“IN HIS OWN WAY” — Army Veteran and Port Arthur Police Officer pens book on pathway to Christ

Published 12:22 am Wednesday, August 9, 2023

T.J. Gipson Jr. was on a dirt road in Bosnia in 1996 while serving in the U.S. Army when he first heard God speak to him.

Though he had an immediate response, he soon failed in his commitment. But the presence of God revisited him and detailed why he exists and of his purpose, Gipson shared.

“I think there’s still things that I’m conscious of in my life but I’m still trying to get right with others,” he said.

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A Port Arthur Police Officer, Gipson didn’t grow up in the church and was a bad kid. In his spiritual journey he found people he had wronged and the purpose of that was to seek a measure of forgiveness.

Gipson recently penned “In His Own Way,” a paperback book on the risen Jesus, and God the father operating in the Holy Spirit through everyone’s daily lives.

The intent of the book is to make the road straight for the coming King, which is Jesus. This is based on historical record where people would go ahead of the king and fill potholes and roads to make the road easier for the king.

This, he said, is the analogy he uses as far as when crisis comes.

“This is just a collection of how God through His Holy Spirit moves in different lives. People will glean something different from it — it’s just a broad idea because of what I’ve come to understand is our attitude of how time exists, is simply the paint strokes of our mind.”

Port Arthur native Rebecca Shepherd reads a copy of In His Own Way. (Courtesy photo)

The idea for the book

The book was inspired from an exchange of daily inspirational messages between Gipson and Sergeant Toby Paul. In actuality Gipson has written 23, 300-page journals from his own private library, he said.

Gipson is a member of Interdenomination of Faith Church, which is a Bible-centered church in Leesville, Louisiana. The church is headed up by the Rev. Josephine Urquhart.

He is also a part of International Volunteer HQ, which allows people to travel abroad and volunteer their services. Gipson teaches when he is abroad with IVHQ. He was actually supposed to be in the Congo earlier this year but injured his injured shoulder during an altercation. He underwent treatment in April and is recovering.

Officer Rickey Antoine is familiar with Gipson and his faith.

“From the very first meeting, he confessed his faith in Jesus the Christ as his Lord and Savior. What a comfort it is to be able to approach a police officer and instead of being ostracized you are able to share faith and get comfort from God’s word,” Antoine said.

Antoine said Gipson has always been close friends and confidants since 2001 and that hasn’t wavered.

“It’s no surprise to me that Gipson wrote a book because as I know him. He was always writing. I love his first published book and he surely did it ‘In his own way,’” Antoine said. “I’m very proud of my brother/friend/co worker.”

Rebecca Shepherd, Port Arthur native and process operator at Motiva, reads a copy of In His Own Way. (Courtesy photo)

The teachings

Gipson feels people have gotten away from teaching of the risen King because he’s alive and active.

“To watch certain things is interesting to me, is more of a learning experience for me, because when people say, I’m a Christian, I really try to stay away from that word because it has a full meaning to it,” he said. “I’m a follower because I’m learning, I follow Christ.”

And today’s society faces a falling away from faith in God, he said.

“Just as the Apostle Paul traveled from Athens to Corinth. Paul had to figure out how to deal with those intellectuals, the thinkers, any their many idols and gods. Paul simply presented Jesus Christ the person and the resurrection. It is the living Jesus they did not know. In Corinth they had gone back into their own way of doing things,” he said. “If we even, as I see it today, preach the cross without the understanding of Jesus being raised from the dead by God. Then there is no salvation.”

Gipson said in growing up on 11th Street he witnessed many things just as he does today as an Army veteran and police officer, and more importantly as a father not only his own son, Joseph, but to other young men as well.

He noted a number of people who played a part in his journey, some of which include Dr. Mark Porterie, Rev. Randy Vaughn, Bishop Calvin L. Jones, Rev. Richard Nash and Randy Clark with Triumph Church.

Gipson said he hopes his book of short accounts detailing the Holy Spirit working in our daily lives inspires the community to make changes in their own homes. He noted his spiritual leader Dennis Jackson and Chief Tim Duriso are two examples of community leadership.

In His Own Way can be purchased anywhere books are sold. His email is lovesomeone758@gmail.com.