Washington, DC—The Prison Fellowship Board of Directors today named Heather Rice-Minus as the next president and CEO of the ministry, effective July 1, 2024. The board of directors initiated a selection process in 2022. This followed James J. Ackerman, the current president and CEO, advising the board he believed it was an opportune time to transition to new leadership, as the ministry had developed a healthy culture, financial strength and clear strategic vision. He recommended that the board consider Heather Rice-Minus as a potential candidate.
"The board of directors is excited to have unanimously selected Heather Rice-Minus as the next leader of Prison Fellowship. 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," shared Carl Dill, board chairman for Prison Fellowship. "The board is grateful for James Ackerman's prayerful consideration as he felt called to pass the baton to a new leader. The guidance and support he has already given to Heather is invaluable to our ministry and future. We thank James for his wisdom and visionary leadership of the ministry these last six years."
As the current executive vice president of strategic initiatives, Heather Rice-Minus has led Prison Fellowship teams in building key partnerships with churches, strengthening relationships between incarcerated parents and their children and fostering partnerships with individual donors, corporations, and foundations invested in Prison Fellowship’s vision and mission. She has also been a key advocate on criminal justice issues, often meeting leaders on Capitol Hill to create a better criminal justice system. Rice-Minus first joined the staff of Prison Fellowship in 2013.
"I am deeply humbled to be entrusted to lead Prison Fellowship into its next season of ministry, effecting restorative culture change for individuals, families, and communities impacted by incarceration. I especially thank James for his gracious mentorship and direction as we look to forge ahead in our shared mission. For 10 years, I've awakened excited to go to work because I work for an organization that can make a real impact on this complex issue," said Heather Rice-Minus, incoming president and CEO of Prison Fellowship. "I'm excited to lead Prison Fellowship into the next era, seeking deeper impact and a wider footprint nationwide. I’m excited about several opportunities, particularly mobilizing the local church in prison ministry, more holistically addressing the needs of children and families we serve, enhancing our expertise in corrections research and assessments, and honing Prison Fellowship's voice for justice, which will lead to increasing engagement among younger generations of Christians."
"I fully believe that tomorrow's leaders are sitting in prison cells today–and I believe we will see revival in the Church in America. Christians 'outside' have so much to learn from the unabashed worship and humility displayed by our brothers and sisters in Christ behind bars. Their experience has forced a desperate longing for the Lord's presence and a more intimate appreciation for His grace than most of us will ever know," continued Rice-Minus. “Our work is about bringing the values of the Gospel to the public square, so we can also redeem structures of injustice. It's a tremendous honor to steward this work into the future."
About Prison Fellowship
Prison Fellowship is the nation's largest outreach to prisoners, former prisoners, and their families, and a leading voice for criminal justice reform. With more than 46 years of experience helping restore men and women behind bars, Prison Fellowship advocates for federal and state criminal justice reforms that transform those responsible for crime, validate victims, and encourage communities to play a role in creating a safe, redemptive, and just society.
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