Prison Evangelist Gives Inmates 20,000 Free Copies of Memoir about Drug Addiction, Incarceration & Recovery

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With the release of his memoir, “Once Life Matters: A New Beginning,” prison evangelist Marty Angelo announced he is giving away 20,000 copies free-of-charge to prison inmates and rehab programs across the country. The book is a compelling, true account of how he overcame drugs, sex, alcohol and rock/ disco music and a prison sentence by the power of God.

Christian prison evangelist Marty Angelo today announced the release of his memoir, “Once Life Matters: A New Beginning,” the gritty, true story of his life in the fast lane in the music business, caught up in drugs, sex, alcohol, rock n’ roll, and disco music, leading to a six-year sentence in prison for possession of cocaine and conspiracy to distribute. It is a powerful, life-changing account of Angelo’s delivery from addiction and self-destruction into a strong witness for Jesus Christ. Angelo will be giving away 20,000 copies of his book, free-of-charge to prison inmates and rehab programs across the country.

Chuck Colson, founder of Prison Fellowship, says, “From the glittering lights of the music industry to a prison cell and back now to serving the Lord, Marty’s story offers hope to all of us. It’s a terrific testimony to God’s redeeming grace."

Prior to his dramatic conversion to Christianity in 1981, Marty Angelo was an entertainment business entrepreneur for 20 years, mixing with music greats like the late Jimi Hendrix, John Lennon and Janis Joplin. As a personal manager for rock bands and a successful record promoter, his “Top Ten” disco record listings were regularly published in “Billboard” magazine. Voted one of the top 20 disco record promoters in the nation in the ‘70s, Angelo wrote, created and produced the popular late ‘70s show “Disco Step-by-Step,” the first television show dedicated to disco dance music. Angelo also promoted the major motion pictures “Saturday Night Fever,” “Thank God It’s Friday” and “Fame.”

Angelo recounts his tailspin into self-destruction in graphic, visceral, and unsentimental detail. His book “is a rollercoaster ride from the rock superstar spotlight to the prison jungle and then to higher ground,” says Jack “Murph the Surf” Murphy, formerly a notorious jewel thief and now a minister with Champions for Life Ministries. “Marty Angelo survived the front line madness of that music, drug, and prison world. He came out the other end of the psychedelic tunnel with a fascinating story of out-of-this world freedom,” Murphy adds.

In 1980, Angelo’s world came to a turning point when he was arrested for possession of cocaine and intent to distribute, charges that potentially carried a maximum sentence of 60 years in prison. But just prior to being sentenced, Angelo found a relationship with God through Jesus Christ and was delivered from drugs. Sentenced for six years, he served two and a half years in federal prison and the rest of his time on parole. During his incarceration, he developed a heart for ministering to prisoners.

“Ultimately, my book isn’t about me,” says Angelo. “It’s about Jesus Christ and how He willingly and faithfully pulled me out of a lifestyle that had little hope. I want to tell my story to help people understand that no matter how bad things might get, they can change and start with a clean slate. I believe God’s purpose for my life is to tell others what happened to me so they might find their way to Him,” says Angelo.

In the wake of recent controversy over the issue of embellishments and unverified facts in author James Frey’s best-selling book, “A Million Little Pieces,” Marty Angelo spoke out in support of Oprah Winfrey when she stood behind her remarks that Frey’s book had “redemptive” qualities. “When it comes to setting the record straight, Oprah Winfrey wins hands down,” says Angelo. “She did the right thing by bringing James Frey onto to her recent broadcast. She helped clear the air and impressed upon her audience the bottom line message of Frey’s book—that people don’t have to be slave to substance abuse.”

Published by Prison Impact Ministries, “Once Life Matters: A New Beginning” is part of the “70 x 7 Book Series” and is available at for a tax-deductible donation. It is also being distributed through the Library of Hope, Impact of Life Ministries, Prison Impact Ministries, the Coalition of Prison Evangelists, and the International Prison Ministry.

About Marty Angelo

Currently a full time independent prison evangelist based in the Los Angeles area, Marty Angelo has served in ministry with Chuck Colson's "Prison Fellowship Ministries," with "Teen Challenge of Southern California," with "Faith Farm Ministries," and with the Drug Abuse Foundation of Palm Beach County's Sheriff's "Drug Farm" boot camp program. For more information, please visit

Please direct all press inquiries to Anne Sharp at (818) 994-2309.


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