How an Atheist Found Christ in a Prison Cell, the story of David Wood

Have you ever filled out one of those spiritual family trees? Where you write down who led you to Christ and who led them to Christ and who led them to Christ, going back as far as you can? They tell interesting stories, no matter how dramatic or mundane the events. This one is a little more on the dramatic side. If you saw Nabeel Qureschi’s testimony about how he went seeking Allah and found Christ, you might remember that it was “David,” a fellow debate team member who befriended him, answered his attacks and encouraged him to examine Islam the way he had examined Christianity. This is the story of that David, the former atheist David Wood.


I watched this long before I knew who Nabeel was. My first thought at the time was really,

“Wow. I’m glad you found Christ or you’d be one scary person to have on the streets.”

He tried to kill his dad with a hammer. No guilt . . . no remorse . . . no anger . . . nothing. He wanted to break free of the confines of societal norms and expectations and killing someone close to him seemed like a good place to start. I can sort of understand those “crimes of passion,” when someone gets caught in the heat of the moment and there is a deadly weapon nearby. Sort of. But I don’t understand the coldness of a psychopath.

What was really interesting to me was his own view of his actions at the time. He knew his lack of empathy for others was not normal, but he didn’t find that concerning. It fit into the atheistic worldview he was raised with. In his eyes, he wasn’t an antisocial pyschopath who needed to be institutionalized for the good of society.

He was Humanity 2.0.

After all, for survival of the fittest to really choose the fittest of the species, compassion cannot enter consideration. And if all you are is a meaningless lump of cells, what sense does it make to speak of intrinsic human value?

But in his prison cell, he met Randy. Randy wasn’t like the other inmates. He was a Christian who had turned himself in for committing a string of felonies. Unlike other Christians, however, when David tried to mess with him, he fought back. Not with fists, but with questions.

For the first time, David confronted his own beliefs.

As his mental health deteriorated, he began to wonder if there was something else. Something more. And like Saul on the road to Damascus, his eyes were opened. He realized who he was and what he had done and that there was only one way to find freedom.

Because freedom was in the person of Jesus Christ.

And how many people have found that truth because a Christian landed in jail, talked to someone in the middle of a mental breakdown who befriended a Muslim who went on to speak with Ravi Zacharias International Ministries? You can never know the consequences of a simple act of obedience. Even if that comes after some obvious disobedience.




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3 Comments on "How an Atheist Found Christ in a Prison Cell, the story of David Wood"

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JoJo Tabares

Wonderful story. It is amazing what events can lead someone to the saving knowledge of Christ. I have a rather weird story myself. I wasn’t in jail or anything, lol, but…


Me too! 🙂

I have a self-proclaimed atheistic agnostic friend who is suicidal. (Hospitalized just this morning.) The battle that I believe Satan is fighting for this friend is unreal.