Being behind bars has seemingly gotten familiar to 26-year-old Brad White. The Republic man has five felony convictions on his record, including burglary, and several other misdemeanor convictions such as domestic assault. He's served prison time with the Department of Corrections.
Since his release from the Department of Corrections in July of 2013, police said White has been active on social media. Detectives said the father of two has pictures and posts on facebook flashing gang signs, posing with a gun, and showing his loyalty for the "Honkey" gang.
There's also a picture of two smiling young children.
Friends said during his time in prison, White's wife divorced him and has since remarried. Records show White is forbidden to have contact with his kids unsupervised.
But on November 9, Springfield police said White and two female friends drove to where he knew his ex-wife and two kids would be: church. He walked into the building with a gun.
The pastor and co-founder of Freeway Ministries knows White's ex-wife well.
"She's a wonderful woman, who married a wonderful man," smiled John Stroup
Stroup said Freeway Ministries helped to change White's ex-wife's life. Known as a "church for the unchurched," the ministry reaches out to the homeless, felons, and drug dealers. People Stroup said who were just like him.
"I ended up losing all my family to drugs and alcohol. Ended up in a standoff with the police for about four or five hours. I went to prison for selling drugs," said Stroup. "I surrendered to Christ in a prison cell in 2008 and never looked back."
Together with a fellow former Springfield drug dealer, Rick Lechner, the two co-founded Freeway Ministries.
"Started out in a homeless shelter here in Springfield and I started preaching the gospel and I had a desire to reach the lost," said Stroup. "People that come to Freeway would never shadow the doors of the church. But we use the church for what it's supposed to be, the hands and feet, and we disciple them, we integrate them in. Next thing you know, a crack dealer drug addict becomes a church member and an usher."
Friday night, the church is part of a ministry of Southside Baptist Church. Saturday night, the ministry is part of Crossway Baptist Church. Every Saturday for two hours, free food, free childcare, and free transportation is offered to 739 W. Talmage Street.
In two years, an average of 400 people attends the service. Roughly, 100 are children of the people inside the building are kids.
On November 9, Springfield police said a church member saw Brad White on property. The man approached White and asked him to leave. Detectives said White told the church member, "I'll knock you out, one punch."
According to court documents, White punched the man, but didn't knock him out. Police said White pulled out a gun, pointed it at a crowd, and yelled, "I'll kill all of you."
Church members said the two people that went the church with White encouraged him to go back to the car. Other church employees said White walked backwards towards the car, still pointing the gun, shouting, "I'll shoot, I'll shoot, I'll shoot."
At the time, John Stroup pulled into the parking lot.
"I seen the gun myself and I just thought, 'oh boy, this isn't good," recalled Stroup. "He's somebody who is definitely lost, strung out on drugs and I guess thought he could come in the building and do something he wasn't supposed to do."
Police said White got away, but was spotted nearly a week later by Billings Police Officers. Police there said White wrecked a car on November 15. Inside the vehicle, investigators found a gun, but they didn't find white. Police said he run away from the crash.
Springfield police caught up to White on Saturday, November 23. In court documents, officers wrote White resisted arrest, tried to get out of a police car, and had what's believed to be methamphetamine in his pocket.
White is now back behind bars in the Greene County Jail, with more charges added to his already lengthy record. Prosecutors filed two weapons felonies, a misdemeanor assault, and resisting arrest.
He's held on a $30,000 bond and is not expected to be back in court until next year.
Stroup said this stint in jail may do White some good.
"I got locked up and I thank God for prison because that's where I came to Christ. You have to hit the bottom, and who knows if he has one. But let's hope he does," said Stroup. "We want people to know that. God uses people like Brad. He can be changed. Anyone can be changed. If God can do it for me, he can do it for anyone."