Robyn, an inmate participating in Prison Fellowship's Prisoners to Pastors program, has begun a prayer movement at her prison in California.
John Sims is an inmate at the California Men’s Colony in San Luis Obispo County, serving a 23-year sentence for first-degree burglary. During his time in the medium security facility, Sims has struggled with depression and hopelessness at the thought of the long years still to be served there.
I couldn’t believe my ears.
I was at a prison where the warden was giving several other wardens and me a tour of the grounds. We met his staff and then sat down with about two dozen prisoners enrolled in Prisoners to Pastors, a seminary-level training program that prepares Jesus-following inmates to be leaders behind bars and when they return to the community.
Change is never easy, but it’s the difference between despair and hope for a prisoner’s family. Hear about a young man whose involvement in a Prison Fellowship program made him determined to come home as the father his children need!
There seemed to be nothing good about the imprisonment of the biblical character Joseph. For years, he languished in Pharaoh’s dungeon, seemingly with no hope or purpose for his life. But God had not forgotten Joseph. He used those years of captivity to humble him and build up his character, and when the time was right, God called him to lead.
Daniel is enrolled in the Prisoners to Pastors program (also known as The Urban Ministry Institute) at his prison. That means he is a committed, engaged follower of Jesus. He spends hours every week in the classroom, going through rigorous, seminary-level classes.
A version of the following article originally appeared on the website of the Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview. To learn more about the work and the mission of the Colson Center, visit their website at www.colsoncenter.org.
“The kingdom of heaven is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three pecks of flour until it was all leavened.”
South Bay, Fla.—A lot had happened in the last 24 months. There had been miracles, hard times, challenges, and growth. As 36 students in the Prisoners to Pastors program – along with 14 men completing the faith-based pre-release program – prepared to graduate, they sat under a handmade banner that read, “The road is paved.”
Prison Fellowship is pleased to announce the expansion of its “Prisoners to Pastors” program to the Cristina Melton Crain Prison in Gatesville, Texas. Forty inmates will be participating in the program, which provides seminary-level education and training in prisons.
Facilitated by Prison Fellowship volunteers and in cooperation with The Urban Ministry Institute (TUMI) of World Impact, the Prisoners to Pastors program offers former lawbreakers the chance to become leaders of the Church behind bars and after they return to the community.
At a graduation ceremony for students completing Prison Fellowship’s four-year Prisoners to Pastors program, a tearful dad confessed to me, “I thought my son would never complete anything but a prison sentence!”
We were at South Bay Correctional Institution in Florida.