Ronald Papa was born on February 1, 1939 and raised in Albany, New York. His childhood was one of a non-Christian family grounded in what the world had to offer. This is what the world would call a street-type atmosphere without any Godly influence whatsoever.
He left Albany, NY October of 1979 looking for work in other states. He arrived in Tulsa, OK, and while working there, he was witnessed to by many faiths. From there He went to Jefferson City, MO and went to work for a nuclear plant. While there he was witnessed to by Christians of the Baptist faith. On the night of March 21, 1980, while alone in his apartment, God spoke to him and he was convicted of his sinful nature. He realized he needed Jesus Christ and accepted Him as his personal Savior.
He was directed to a small Baptist church. On a Sunday night he entered this church and all the peace and comfort of God fell upon him. He was baptized and he started to learn about what God had in store for him. He realized God had tendered his heart for the incarcerated. (At one time he had been incarcerated). But at that time he could not enter the prisons because of fear and because of his previous experience in prison.
God over the years used many Pastors and teachers to mentor him. He was involved in all aspects of Christian service and finally moved to Lake Jackson, Texas in 1983. After serving in 3 different churches God directed him in 1998 to Bayou Drive Baptist Church in Alvin, Texas. It was there that one night, as a member was giving a testimony about being in the prisons, God spoke to his heart loudly and clearly that he was ready to enter and serve Him in the prisons. He went forward at the invitation and surrendered to enter the prison ministry. The Pastor of the Church supported his call and the members prayed for his ministry. It wasn’t long before the church, recognizing how God had gifted him, appointed him as Staff Chaplain to Texas prisons, particularly those units south of Houston, Texas.
He has served full-time in the prison ministry, since 1998, as a Certified Volunteer Chaplain Assistant, being blessed to preach, teach, mentor, attend crusades, and go cell-to-cell in many state prisons, detention centers, county jails, homeless shelters, and half-way houses, in Texas, Arkansas, Nevada, and in Santiago, Chile.