Michael Franzese, former member of the Colombo crime family in New York, delivered Liberty University’s convocation message Monday in the Vines Center.
Franzese became a sworn, made member of the mob at the age of 24 and soon became the target of state, local and federal organized crime task forces as one of the biggest money earners for organized crime since Al Capone. He was the heir-apparent to the Colombo family’s vast power.
One day, on the set of a movie he was producing, he met a woman named Camille Garcia. Garcia was a Christian and it was her influence on his life that eventually led him to quit the mob and become a Christian.
Franzese shared how for a long time he thought he didn’t need God, but God wanted him. “He knew how to get my attention and he knows how to get yours,” Franzese said. “When you drift, He’s gonna bring you back, no doubt about it. Once He’s got you, He will never let you go.”
In quitting the mob, Franzese was doing the unthinkable and almost guaranteeing his death. Instead, God has let him live and has given him an amazing testimony.
“When God has a plan and purpose for you in your life, there ain’t no Mob or anything else that’s gonna stand in the way,” he told students. “But remember this, all the glory and all the honor and all the praise for everything that we do in this life … all goes to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”