Kevin Lawler is now a volunteer at the same court where he was sentenced to prison. As guest speaker, Kevin shared with us his new life as a Salvos Chaplain.
Kevin Lawler was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment arrested for supplying illegal firearms. He says, “As I sat in the court and the sentence was read, I was in complete peace,” he says. “I was aware of the words (of Jesus) that the truth will set you free. I was free, even though I had been sentenced to prison.”
Kevin's compelling story of how he suffered significant loss of his fiancé from suicide, his father, friend, business, and subsequent marriage, then got into drugs and crime, faced arrest and imprisonment, and found his faith, is on the Salvation Army's website  >>
He shared with us that while his parents were members of the Salvation Army, he had no interest in God or the Salvos. Arrested at 40, God stepped in at the Southport Watch House.
With the help of unconditional love from his mum, Joy, and Majors Kay and Robin at the Gold Coast Salvos, Kevin was able to put back the pieces. He shared with us the importance of taking responsibility for our life and actions and how faith increases our love for others.

Now back on the Gold Coast, Kevin serves as Chaplain at the Southport Magistrate's Court, and attends the Gold Coast Salvos, studying and working as a volunteer at the same court where he was sentenced to prison and is working with mainly younger men passing through the court system.
Kevin has completed a Positive Lifestyle Program facilitator course focused on building self-awareness and a better understanding of life skills. Focus areas include: self awareness, anger, depression, stress, loneliness, grief & loss, creative problem solving, assertiveness, self esteem and goal setting.
Kevin also spoke to us on the difficulties prisoners face in society after leaving prison, including facing unemployment, being able to walk in a straight line for as long as you like as against walking around a rectangular field, and being able to look at people in their eyes as they pass by. It seems that society is pretty unforgiving of those who have spent time in prison.
Kevin had a number of suggestions to try to get youths away from their mobile phones, Instagram and TikTok, where they could be encouraged to take up a sport or go sailing and other challenges.