Bill Ballenger ended up in
Wabash County Indiana at the age of 16 - a
resident of White's Residential & Family
Services. From there he would see freedom only
briefly before heading to prison, Somewhere in
the midst of his prison time, just as it seemed
his path to ruin was inevitable ,Bill Ballenger
found God - or perhaps - God found him. After 2
years and a miraculous turn of events he was
released from prison early.
He also has a message of hope
for those in business. In this age of everything
goes, he has a message that it is never wrong to
do what is right. This message resonates from
the boardroom to the workshop as he shares from
his heart the importance of thinking before one
acts. That is a message that all of us need to
Bill has used his background and his speaking
ability to bring a message of hope in the midst
of the storm. He has spoken to young people at
schools and assemblies across the country and
leaves them different. His message is always
worded so that any school can feel comfortable
to have him in and yet empowering to make his
impact one that the young people will never
Not long after he began pastoring, leading
worship services, holding prison seminars,
preaching and performing concerts. His most
recent endeavor has been to establish "Teenrock"
a ministry focused on equipping teens to
accomplish their dreams. Ballenger is soon to
release his 5th CD as lead vocalist for the
Wabash based group "Crossover".
Since his release from prison
so much has changed for this man as he has been
blessed to perform 100's of concerts around this
nation along with appearances in Russia, China,
and before an estimated crowd of 90,000 at the
Indianapolis "Circle of Lights." Ballenger has
went on to appear internationally on the Trinity
broadcasting networks "TBN". And is a frequent
guest on the New Jim Bakker show in Branson, MO,
a broadcast that reaches over 200 countries
world wide. "His world is forever changed, his
heart forever healed. "Things are much better,
now... says Ballenger. There has been no drugs
in my life for many years and I have truly been
blessed with a wonderful wife, family &
view videos featuring Bill Ballenger, please
Testimony of Bill & Jodie
Ballenger was born in Franklin
Indiana, but ended up in Wabash County at the
age of 16 - a resident of White's Residential &
Family Services. From there he would see freedom
only briefly before heading to prison, having
been sentenced to six years. Somewhere in the
middle of his troubled life, just as it seemed
his path to ruin was inevitable, he found God -
or perhaps - God found him. Trouble worked it's
way into Ballenger's life at an early age. He
was incorrigible and By the time he turned 16,
he was being sent to reform school. "I actually
asked to be sent to White's," Ballenger told The
Plain Dealer in a recent telephone interview. I
knew they had a smaller school and a sports
program. He arrived in February of 1985. He
quickly got involved with the basketball program
under the direction of coach Larry Vaughn. He
described him as "inspirational," along with
then-house parents Mike and Tammy Ruse (now
owners of MTR Service Center), and sub house
parent Jason France. He said his decision to go
to White's was definitely a good one.
Bill Ballenger has both literally and
figuratively been set free. But it's hardly by
coincidence that one of the songs on his latest
CD is also called "Set Free" The words only
begin to tell the story of his triumphant life.
"We had chapel every day. They
(the staff) always work to develop their youth,"
he said. "They (the youth) have a much better
chance in society and have a good chance to get
free from addictions." He also mentioned the
help he received from teachers Jay Driskill,
body builder and weight lifter, as well as Clyde
Lovellette, Olympic champion and Basketball Hall
"They all planted some seeds
in me," he added. But no one could have known
how long it would take those seeds to grow.
While there, he met Jodie, who was only 15.
Caught up in a life of promiscuous sex and an
overindulgence in drugs, Jodie had been arrested
and sent to White's. The two fell in love. Jodie
was released and returned to her home in Muncie
a little more than a year after arriving. About
a month after her release, Ballenger, too, was
released and went home. "I was 17 and soon ran
away to be with Jodie," he explained. "I stayed
until I was 18 and we could be married." It was
1987. Their daughter, Mindy, was born four
months after the wedding. Now in their own
apartment, their lives became one big party,
complete with drug dealers and drive-by
shootings. The Indianapolis SWAT Team raided
their home. Ballenger said drugs were never
found because they had just used what was left.
The couple was taken to jail and their baby was
placed in foster care.
Convicted of three Class D felonies, they were
each sentenced to six years in prison. They were
each taken to different facilities. That was
where Ballenger began really studying his Bible,
attending a prison Bible study and delving into
God's word as never before. Separated from each
other and their daughter for nearly two years
(Mindy had since been placed in the custody of
Ballenger's mother), they began praying for an
early release. They petitioned the court to
grant them an early release - and then prayed
... and prayed.
were filing their own paperwork and eventually
heard back from the judge, who informed the
couple, "You can save your ink and save your
paper; there is no way you are getting out. You
are going to do all your time," Ballenger said.
So I prayed again. I said, 'I'm
not praying to the judge - I'm praying to you,
God,'" Ballenger recalled. His strength came
from a Bible verse from Proverbs 21:1: "The
king's heart is in the hand of the Lord and He
will turn it the way He wants it to go."
"Finally a higher court ordered a hearing for
the Ballenger's." I remember the sheriff drove
us to court that day. It was the first time we
had seen each other in nearly two years," he
said of the reunion. But they also didn't know
if that would be the last time they would see
each other for another year.
There was no reason to believe
that the judge would let them out, no reason to
believe she would change her mind. But that's
exactly what happened. Less than two months
after they were told to forget it, the judge
mysteriously had a "change of heart."
"I felt like God was putting
it all together. There was no possible way she
was going to let us out - but God changed her
heart," he said. They were set free on March 7,
1991. A couple of months after that, their
daughter was returned to them, (with no strings
attached) Today, Mindy is 19 and her brother,
Jared, is 15.
prison Ballenger began pastoring, leading
worship, holding prison seminars, preaching and
November 2003, he performed before an estimated
crowd of 90,000 people in the downtown
Indianapolis Christmas celebration, "Circle of
Lights." Ballenger would later go on to appear
world- wide on the Trinity broadcasting networks
"PRAISE THE LORD PROGRAM". He also is a frequent
guest on the New Jim Bakker show in Branson, MO.
In 2004 he released his fourth
music album, "Dream." Since the fall of 2005
Ballenger has been the lead vocalist of the
Christian rock band "Crossover". His world is
forever changed, his heart forever healed.
"It's a much better life, now.
There has been no alcohol and no marijuana in my
life since 1988 and I have truly been blessed."
"THANK YOU JESUS!"