By Wesley Eisiminger
Eighteen students have graduated from the First Step Bible class, a 10-week program of Holy Scripture study at the San Quentin Protestant Chapel.
It was the first phase of a 12-month program aimed at preparing the students to become ministers.
The initial classes cover introductions to the Old Testament and New Testament of the Bible.
“This class has provided me with a solid foundation to continue to move forward on my journey,” said student Timothy Holmes. “I wanted to learn as much as I can about my Lord and Savior and develop a closer work with Him.”
The course was started by inmate/teacher Curtis Roberts about a year and half ago. He said he started this class because “God wanted to tell them He loves them.”
Inmate Robert Barnes said, “I joined this program within a few weeks of coming to San Quentin. Our class began with a group of men unknown to one another.
We became close brothers who are there for one another, which I’ve received, and what I love about this program.”
Assistant teacher Stephan Pascascio said, “We are preparing, going through these steps as going to war for God.”
In addition to Holmes and Barnes, the graduating students included Oscar Arana, Troy Dunmore, Perry Herron, Timothy Hicks, Eddie Hollingsworth, James Jenkins, Sam Johnson, Stephan Pascascio, Pete Rook, Nathaniel Sparks, Anthony Thomas, Phuoc Vong, Javier Wesson, Rodney Williams, Steven Harris and Vadin Zakharchenko.
The course points out the Old Testament has 39 books – the first five books are law, the next 12 books are history, the next five books are poetry, the next five books are major prophecy and the last 12 are minor prophecy.
The students learn the New Testament has 27 books about Jesus and his Apostles and writers of first-hand events with Jesus and life.