For 40 years, Prison Fellowship® has been going into correctional facilities, sharing the good news of Jesus Christ with those behind bars, and offering the hope of true transformation. Through the use of Bible-based programming, and with the help of thousands of committed volunteers, lives are being changed, hope is being restored, and darkness is being replaced with the promise of a future.
Prison Fellowship had the joy of participating in The Colson Center’s annual Wilberforce Weekend conference on April 8-9 in Washington, D.C. We joined hundreds in honoring Chuck Colson as the recipient of the 2016 Wilberforce Award. We also celebrated the 40th anniversary of Prison Fellowship, founded by Chuck, and the 25th anniversary of BreakPoint, Chuck’s radio broadcast created to build and resource a movement of Christians committed to living and defending the Christian worldview.
By the time she turned 27, Mary Kay Beard had established herself as one of the most notorious criminals in the country. Along with her husband, Mary Kay was wanted in four states for a string of bank robberies and was the target of a mafia “hit” for double-crossing the mob on a diamond heist.
Every year after finishing his own prison sentence, Prison Fellowship founder Charles Colson returned behind bars for Easter services, sharing the good news of Jesus’ resurrection with incarcerated men and women. Rather than celebrating in more comfortable surroundings with people of means and influence, Colson opted to worship in crowded prison gymnasiums surrounded by orange jumpsuits and ever-watchful prison guards.
On 40th Anniversary, Org. Honors Founder’s Legacy with Five Awards for Those Who Champion Restoration and Reform
WASHINGTON, March 22, 2016—Prison Fellowship, the nation’s largest outreach to prisoners, former prisoners and their families, announced today the creation of the Charles Colson Hope Awards to recognize people who have faithfully and courageously worked to restore those affected by crime and incarceration.
A version of this story originally appeared on the BreakPoint website, and is reproduced here with permission.
In 2014, in an all-too-rare case of bipartisan cooperation, Congress created the Charles Colson Task Force on Federal Corrections to tackle what many have called a crisis in the federal prison system.
In the summer of 1974, Charles W. "Chuck" Colson, the former special prosecutor for President Richard Nixon, entered the gates of Maxwell Correctional Facility in Alabama. There he would serve seven months, having plead guilty to an obstruction of justice charge connected to the Watergate break-in and cover-up.