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Ex-Mafia kingpin shares conversion story

October 19, 2012

‘Prince of the Mafia’ Michael Franzese of NY’s Colombo Crime Family Takes Over Pulpit at Liquid Church of NJ
By Liquid Church

This month, nearly 2,500 attendees of Liquid Church of NJ won’t hear from their regular pastor on Sunday morning, but rather, a real-life gangster. Michael Franzese, who has generated more money for organized crime than anyone since Al Capone, will share about his decision to quit the Mob and follow Jesus when he speaks at the Morristown-based church on October 21.

Franzese was previously highlighted as number 18 on Fortune magazine’s list of “The Fifty Biggest Mafia Bosses,” just five behind John Gotti. As the former “Prince of the Mafia,” Franzese faced dozens of grand jury appearances, three major racketeering indictments, five criminal trials, seven years in prison and a Mafia death sentence. After converting to Christianity, the former Mob Captain of the Colombo crime faction of La Cosa Nostra is living a free and productive life which includes activities with a youth outreach program.

Gangsters are a part of the Jersey aura and culture from Tony Soprano to the Boardwalk Empire, but a “real-life Gangsta” in church? “Michael’s story is a powerful one putting on display what happens when you go from a ‘Goodfella’ to a ‘God-fella’ — that’s the message we’re illustrating this Sunday,” said Tim Lucas, Lead Pastor of Liquid Church.

The 3-week sermon series entitled, “Gangsta,” draws parallels between the life of a mobster and the life of the Biblical apostle Paul — a murderer who called himself the “chief of sinners,” but whom God ended up using to write much of the New Testament.

“It’s rare to meet someone who leaves the Mob and lives to tell about it. But Michael’s story is living proof that no one is beyond hope. God specializes in using people with dark pasts to bring light to the world,” noted Lucas.

  
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