We received a "Thank You" letter from Georgia's Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner. The letter also promotes the Gravedigger to the position of Honorary State Fire Marshal!
Joe didn't dare go to a shelter for fear the law would catch up with him for a multitude of outstanding warrants for bad check charges, checks written to finance his drug and alcohol addiction. In 1989, several firefighters came to Joe's cardboard box to urge him to come out and go with them for a good hot meal. It didn't take much persuasion for that… Joe, thinking only of a decent meal had no idea what was really in store for him.
His dedication and relentless devotion to the Public Safety employees of the state of Georgia, has made possible the million dollar Firefighter and Law Enforcement Memorial Garden located in College Park dedicated to them. Yet his greatest and most difficult dream has been to effect a Twenty-and-out for all Public safety employees across the state. After two years of building a Georgia public safety pension committee representing Fire, EMS and Law Enforcement association leaders. The House Bill 1033 has had its second reading as of March 18, 1999.
I just wanted you to know that I just happened to catch your show one late evening and my life has turned around completely. Although I know you were not directly responsible for the change, I know God was working through you on my behalf. As I truly believe in divine intervention, I am so thankful to God that I accidently came across your broadcast that Friday or Saturday evening -- just at the time when I thought things had gotten to their worse in my life. Even though I am a christian, and an eternal optimist, I had been going through many life lessons and trials and was truly at the end of my rope... thinking about how to end my grief. Well, you had a special guest that evening by the name of Tina Turner Jones who spoke to my heart as well as my mind. Coincidently, Ms. Jones' and I have crossed paths in the past. Who knew that god would use her as well to reach out and speak to me. During this particular boradcast, you came forth with a word of knowledge about someone in your viewing audience who was contemplating terminating their existence. Again, I could feel the power of God and knew he was talking to me through you. Usually, I do not put much stock in the television ministry, but I knew this evening that your show was meant for me. Interestingly enough, I had never heard of your show before that evening and to this day do not recall what time is was exactly, nor do I recall the actual cable station where I tuned you in. It was more of a divine direction that led me to you. Please know that I appreciated your assistance in helping me turn things around, and hope you will pass this testimony on to your viewers. Also, please share this story with Rev. Jones. If I ever see her again, I will do likewise. Keep me i your prayers!
A Renewed Man
I first want to say I have been a longtime watcher of your program on Saturday afternoons here in Atlanta. I stumbled on your program 6 months ago while I was feeling depressed, you touched me with your story and brought me to tears on many occasions it was as if you were talking to me! I usually do not have a connection to ministries through the tv, but something about you has touched me and I'm drawn to your good works. My Cousin Pauly Stamper is a fire captain in Chicago, Illinois who is now disabled but still works as an information officer with the department. I appreciate all you do for our firefighters. I greatly respect my cousin Paul and your works to the men/woman who serve our community unselfishly they deserve our recognition. The reason I'm contacting you, I'm hurting emotionally, I believe Christ is my savior and pray for my life to turn around...as of right now that has not happened. I have been struggling for months I'm finally seeking someones help & guidance. I turn to you! I escaped from a brutal 6yr marriage full of emotional/physical abuse by my wife *my wife even tried to run me over with a car ! That day in 1996 I came to Atlanta to be with my mom & dad for my safety. Soon after I arrived my mother was diagnosed with ALS "Lou Gehrigs disease". I watched the illness take its' toll on her physically until she passed away July 7th last year. My mother was my light, my guide and someone I believed in. I'm lost without her. *during her illness I prayed for god to take me instead of her because she had more to give the world than I. She had a spouse that loved her, grandchildren and a community that loved her, where as I had none of those things, and felt no one would care if I were dead or not. I sometimes feel that way now. I feel I have been abandoned here I have no family in Atlanta and I live alone. I have financial difficulties and can not afford to have a phone in my residence. I'm one paycheck away from being on the street. I do not do drugs or drink alcohol. I'm very lonely and want to connect with someone. I want to feel wanted and help others, but I first must get help for myself. My family laughs at me and jokes about my problems. I have no one to turn too. I hope to find guidance through christ and I ask for your prayers and blessings. I truly need them at this time. I feel I am a failure and hope one day to turn that around to receive god's blessings & return those to others in need. With a great deal or respect Grave digger I pray for your guidance.
Rhodes, President of the Atlanta Professional Fire Fighters, IAFF
I cannot thank you enough for the enthusiasm and the relentless crusade that you lead for our fire fighters. You continue to compassionately press forward whenever you see the opportunity. As you know our Atlanta Fire Fighters continue to lag behind in benefits and salaries. With your help we have made yet another small step towards improvement.
Although the Atlanta City Council did not approve our complete retirement benefit enhancement, we did make some improvements. You continue to compassionately demonstrate your love for fire fighters through your ministry. I hope in some small way that you realize the appreciation that we have for you.
I had the opportunity to view your show, "The Gravedigger" yesterday. I had no idea that you existed but I'm sure putting the word out. I was and still am, awe inspired over your show and your love and help for man/womankind. I will certainly not miss another show.
My son is a Georgia police officer and so are my two nephews. I thank you so very much for all that you do for everyone. You know, Christ told us to help our brother; and you my friend, have gone the extra mile.
I appreciate your kind words in support of Judy's leadership of the Children and Youth Coordinating Council and Louis Graham's tireless work on behalf of our most precious resource in the state, our young folks. The CYCC continues to create innovative series and resource materials to reach these kids and the adults who guide them, but it would all be in vain were it not for people like you and stations like WATC in Norcross who provide air time to reach a wider audience.
I cannot express to you enough how much I personally appreciate your ministry to those in such desperate need of guidance, and I am grateful that under Judy's leadership the CYCC has found such a perfect partnership with the Gravedigger Show for getting its message out.
Please accept my thanks for taking time from your invaluable work to express your gratitude and for joining with the CYCC in reaching out to the youth community of Georgia.
From Linda Brown
I enjoy the Gravedigger Show and the ministry God has called Joe to and all of us. I really believe that "All things work together for the good", as we can attest by Joe's life. I was blessed more that words can express by the personal call from Joe after I left a message on the ministry voice mail for a prayer request. You see many people can talk "Jesus" but Joe lives it!
I was thoroughly impressed that he returned the call to me and made my concern his top priority as if I was his only concern. I know he has several calls but I thank God he is "Blessed to be a Blessing". When you give of yourself as Joe does and your time and unconditonal Love, we know that God is real in him.
I'm experiencing an attack of satan in my family but I know he has no power and this is just another opportunity for God to show himself mighty on my behalf. In closing, it is my sincere prayer that God use me to minister to the hurting and share my experiences with others.
We don't go through our trails for nought but so we can go from "Glory to Glory" and others can be won by our testimonies. Please keep me in prayer as I seek God on how I can be used to minister healing to others through the Gravedigger Ministry.
Just a note to let you know how much I appreciate your giving me the opportunity and honor to be on your program.
Your deep concern for the people of this world is obvious by your conduct and your television program.
It occurred to me that while I was being interviewed by you I had no idea how many thousands or millions of people might be watching your show and be influenced by the same. That feeling was awesome. It is a miracle that someone of your caliber is available to carry "the message" to a televison audience day in and day out.
Please keep up the good work, and let me know how I can help.
Police Director of Chaplains
As a result
of the recent events on July 29th, in and about 3500 Piedmont Rd.
N.E., I am compelled to write you this brief note of encouragement.
Your life has been, and continues to be, a living testimony of how
a life can change from the paths of adversity and despair, to the
avenues of success where hard work and planning line life's journey
to the victories we all cherish. You have experienced the love and
support of countless people who were willing to render a helping
hand to you. Perhaps it was your destiny that God would use you
in such a bold endeavor, propelling you from multiple addictions,
and a card board box, to the halls of State Congress, the Governors
mansion, and TV talk show host.
Through your show, you have blessed tens of thousands, and have, in fact, documented a number of tangible successes, where suicide may have loomed in their depressed minds, but your words, testimonies, and those of your guests, brought them back to reality, and to life. It is to that issue I raise this valiant point. If only Mark Barton had been able to watch your show, or hear of your many testimonies, he just might have given a second thought to his actions leading up that dark July afternoon, saved his own life, and spared this community and our nation of this great trajedy.
May God continue to Bless your many labors,
Kevin E. Lewis,
My husband is 74, I am 69, we really enjoy channel 57. My heart is blessed when I see the "Gravedigger" crawling out of the cardboard box. From where I sit there is a little halo behind the top of his box. I just want to put my hand on Joe's face and pray blessings over all his dreams. He makes us all check our heart and ask "what can we do"! Thank you, channel 57, for "The Gravedigger Show."!
Joe wants to dig up the good of so many people, and bury all their bad, where they can be the person God intended them to be. He is a light to many people. Keep this little man coming out of his cardboard box. He is precious. We love the cause he is promoting - JESUS!
Thank you Joe for wanting to go back out to the people you left and tell them what Christ has applied to your heart; we can feel your earnest heart's desire. Keep your faith in God; He will see us through!
Greetings in the name of our Lord & Savior Jesus Christ. I am still rejoicing in the Lord as I write this letter. I praise God for you and the heart-felt concern that you show toward others. As I watched your program Friday, Feb.11th, the Holy Spirit impressed upon me to give you a call. I obeyed the spirit of the Lord and I never in my life have been so glad that I did. I called you on that Friday night to ask help for a dear friend of mine. You immediately returned my call and gave me more than I could ever expect to get. I had tried for over a year to get help for his crack cocaine addiction and a referral for spiritual counseling with others that have the same problem.
I want to let your viewing audience know that one call is all they have to make and they will get an immediate response and you won't stop until you are able to give them a way in which they can obtain the help they need.
Again, thank God and thank you for allowing God to use you as an instrument of hope in this city. God bless your endeavor and keep you in his watch care.
sister in Christ,
P.S. Please remember my children & grandchildren & Nataniel Williams, & myself in prayer.
From J. Terry
Norris, Exec. VP of Georgia Sheriff's Assoc.
Please accept this short note of appreciation for the opportunity to visit with you on "The Gravedigger Show". I found the experience truly rewarding and believe that your mission to support the public safety arena is something special.
As we agreed the other day, public safety is a community responsibility and the good folks at TV 57 have taken extraordinary measures to help our citizens understand the complexity and importance of our system of law enforcement and public safety.
Thank you again for your hospitality and keep up the good work.
Reginald here, well let's see where to begin. So far its been tough for me through out life. Made some bad choices when I thought I made good ones they blew up in my face as well.
My whole life really began to change 10 years ago, thinking a move to Atlanta was a great choice. Little did I know that I was going to go through all of this. I got a DUI April 9th of last year. Lost my job in June, my truck broke down & I wreaked my car and I'm walking to work now. On top of this my wife goes to talk to a lawyer in August about a divorce, she started an affair with a married man in September. Joe, she was even found being disrespectful in our home by her mother, our children and friends.
My live is in bunch of pieces right now, and there is nothing I can do but trust in God to put it all back together again. When I first came here I was transferred with a major beverage co. My transfer was not done right, so I didn't get my promised job. My wife was my best friend from 12 years of age and I never thought in a million years she could do me this way at my lowest. I have no transportation, no family near here, no close friends, no money and I just recently lost my last job worrying about her and my sons and now this is where my life is right now. Its very difficult to hold on or keep hope.
I have asked the Lord to take my life and Joe this is when I contacted you. Thank you for being there for me and for helping me rededicate my life to the Lord. I had never been in trouble before in my life and all of a sudden legal, family, money and everything came at once. You have a unique way of letting me know this was a blessing.
Started a job in fast foods at $5.65 Hr. last week. If you did it starting at age 44 working at Taco Bell with nothing from a cardboard box I can do it to. Joined a church hoping the Lord can and will save me and my family. I keep holding on, because of what you said that night.
Thank you Jesus
for the Gravedigger Show and thank you Joe.
Dear Channel 57: Thank you for the Gravedigger Show. It is truly a blessing to us viewers. Joe is a living testimony in my household. We watch him every week. Through him there is hope for those who are in hopeless situations.
We live in a very poor neighborhood, and it seems as if we are dammed to remain here. Joe's story and show gives us a path out of here. If he can do it, me and my family can do it. Please never take this show off the air. It is a blessing.
Director Nix and I were honored to appear on the Gravedigger Show and to participate in the program. We are very supportive of persons and programs that address the emotional and spiritual needs of law enforcement and other public safety officials. As you well know, law enforcement officers, fire fighters and emergency medical personnel routinely encounter violence and tragedy in their work. The intense pressures from these type situations can adversely effect that mental, physical and emotional well being. The men and women of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation applaud your efforts to bring attention to these problems and to provide solutions to them. I wish you continued success with the Gravedigger Show. May God bless you and your family.
From Rita DeRego
on Sky Angel for the first time today.
To Our Public
We want to "thank you" for the many years that you had a vision for your Firefighters-Police Officers. You prayed and persevered with "God's Help" it became a reality at Forest Lawn Cemetery. Now, on Sept. 11,2001, Our Nation was under attack! A sad day for our country. But, with their physical help and dedication, many lives were saved. A great number of Firefighters gave their lives in this effort. We thank all Firefighters and Police Officers that have given this nation so much! GOD BLESS AMERICA! GOD BLESS OUR DEDICATED PUBLIC SERVANTS! GOD BLESS "THE GRAVEDIGGER"
With much love
in Christ Jesus,
Congratulations on your Outstanding Humanitarian Achievement and Service award and Super 17. Joe your shows really minister to the hurting. I want you to know that I saw your show on Friday night with the 3 women who shared their testimonies of child abuse. I could identify with some of what they went through. I was born again in 1979 but it was not until May 19, 1997 I was totally delivered and healed of the inner turmoil and now I just live to praise God for all that He's done for me. It was good to see how these women were willing to share their experiences with such honesty that it gave women hope who watched your show and who are still being victims to those types of abuse and I'm sure their message others hope to get out of those situations. Joe, may God continue to bless you as you bless so, so many of us. Have a very Happy Thanksgiving Holiday!!! May God's goodness and mercy follow you all the days of your life!!!
I would like you and all of your viewers to know what a positive impact you have had on my life. I was despairing and lonely. I thought everyone had given up on me. Then you came along and expressed the interest for me that you and the Lord have. Your intervention at that time gave me the courage to renew my faith and my fight for my children. I was so close to straying, but through the interest the Gravedigger showed in my case I felt like there was still hope. Not just for myself and certainly for my children, Thomas and Grace Ellen, but for all the downtrodden who need a spiritual hand up and a chance to believe.
A heart felt thank you goes out to all the folks who have remembered my children, Frederique and I in their prayers. A thank you to The Gravedigger Show and staff who rekindled an interest in my case when it was so desperately needed. Thank you Gravedigger for your compassion and understanding, thank the Lord for sending you to me and may God bless all people and good works wherever they may be, especially the children of this world in their innocence.
CITY OF ATLANTA FIRE
Dear Mr. Oreskovich: Let me take this opportunity to thank you on behalf of the fire service for your dedication and commitment to spreading the salvation of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ among Firefighters. You have shown your love for the Atlanta Fire Department and Firefighters all over the State of Georgia through projects you single-handedly developed and implemented.
Two of those projects that come to my mind are the Police and Firefighter's Memorial Garden at Forest Lawn Cemetery, and the Statewide Firefighter's Recognition Day. I look forward to working with you and the Gravedigger Ministry as I have over the past several years. May God continue to bless you in a mighty way.
From Barbara Dennis
On Sunday August 13, 2000 I was really depressed and overwhelmed with the burden of financial hardship. I went into my children's bedroom alone and closed the door and began to praise, pray to God Almighty. I also read and meditated on the word of God, afterward I still felt overwhelmed with the same burdens and hardships no peace within.
I began to flick the TV channel searching for comfort, after flicking through several Christian TV channels, I came across this man who was talking about his past life and taking prayer request and I called and got a voice mail. I left my name and phone number. I said to myself "O God, I need someone to pray with me."
The next day I got a call from the Gravedigger himself. I told him about my financial burden. I am not working because I got hurt on my job and I have a daughter and a grandson, all my bills are behind, banks calling for their money, car about to be repossessed, health insurance canceled because of non-payment... The Gravedigger was very compassionate, counseling and encouraging me, giving me scriptures to read and prayed a very powerful prayer for me and my family and our needs for about 30 minutes. I have never had any prayer warrior to pray and counsel me the way the Gravedigger did over the telephone. It was such a blessings... I was immediately blessed with peace. Fear began to leave me and I was calmer than I had been in a long while.
Dear Gravedigger, even though I still need a financial miracle, I have everything I need - I'm standing on the promises of God's word, I am more relaxed...letting God take control.
Thank you so
Merle J. Pearson
I would like to take a few moments out to say (Thank You!) to you and to whoever else make it possible for you to air on the Christian broadcasting program a few weeks ago the day you were speaking to a gentleman named Mr. Fred Watson.
As V-Man, founder of Victory over Violence shared his story with me it touched my heart. It was then I called the phone number that appeared on TV. Once Mr. Watson returned my call it changed my entire life. Including my family's life as well.
With this opportunity I would like to share my experience with you. I was so deeply depressed with my son's murder there are really no words to explain. My youngest son, age 22 at the time, was murdered January 14, 1998. He was kidnapped, beaten, and stabbed 27 times. His throat was cut from one end to the other. I try very hard to be strong because I love the Lord. But all of my efforts seem to fail me. I've beaten myself mentally. I was cast down, but not completely destroyed. As my pain increased I lost faith in God, and belief in his power to hear and heal me.
There is a real big hole in the pit of my stomach, that feeling overwhelms me every night and day. My best friend was tears, heartache, and headache. I thank God you and Mr. Watson came into my life. That day I saw you two on TV was the day I saw hope again. When Mr. Watson phoned me, you see God was on his way to help me out of a very bad situation in which I was on the road of self-destruction. I wanted to die and not go on living. A murderous spirit was on me. I myself, along with my son had planned to go back to Illinois, and take revenge on the people who we thought were responsible for killing my son.
Mr. Watson shared with me the power of God's love for me. He also reminded me of the devil's power. He asked me to think, then make a choice. I chose to heal and go on with the plan God has set for my family and me.
Mr. Watson next met my son, also on the path of destruction. After Mr. Watson labored with him, he too changed his mind about revenging his brother's death and today's works as a successful car salesman, music writer, and artist.
Everyone's testimony is, very important no matter how big or small, let us continue to encourage people to share their experience, as I am sharing min, today, with you. Thank you and Mr. Gravedigger continue to share God's love and Power.
Thank you and
God bless you all,
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to appear with you on "The Gravedigger Show" last week. I was truly honored to be your guest, and you all made me feel so very much at home. I applaud you for the work you are doing and for the hope you bring into people's lives. You will probably never know what an impact you've had on folks--thank you for letting me be a part of it!
Just another word of praise. Since God has called us all into such an awesome ministry, I want to share with you more of His greatness. Over the past six months God has allowed our Chaplaincy Corp. to be involved in three separate suicide threats. In each situation we were able to be a part of a healing process that aborted any actual attempts. One person even returned within the last week and confirmed that God used us to keep them from actually "pulling the trigger."
We must surely thank God for the "GRAVEDIGGER" program and all other ministries and individuals that give tirelessly of their time to help hurting people to "Have a new start." Many times over my thirty-one years of ministry it only took a listening ear and some kind of encouragement to totally change a person's life. We must always remember Philippians 4:13, "I can do all things through Him that strengthens me."
Thanks for your faithfulness Joe,
and Michelle Jones
I want to thank you for helping me to get off drugs. I started watching your show 2 months ago. I studied you for a long time. I knew there was something you had that I wanted. I took a chance and called you. Joe. I just want to let you know I'm drug free for the first time. It's been almost 6 months now.
My sister Michelle was also doing crack and she could not believe the difference in me. I told her about your show and she watches with me each week. She's been clean for a short while now and its real hard for her. But your show gives her hope. I just thought you would like to know how God is using you. Thank you Jesus for the Gravedigger Show.
My name is Kim. I am 24 years old. I am suffering from schizophrenia and have an over active thyroid. I have been raped more than once and recently found out that I may not be able to have children due to blockage in my tubes. Those things had me very suicidal and depressed.
Being let down time after time led me to attempt to take my life once again. I started drinking again and taking pills, so that is what I did. I took a whole bottle of pills. After a few minutes I became very sick. I could barely walk or see. I realized then I did not want to die. I just wanted all the pain to stop. I knew then I needed prayer from other people, some words of comfort and I needed it then and now. The Lord led me to TV , so I begin to click to different stations. My eyes became very heavy and I wanted to fall asleep. It scared me. I came across a ministry call the 700 Club, there was a minister on the TV, there was a number across the bottom of the screen to call for prayer, so I did.
To make a long story short. The lady on the phone listened for 3 minutes and hung up on me. By this time I could barely keep my eyes open any longer from all the pills I had taken. That was the final rejection. I turned the channel one last time and came across your show "The Gravedigger Show". Again there was a prayer number at the bottom of the screen. Not thinking I called, there was something that was different about your show. I left my name and number and hung up. I knew that it was not me calling it was the Lord that led me to Gravedigger. In a little bit I got a phone call from Joe. I shared my problems with him.
For the first time there was someone there that not only listened but really understood. Joe you really helped me that night and I want to thank you for telling me about Jesus. After we prayed together, the pills came up. It really made a difference in my life.
I am reading the Bible more and more now and you reminded me I am a child of God. I hope that me and you as well as others can instill into people that their time can be used from God to bring hope to others. Thank you again Joe and God Bless You. I am learning to call upon the Lord now and trust and wait patiently for my rescue.
Hi, my name is Amanda. I do watch your show very often. I love it, God has done so much in your life and as a christian sister I would like to say thank you. Thank you for spreading the Word of Christ and saving lives while your at it.
I know you probably get quite a few e-mails from people just saying thank you or what not, I do thank you but I wanted to write to you for a different kind of thank you. I want to thank you for giving such credit to the Law Enforcement Officers that you do.
It does mean a lot, especially to me. You see, my father was a policeman here in Rome, Georgia (where I live), he was killed 6 years ago this December, I was only 12 years old. I am 18 now and understand that it is so hard to find people who respect those who carry out the law. It was a great joy to me to see your story and to see you so appreciative of the ones who helped you. (It truly is a story that makes me cry every time the show comes on!)
I do not believe that they get enough credit for the things they do, people make fun of them and such but people don't realize God gave them bravery and courage to do what they do every time they put on their uniform.
So, thank you Joe for giving them so much credit and showing God's love to them. I know you have a big heart and I would like to think that in our love and appreciation for those people my heart touches yours and we touch a lot of others though we might not see it. I know you are busy with the show and all but if you could find some time I would love for you to write to me.
Praise God for you brother. I love you.
In His Hands,
I would first like to say congratulations for all the awards that you have or will be presented, God is really using you for His glory. I can't begin to thank you for allowing God to use you by invited us and making us feel like special guest on your show. We were really blessed through this experience, but one thing I would like to share with you is that my telephone didn't stop ring after this showed aired. Due to your show so many women are now taking the first steps to be healed in their abusive relationship, they now realize that they are not alone and now they have begun to confuse what has happen to them so that they can be healed and delivered for their pain. Thanks again Joe, I will continue to pray for you and the show that God has given you.
Hi this is julie holcombe and I am 12 years old almost 13 and I was flipping through some channels on the TV when i came across gravediggers on TV and i saw how you were saved and it really dinged on me that how much time I haven't been spending with our Lord and it makes me feel bad, and when i saw you on TV it really inspired me to read his Bible everyday and to pray and to go to church and worship him in every way. Hope you can e-mail me back as soon as you can and tell me how much God has done in your life cause i would really like to hear it. Thank you!
Guess what?? Your testimony helped lead four men to Christ tonight. I had an opportunity to preach at the Goodwill Mission and Homeless Shelter in Newark, NJ this evening to just over 200 men. I shared your testimony with them and seven came forward for salvation but only four decided to actually pray and ask Christ into their hearts. Praise God! You're helping win souls for Christ in NJ.