony” . While I read this book I could see God being at work in the life of Ken Cooper.

Ken Cooper had it all but somehow he wasn’t satisfied with all that. He would get a rush by robbing banks. He would take hostages and let them go when he would be safe. He would think through all the steps before acting. He was pretty good at it for what I read. Except he made an error once – he took on a partner. That day he got caught and he went to prison. It’s important to know that every decision we make affect our life and other people’s life. I think Ken Cooper realized that BIG time that faithful day.

Circumstances made it so that people were bitter because he took some hostages while doing his sideline work… He was always polite and nice with people though and was known as the gentleman bank robber. But he got severely punished by being sentenced to 99 years in prison. From now on he was known as ninety-nine.

Amidst of the hard life in prison and all the things that could happen there, Ken got saved and grew in his relationship with God. To the point that he got transferred to one of the hardest section of The Rock to another section which was heaven compare to where he was before. He got connected and have being able to go to Christian events within the prison. God guided him through the days, months and years of living in a prison.

Then one day a miracle happened. He was on his way to freedom. And God has still some work to do in him. But what a change in a man who before couldn’t live without the adrenaline rush of robbing bank!

I really enjoyed the book even though sometimes his story was hard and difficult to read. Ken Cooper went through a lot in his life. It wasn’t always rosy like some people might have think. But somehow, God was with him and drew him closer to HIM. And in the end, God showed Ken Cooper that He has a sense of humor and gave him the opportunity to ask forgiveness for what he did. How? You might wonder. I don’t think I will tell you this specific information. It’s just too good. I see God’s hand through it and something like this can only happen because of Him.

Held Hostage is available everywhere even on and

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