"I was a man who had never been inside of a church house unless my mother took me there when I was a small boy. I had never read a chapter in the Bible.
"For years I had roamed the country, heart-broken because of the sin that drove me from my home when only a boy of thirteen and made me an outcast in the slums of Chicago. I walked the alleys, slept in stairways, and wished I was back home. While yet a boy I lay in the penitentiary, my heart loaded full of trouble, thinking of my mother and sisters – cursed the day I was born.
"Crime rolled up on me for twenty-eight years. I went deeper and deeper into sin, committed crime after crime. Behind the prison bars, I suffered the tortures of hell – hung up by the thumbs – fed on bread and water. When out of prison, I spent most of my time running roadhouses, beer gardens, saloons and dives. I had everything, for a time, that a gambler could have – wore the diamonds, rode in cabs, walked on the Brussels carpets, made big money and spent it all, then had to catch a boxcar to get out of the city. That is what sin did for me!
"Sin robbed me of everything good. I did not have a friend on earth, except my mother. When I went to see my sister she opened the door a little crack and said: 'You have brought so much disgrace on your people we don't want anything more to do with you.' I will never forget that night. When I walked away I said, 'There isn't much more left for me.’
"But back in Middlesboro, Kentucky, upon the side of a hill, in an old log cabin, was a praying mother. She had mortgaged or sold everything she had, for me. She would go back of the prison walls and eat her holiday dinner with me and talk to me, and she never gave up praying for her criminal boy.