At the end of last year, when I shared the news that I will step down as CEO in June 2024, I received so many kind messages from Prison Fellowship friends and supporters. Thank you!
It encourages me more than I can express to know that many people have been praying for me and this ministry as we have sought God’s will for our future leadership.
In this week’s message, I have an exciting announcement about how God has been at work in answer to your prayers.
After I told our board of directors about my plans to step down, the board led the process to name my successor. I knew the Lord had brought me to Prison Fellowship to help the ministry navigate a period of transition and challenge, but I was convinced that our next leader would be the one to truly carry Chuck Colson’s vision into a new era.
That responsibility would take a one-of-a-kind candidate.
At my recommendation, the board agreed to consider Heather Rice-Minus, a highly qualified, long-serving member of Prison Fellowship’s senior leadership team. Recognizing her unique skill set and great potential for leadership, Board Chairman Carl Dill and I have been mentoring Heather in recent years.
The members of the board interviewed Heather extensively and considered her qualifications and vision. They steeped their careful deliberations in prayer over the course of several months.
It is my joy to share with you they announced this morning that Heather Rice-Minus is the candidate uniquely suited to help realize Chuck Colson’s original vision in a new era of ministry. She will take up the role of Prison Fellowship president and chief executive officer on July 1, 2024.
Carl summed up the board’s excitement about this decision well. He shares, “Heather is uniquely positioned to move the ministry into its next era of transforming lives and redeeming broken systems, both behind bars and in the community. She brings a profound heart for those in prison, as well as their families. She has led a robust advocacy program and has significant experience in fundraising. We look forward to working with Heather to ensure a smooth transition.”
I couldn’t agree with the board more. Heather has all the attributes necessary to lead this vital ministry. She has a deep spiritual life and is sensitive to the guidance of the Holy Spirit. She will ensure that we remain true to our original calling as a ministry while responding boldly to today’s opportunities and challenges. God has gifted Heather with natural leadership qualities. She knows how to cast vision and lead teams, and she has already earned the esteem of our staff and partners through her integrity, capability, passion, and work ethic.
The Lord brought me to Prison Fellowship for a season, but it’s Heather who will truly guide the ministry into its post-founder era, a future of greater effectiveness and more holistic ministry, awakening the Church to its calling and equipping men and women to emerge from prison as tomorrow’s leaders.
As Heather prepares to step into her new role in 18 months, I will walk closely with her to ensure a seamless continuation of the ministry’s important work. Heather will also meet regularly with Carl and other board members during the transition, benefiting from their coaching and insights as she shapes her long-term vision for the ministry as a first-time CEO.
During this time, you’ll continue to hear regularly from me—and directly from Heather—about plans for even greater ministry that restores people in prisons and their families through the love and truth of Christ. Exciting things are on the horizon that you won’t want to miss.
Above all, will you join me in praying that the Lord will prepare Heather and her family as they follow His calling? Thank you for walking with us on this journey. You are an important part of Prison Fellowship, and I am deeply grateful for your continued support.
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