As a child, Michael Molthan experienced many hardships and trials from his father’s abandonment to his grandfather’s abuse.

“At a very young age, my grandfather started abusing me. It was the first time I kept a secret,” said Molthan. “I was being told by my parents that I was just like my grandfather – my mannerisms, the way I talked and even my handwriting. They told me I was going to grow up to be just like him. That was confusing to me.

He struggled with feelings of loneliness, turned to drugs and alcohol, attempted suicide, and eventually landed himself in prison.

“In 2011, I had my first encounter with the law. I had arrived at a place I thought I would never go,” said Molthan. “After my first mug shot, I did everything I could to make it go away. I was becoming this man I thought I would never be.”

Over four years, Molthan accumulated 27 mug shots and was eventually transferred to a prison filled with murderers. In his four-by-nine cell, Molthan, overtaken by anxiety, paced back and forth; however, when he started reading the Bible, everything began to change. Then, one morning he awoke and describes an experience he had never had before.

“As I exhaled, all the hate, anger and resentment were coming out of my body,” said Molthan. “It was then that the Bible started making sense. I started reading to other inmates who could not read. The guards were amazed that we were so close and serving together.”

Three months after this encounter, Molthan was released from prison due to a paperwork error. He felt God tell him to go turn himself in, but the judge had heard about what Molthan had been doing in prison and gave him an unexpected assignment.

Recognizing that it was when he hit rock bottom that he found God, Molthan has now dedicated his life to helping others on their path to recovery by using his own personal experience, what it was like for him and how his life has changed today.

“Only God can turn a felon into a phenomenon,” he said.

In the new White Chair Film released by global storytelling organization, I Am Second, charismatic speaker and daily talk show host, Michael Molthan, shares about his past struggles, addiction, reaching rock bottom and looking for a way out of his messy life, before ultimately turning from felon to phenomenon. 

Michael also shares his powerful story today on Connections.