John Downs was born and raised in Houston, Texas. When he was 15 years old, his father died in his arms after a violent domestic dispute. After the death of his father, Johnwas introduced to heroin and then entered into a realm of gripping substance abuse.
But at age 24, God was going to change everything for time and eternity for John. In August 1978, after eight felony arrests, God used a district judge to court order John to a Christ-centered men’s home in Corpus Christi, Texas simply known as “The Lighthouse.” The home was run by a man of God who believed that Christ alone was the answer, the Word of God was sufficient for all problems, and that no one was beyond the grace of God. The Lighthouse was a spiritual boot camp that trained young men for Special Forces in the Lord’s service.
It was there John soon realized that he had not been arrested, but rather, he had been rescued. It was there he realized that he did not have a drug problem; rather, he had a spiritual problem. Nine months into the program, John surrendered his life to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. It was during his 4 years there he memorized huge portions of Scripture and was taught the disciplines of personal devotions and serving God.
In 1997, John felt God’s call to preach the gospel to those who are in the same bondage that he himself had been in, and he began to minister to those behind bars as well as to the families who are so often left to pick up the pieces when a loved one goes to jail. It was through this call that Lighthouse Prison Ministries, Inc. had its beginning, and God has used this outreach to change many lives.