Just hours before the second night of the 2020 Republican National Convention, President Trump issued a pardon for former bank robber turned Christian activist Jon Ponder.
"Two years ago I was honored to tell Jon Ponder's story of transformation in the Rose Garden on the National Day of Prayer. Today I am thrilled to welcome him back to the White House. Jon's life is a beautiful testament to the power of redemption," Trump said. "Jon grew up without his father. As he tells it, my mother was strong but she wasn't able to keep us out of the gangs and off of the streets, and they were violent streets. At the age of 38, he was arrested for bank robbery. While Jon was in prison, he began reading the bible and listening to Christian radio. One day he heard Reverend Bill Graham on the radio proclaim 'Jesus wants to be Lord of your life.' On that day Jon dedicated his life to Christ. He spent the rest of his time in prison studying the Bible. When he was released, he heard a knock at his door. It was the officer who put him jail. FBI Special Agent Richard Beasley who said, 'I want you to know that I've been praying for you.' Now Richard and Jon are best friends."
"In the last ten years since Jon was released, he has created one of the most successful re-entry programs, Hope for Prisoners in Las Vegas," Trump continued. "As Jon says, Hope for Prisoners is a movement that began as a dream in a tiny prison cell and is now making a difference in the lives of thousands, truly bringing hope that there is an opportunity and a community that is waiting and willing to offer them a second chance. Jon, we honor your devotion to showing returning citizens that they are not forgotten. We believe that each person is made by God for a purpose. I will continue to give all Americans, including former inmates the best chance to build a new life and achieve their own American Dream."