Saving Kelly Gissendaner

By March 10, 2015
Kelly Gissendaner
Kelly Gissendaner

Kelly Gissendaner
(Photo courtesy of Crossroad Bible Institute)

USA (CBI) — Crossroad Bible Institute requests urgent prayer for Crossroad graduate Kelly Gissendaner. Kelly has been sentenced to death by the state of Georgia, but her execution has been postponed twice.

Now Christians around the country are praying for a miracle and seeking a way to keep her off death row for good, and faith leaders such as Desmond Tutu and Shane Claiborne have signed a petition requesting clemency. Kelly’s story is one of redemption, and she is living proof that not all “jailhouse religion” is insincere or superficial.

Kelly was sentenced to death in 1998 for persuading her boyfriend to murder her husband. Kelly’s boyfriend, who committed the murder, took a plea bargain and is serving a life sentence with eligibility for parole. Kelly did not accept a plea bargain, because her lawyer did not believe that the jury would sentence her to death.

Kelly Gissendaner was a Crossroad student from 2007 to 2010, and her Instructors commented on her good work ethic and spiritual growth. On February 27, 2015, the New York Times wrote an article about her spiritual transformation and theological studies.

Kelly’s growth in theological knowledge was outpaced only by her personal transformation. According to Pastor Dottie Benson, Kelly entered prison a bitter woman, but she is now a mentor and mother figure to many inmates there. Prisoners tell stories of “Mama Kelly” talking them out of suicide, encouraging them to behave well in prison and helping them meet their goals.

Kelly, a living witness to a living Savior, says of her spiritual journey, “I have learned first-hand that no one, not even me, is beyond redemption through God’s grace and mercy.”

Kelly’s appeal to the Supreme Court was denied on October 6, 2014, and Georgia’s parole board denied her clemency petition on February 24, 2015. The Department of Corrections has yet to announce the new date of her execution.

Dr. David Schuringa, president of Crossroad Bible Institute, stands alongside the thousands of petitioners and many faith leaders calling for clemency.

“Please join Crossroad in praying for Kelly, who is a living testament to the transforming power of God’s grace,” says Schuringa. “May the Lord work a miracle and find a way to save Kelly’s life. And may He bring her, her family, and the family of her husband peace.”


  • Rob Ferguson says:

    It is my sincere heartfelt support for Kelly that she receive clemency and her death sentence be changed. The Lord Jesus has forgiven her and His example of changing Saul, a Christian killer into Paul, writer of much of the New Testament. I see a very similar change in Kelly and if not here on earth, then in Heaven may we meet! Death sentence or not none of us are here for long so peace be with you Kelly. God is Great and he will judge those who pass judgment on us


  • Anthony Zure says:

    Kelly Gissendaner’s own clemency petition stated about her first baptism occurring in 1996. Yet later that year, she was fully engaged in plotting the murder of her husband Doug and coaxed her extramarital lover Greg Owen to be the killer. It was Kelly Gissendaner who stood to profit handsomely, in the form of life insurance policies, from her husband’s untimely death. After being arrested for this crime and awaiting trial, Kelly informed her cell mate that she was willing to pay $10,000 for someone to come forward and falsely confess to taking her by gupoint to the scene where her husband’s body lay. Alarmed, her cell mate notified authorities of this invitation to perjury.

    Kelly is once again praising the Lord and heavens knows she has had plenty of time to study the Bible. In fact, I suspect she probably started the Bible degree classes to get out of her 7×8′ concrete cell and into the air conditioned classrooms. In any event, she has confessed her culpability in this crime (in the clemency petition) and was fairly tried andconvicted by a jury of her fellow citizens. She should brace up and accept the punishment set for her rather than go out whimpering and cowering. May God have mercy on her soul.

  • Donna says:

    Please God I’m asking u in the name of Jesus to please spare Kelly’s life! Thanks for letting them change it from death penalty to life in prison! Kelly does not deserve to die. We all make bad decision and mistakes but we learn from it. Kelly has been a inspiration on everyone that she has came in contact with in prison. While I was locked up Kelly inspired me to get my GED and when I was down and thought no one cared Kelly told me that I had more ppl that cares about me than I thought! I love u Kelly! In Jesus name I pray amen!

  • Susie says:

    From those close to her it sounds like Kelly has experienced Jesus changing her – beyond simply studying Bible theology. I like Rob’s comparison to Saul/ Paul who not only had murdered 1 person but MANY. What Kelly did was horrible – and she still has to live with it. If Kelly really has a close walk with Jesus- then she will not fear execution (as she will be in heaven sooner – God has forgiven as I am sure she has talked with him about murdering her husband, and other sins.)

    However, just as Paul had a tremendous influence for Jesus’ power on multitudes and still does; giving clemency to Kelly may have a tremendous positive effect on MANY lives in the women’s prison she lives now and in the future. I can envision her serving life in prison and being able to help other women change and learn a new way of life with Jesus as the new “pilot” of their lives. Either way it goes, GOD will take care of Kelly – but for us on earth, society would get the greater benefit of her living longer here and helping others.

  • Donnah says:

    She has been renew, reborn and redeemed. She has become the Lord servant and may he continue to use her. She definitely has a purpose. Jesus is definitely the light that shines within her. Be at peace an know God is in control. Heaven is his throne and he has control over all.

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