By Thaddeus M. Baklinski

OAKLAND, California, April 14, 2009 ( – Oakland pastor Rev. Walter Hoye, who was sent to jail on March 23 for peacefully counseling and picketing at a local abortion facility and was released after serving 18 days of his 30-day sentence, has issued a statement thanking everyone who prayed for him while he was incarcerated. The pastor also said that he will return to sidewalk counseling at the abortuary as soon as he regains his health, which suffered during his imprisonment.

“Yes, Jesus Christ Is Risen! And yes, as I sit here writing to you as a free man, I can testify Jesus Christ has surely risen in me,” Rev. Hoye wrote.

“From the bottom of my heart please know that my wife (Lori) and I are eternally grateful to everyone.

“Lori and I owe a debt of love to everyone for such an overwhelming out pouring of love, prayer and support.

“Please know that while I was incarcerated my health suffered and I have promised my wife to take some time off to heal.”

In answer to inquiries about his intention to continue his pro-life witness at the abortion facility where he was arrested for offering information about abortion alternatives, he stated, “Will I return to sidewalk counseling? In a word, yes. Like General Douglas MacArthur … ‘I shall return!’

“I am looking at returning on the National Day of Prayer (NDP), Thursday, May 7th, 2009”

In his thank you note Rev. Hoye also recounts that most of his time in jail was spent in teaching and preaching the Gospel, praying with and ministering to his fellow inmates.

He relates that his faith was tested and that he “allowed the sin of self-centeredness and the agony of self-doubt to threaten my faith in God. I was tempted to believe that God had forsaken me.” But he states that he also learned that “God’s will is “not hidden” somewhere in my circumstances but that my circumstances themselves are the Will of God,” and said that the answer was “to accept my circumstances as divinely inspired and to unconditionally trust God with the reins of my life.”

In conclusion, Rev. Hoye shares that, “Second only to Jesus Christ my Lord and Saviour, my wife (Lori) is my greatest blessing.  While I was behind bars Lori was ‘doing time’ as well.  She visited me every day she could and slept every night in my thick blue sweatshirt to remind her of my presence.  While I was in jail, Lori continued to be the very definition of a helpmeet. She worked long hours meeting the demands of our ministry to the unborn child while maintaining the viability of our household.”

Link to Rev. Walter Hoye’s information blog:

See previous coverage:

Pastor Jailed for Pro-Life Witness Gets Early Release

Pastor Jailed for Pro-Life Witness Writes Letter from Prison to “Men of the Cloth”