Alumni Spotlight: Troy Clark, Ph.D.
- Professional Speaker, Author, Thought
May I share my testimony of God’s extreme
grace in personal growth after failure? The 2014 release of my latest
book tells it all, Failure Is
Not the Final Chapter. -
Though shocking perhaps, I’d rather be transparent about my story
upfront. Almost twelve years ago, my livelihood in the gospel ministry
suffered at a moment of arrest. I watched my entire life crash and
burn. Everything I lived, worked, studied, sacrificed, and hoped for in
33 years of fulltime gospel ministry, was blown to bits.
Never did I dream my post-TBC life would
include a brief incarceration stay. Never did I realize the extreme
length our second chance God goes to dismantle, then reassemble, a
purified relationship with Him. Never could I have imagined how God is
at His best when my life is at its worst.
As the smoke cleared, I decided to bloom where I was planted, in an 8x8
cell. To survive the harshness of prison, I became a daily Bible study
teacher of 30 inmates. The same gospel story lessons I taught decades
prior on a Sunday school bus route while attending TBC resulted in
salvation for several inmates. As a son of an itinerant Baptist
evangelist from childhood, I recognize Spirit-led, God-sent revival.
This intra-prison Bible study changed lives through wonders of
authentic revival. Hardened convicts were softened to make things right
with one another, some exiting the Bible study early in tears to call
mother and apologize for past wrongs and hurts to their families.
Humility and repentance is not an everyday occurrence in the lives of
inmates behind bars. Trust me on that one. Divine and immediate answers
to specific prayer needs encouraged us. The presence of God saturated our
dorm facility. Correctional officers attended our evening Bible study
meetings out of a buzzing interest. Bible study inmates formed a 4-part
harmony, gospel quartet, who were asked often to sing for
administration staff, and several special occasions. To boot, I
personally witnessed 3 unexplainable, “Red Sea” miracles that I share
in my book, Failure Is Not the Final Chapter. In addition, I was asked
by the Department of Corrections to teach a reading class for
illiterate inmates, which I accomplished by constructing phonics flash
cards out of old notebook paper, markers, and cut-outs from old
magazines. A major victory is that I became the first person in our
state’s penal system history to complete an accredited Doctorate level
college degree, while incarcerated.
Point is, you think my future ministry plan looked like this when I
graduated from TBC as a bright-eyed 23 year old? Hardly. Life journeys
us in-and-out of jarring cycles. So, our ability to specialize in
ministry depends on an ability to follow God’s lead, no matter where
life takes you.
Post-incarceration, I went on to become a
National Top Producer
of life insurance sales, authored a noted book on it, and today enjoy
traveling as an executive-level consultant and professional speaker. As
a licensed and ordained minister, I enjoy sharing my testimony in
churches on the weekend, so I am fortunate to lead folks to Christ in
both worlds – business and church.
My first book,
Bible, is being utilized as Bible college curriculum,
Sunday school curriculum, Bible study material, as well as being
circulated in Afghanistan among military officers and troops, to being
quoted in national Christian magazines and newspapers. The Perfect
Bible is a one-volume library on the history, accuracy, and perfection
of God’s eternal Word. It is an easy read, written in layman terms,
that represents over 20 years of careful and validated research. To God
be the glory, my publications crisscross North America, and stretch
around the globe with joyous leap and rush on a variety of successful
business, personal growth, theological, and recovery topics. Learn more
Pearls from prison are real-world lessons that taught me God wants us
to give Him our worst, not necessarily our “best”. Why? Our “best” is
often infected with pride. When God allows devastating events to
totally rip pride out of our lives, His extreme grace kicks in
immediately. As an Almighty Creator assembles something useful,
special, and purposeful, out of a rotten situation (our worst), HE
ALONE gets the glory for it, and gains a forever friend. From
corporate executives to homeless shelter residents to churches, this is
my uplifting message - No matter what page your life is on, rest
assured – Failure Is Not The Final Chapter.