During his career with the Texas State Penitentiary, Tim Carter participated in the executions of more than 150 individuals. In The Executioner’s Redemption: My Story of Violence, Death, and Saving Grace, Carter, now an ordained minister, shares the life lessons he learned as he walks the reader through the darkness of death row and into the hope that comes from God’s tender love.

Faced daily with the most violent and hateful criminals in the world, Tim struggled to reconcile his career life as a prison guard and his life as a Christian. This struggle weighed heavily on Carter, eventually leading him to visit a former professor from his college days, Dr. George Beto. Beto had once been the director of the department of criminal justice in Texas.

Carter’s interaction with Beto was brief but profound. When Carter asked how it was possible to be an effective prison guard and still be a Christian, Beto’s answer was a simple verse from Scripture, “I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves” (Matthew 10:16). Beto told Carter he was very good at being as wise as a serpent, but appeared to be a complete failure at being as innocent [or gentle] as a dove. Beto told Carter to stay in the Word and “let the grace of the Gospel speak to me, not just the Law of God.”

Now retired from the Texas Penitentiary System, Carter continues to use the life lessons he learned while working on death row in full-time ministry as the Care Ministry Pastor at Salem Lutheran Church in Tomball, Texas. Carter began his studies at Concordia Seminary.

Praise for The Executioner’s Redemption

“While Pastor Tim uses his criminal-justice experience to give us understanding of Satan’s unceasing attack, he provides practical methods for us to use the power of the Holy Spirit to blunt Satan’s best efforts. . . . This story speaks to the prison guard, the police officer, all criminal-justice practitioners, every judge and jury member, and every Christian. I truly regret I didn’t have the benefit of this book to help keep me grounded during my thirty-seven-year career as a police officer and manager of police service in the fourth largest city in the United States. I highly recommend this book to everyone.”

—Jerry W. DeFoor, assistant chief of police (retired), Houston Police Department, Houston, Texas

“This book, in part, reflects the transformational journey from a nonpracticing Christian to a self-righteous and judgmental one, and then to a man willing to die to self, allowing others to see Christ live through him. In the past six years, Rev. Carter has helped me personally go beyond the carnal, judgmental attitude of dealing with criminals. I believe I have learned from him to look through the lens of grace, inwardly knowing that we all are fallen and are in need of God’s redemption and help. Rev. Carter serves as an example of the power of Christ, who can take someone from an empty path of self-fulfillment to a path of trusting in God and being fulfilled completely so that it is evident to all who meet you.”

—Sergeant James D. Rhoads, Houston Police Department

“A riveting must-read that I could not put down! From hard-hearted executioner to God’s gentle servant, Tim Carter’s incredible journey of self-discovery and perseverance powerfully illustrates that no one is beyond God’s life-changing transformation. Tim’s experience on the Texas death squad vividly proves that God’s peace and love shine brightest in the darkest places. This book will inspire you and make you gasp, cry, and laugh. It beautifully morphs hope into fact that with God ALL things are possible.”

—Donna Pyle, speaker, Bible teacher, and author of Quenched: Christ’s Living Water for a Thirsty Soul (CPH 2014)

“The Executioner’s Redemption shows how our God can mold and shape someone’s life through His Word even in the hardest of circumstances. I was blessed to know Captain Carter during some of the hardest years of my life. In my teen years, I began to let the enemy take control and lusted for every evil thing imaginable. I ended up in prison at age 27, and the Holy Spirit used Tim Carter’s witness to impact my life. Now, as a Christian, I have continued to keep in touch with Rev. Carter, and he has continued to inspire and shape my life each and every time I talk to him.”

—Donald Tapley

The Executioner’s Redemption is available for purchase at cph.org. For more information, visit cph.org/executioner or contact Lindsey Martie, CPH Public Relations, by phone at 314-268-1303, or by email at Lindsey.Martie@cph.org.

About The Author:

Rev. Timothy R. Carter participated in the executions of over 150 inmates during his years of service on the Texas State Penitentiary death squad. A graduate of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, he is the Care Ministry Pastor at Salem Lutheran Church in Tomball, Texas.

About Concordia Publishing House

Concordia Publishing House (CPH) is the publishing arm of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. For 146 years, CPH has been providing individuals, churches, and schools with products that are faithful to the Scriptures and the Lutheran Confessions. From books and Bibles to church supplies, curriculum, and software, CPH offers more than 8,000 products to support the proclamation of the Gospel worldwide. Visit CPH online at cph.org.