THE ENFORCER

     Story of "Happy Jack" Burbridge                                                            

     "I've been in a number of prisons. 

     Attica, less than a year after the bloody riots.                                               

     San Quentin, a couple of times, the second time with my whole family. A number of other prisons,
     maximum and minimum security, with and without musicians. 

     When I go in, I always follow Johnny Cash's advice, "just tell them you care, and don't preach to
     them." Johnny knows what he's talking about, and confided that most of the prisoners, male and
     female, would figure I had some kind of "angle", and be suspicious of me. He said that just going in,
     singing and caring enough to be there would be sermon enough. 

     I usually go at least one step further and let them know that it's because I'm a Christian that I care. 

     In the back of my mind,I'm always remembering that Jesus promised He would ask us, when we stood
     before Him in that last day "when I was sick and in prison-where were you? Did you visit me?" 

     The part of that, that gets me is that Jesus identifies with the prisoner! And after many visits, I'm
     beginning to understand why. 

     There are Jesus people in every prison. 

     In many cases, they were Christians before they got there, but didn't allow Jesus to guide their lives.
     They allowed the flesh, the lure of material things the appetites and dictates of human nature or the
     influence of friends to drag them down. But they are born again people who have fallen on the rocks. 

     Others have become believers while in prison. In almost every correctional facility or prison in the
     United States, Jesus has His people and is working there just as actively as anywhere else in our
     society. And in His ministry and in His teaching He seems more concerned about the prisoner, the
     naked and the hungry and the sick than any of the "well folks". 

     That's where Happy Jack comes in. 

     If you ever needed a dramatic example of how much Jesus loves the unlovable, and how He can
     transform the most "hopeless" case into a loving and useful servant-Happy Jack is it. 

     I met Jack Burbridge some years back, and was impressed with the dramatic change in his life and the
     glow in his face. It was hard for me to imagine that his former life had been as sordid and violent as he
     said it was, but it was that, and more. 

     Maybe Jesus uses people like Jack as wonderful examples that He can change anybody, that no one is
     beyond His redemptive power and His limitless grace. I think you'll get many a thrill, and shed a few
     tears, as you travel along the road with Jack. 

     He deserves the name "Happy Jack"- because he's got everything in the world to be happy about And
     I think you'll be happier too, as you share in the good things Jesus has done for and through him." 

     Pat Boone
     Beverly Hills, California 



Jack Burbridge 

     By his own admission, Jack Burbridge was once "as mean as a snake." Tall, muscular and blessed with
     light-ring-quick reactions, he had, during military service days, the reputation of being "able to whip
     anybody." 

     Jack was in some kind of trouble all during his days in the service and even before. Offered the job of
     an underworld "enforcer," 21-year-old Jack Burbridge, naturally "at home" in the middle of a barroom
     fight, reveled in his new responsibilities. He actually smiled and smirked while beating up club
     managers who were trying to "hold out" on their payments to the organized crime syndicate for
     "backing," "protection" etc. 

     This earned him the admiring nickname "Happy Jack." For awhile, all went well. Jack had money and
     the reputation of being one of organized crime's most feared, top enforcers. 

     Some real believers in the Lord were praying for Jack at this time. Finally, the Holy Spirit used the
     calm witness of one man to reveal to Jack that he was neither happy nor a very nice person. He was
     marvelously saved by the Lord Jesus Christ. Jail officials were amazed at the way he was delivered
     from a deadly heroin habit. 

     This is "Happy Jack's" startling story, sent forth for a double purpose, to encourage those behind bars
     and to proclaim to all people everywhere the mighty power of the One who saves, loves and gives hope.
 
 

     CHAPTER ONE 

     Stealing Blood 

     Clink. 

     The sound of metal on metal broke the stillness of a dark street in Mishawaka, Indiana. A hub
     cap clattered on the pavement 

     "Hey! Who's out there?" A man's voice came suddenly out of the darkness. 

     "Let's go!" my buddy whispered, his voice frantic. "Somebody heard us! Hurry!" 

     Our footsteps echoed on the sidewalk as lights flickered on in a nearby house. We vanished
     down the block, running as fast as we could. 

     "Do you think he saw us?" one of my friends asked when we finally stopped to catch our
     breath. 

     We waited for someone to follow. But no one did. 

     I was just 13 years old when I began stealing hub caps with my friends. By the time I was 15
     years old, I was stealing the whole car. By the age of 21, I was an enforcer for organized
     crime; by the age of 29, I was a bank robber, heroin addict and next in line for the FBI's 10
     Most Wanted List. 
 

 

To Order 
"The Enforcer"

 

The Story of "Happy Jack" Burbridge

with an insert from 
Pat Boone

 

A Donation of $6.00
will get you a copy of 
"The Enforcer"
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Jack Burbridge

From Crime to Christ
P.O. Box 1251
Fairfield Bay, AR 72088