Preacher escapes jail time over missed jury duty

(WANE Photo)

BLACKFORD COUNTY, Ind. (WANE) – Ferrell Long found out Friday night he isn’t going to jail by order of a judge. That’s less than 24 hours before he was scheduled to start his day sentence. We introduced you to Long last month after he chose a day in jail over a $50 fine after not showing up for jury duty.

He’s thankful for the judge in this case, but also thankful to a higher judge.

Twenty-four hours ago 75-year-old Long was completing a sermon he planned to preach to the prisoners at the Blackford County Jail. His inspiration was Isaiah 1:18.

“Though your sins be of scarlet they shall be of snow,” Long recited the verse. “Though they be red they shall be white as wool.”

But Long didn’t get to preach that sermon during his scheduled 24 hours in jail because in the end he didn’t have to go.

“The judge had rescind the order that I do not have to go to jail, and I do not have to pay a $50 fine,” Long said.

Earlier this year Long had the choice of the two punishments after not showing up for jury duty. He told the judge his wife has been sick, and he had been traveling from Hartford City to Fort Wayne to take care of her and he just forgot. At the time forgetting wasn’t an excuse for the judge, but then Long’s circumstances were reconsidered.

“He decided that I did forget and he took my word for it,” Long said.

In the days leading up to Long’s sentence he was apprehensive, but the man of great faith said he was never afraid.

“I know that if God could take care of Daniel in the lion’s den, the three Hebrew children in the fiery furnace and David facing a giant I knew he could take care of me out here in Blackford County,” Long said.

But don’t get him wrong, he is relieved.

“I’m glad I’m not going to jail,”  he said.

The news keeps getting better for Long. He expects he can take his wife home next week.

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