Michael Franzese is no stranger to life on the streets. The former Mob boss, caporegime in the Colombo crime family, and son of former underboss Sonny Franzese from NYC found himself in prison 18 times, including an eight-year sentence in prison before his 1994 release. But it was during his time in prison, a guard gave him a Bible and through God’s word, he discovered the gospel of Jesus. The rest, as they say, is history.
Today, Franzese preaches fiery messages about hell, the call to repentance, and the honor of God. Christian Post reports Franzese’s sermon at Laurie’s church where he related his experience behind bars.
“When I was in prison, I spent 29 months and seven days in solitary confinement [in a] six-by-eight cell, 24/7. Me and God. … That’s not easy. We weren’t meant to be solo creatures. We were meant to be social.”
It was here in solitary confinement that he finally came face to face with Jesus. With nowhere else to turn, he turned to God, realizing the weight of his sin and the severity of the consequences for the way he choose to live his life. He knew he needed to repent, or else perish.
“I dove into my Bible. I prayed every day. It was my closest time with the Lord because I had no choice. That was it. … And thank God, I turned to Him and nowhere else.”
Franzese went on to discuss true manhood and the grace of God.
“There’s been a dumbing down of men.” Emulating Jesus is a win-win situation. Following Jesus is a win-win situation, you can’t lose.” Franzese went on to explain that true men model their life after Jesus and listed ten characteristics of a true man’s man including love – giving our lives for others, forgiveness, service, and other key characteristics.
Franzese also shared the need for police. “Reform ok, everything needs to be reformed including the church sometimes. But defund the police is the craziest thing I have ever heard.”
Franzese related that police are examples of laying their lives down for others – no greater love.
His transformation was truly evident as he discussed forgiveness and the example of Jesus’s forgiveness on the cross and how he came to forgive his father. He went on to discuss service and humility.
Like Paul who wrote in Galatians 1, “They only heard the report: “The man who formerly persecuted us is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy.” 24 And they praised God because of me.”
The man who was a former Mob boss is now preaching the gospel, and thousands are praising God because of it. His story is documented in his book, “From Godfather to God the Father,” available at Amazon and other book retailers.