In 1974, Chuck Colson, a top aide to President Nixon, entered a plea of guilty to Watergate-related charges. Although not implicated in the Watergate burglary, he voluntarily pled guilty to obstruction of justice. As a new Christian, he served seven months in Alabama’s Maxwell Prison.
In his best-selling memoir, Born Again, Chuck wrote, “I found myself increasingly drawn to the idea that God had put me in prison for a purpose and that I should do something for those I had left behind.”
Devoting the rest of his life to prison ministry wasn’t what Chuck expected to do when he got out of prison, but God had other plans. In 1976 he founded Prison Fellowship, which has grown into the world’s largest outreach to prisoners, ex-prisoners, and their families.
Before he went to be with the Lord a couple years ago, Chuck shared a story from one of his visits to a prison that captures the passion behind Prison Fellowship as nothing else can:
“It’s hard for me to get through ‘Amazing Grace’ without shedding a tear or two—and especially in prison, because it’s the prisoner’s national anthem. I’ve never been in a prison and sung that song, and haven’t seen eyes glistening in the light.
“It’s so meaningful, that ‘once was lost,’ because they’re lost in that prison. And we were holding hands singing that, and all I could think of was what God has done, and how He has given us the privilege for 35 years of singing that song inside prisons all over the world.
“My mind just kept flashing over the sovereignty of God, because I didn’t do this, I never strategized this, it wasn’t part of my game plan when I got out of prison. And yet, God ordered my steps every moment, day by day.”
God continues to order the steps of this ministry every day as staff and volunteers share the Good News of God’s grace with prisoners and bring hope to their families.
Will you join us in this mission of hope and healing? Visit prisonfellowship.org to learn how you can help.