Behind prison walls are men and women who have made bad choices.
2008 marked the starting point for Hartland’s prison ministry, spearheaded by Johny Carmouche and Brian Beavers. Now, five years later, this outreach has become a wonderful ministry that continues to grow. Not only have the inmates been blessed, but also those that volunteer their time to conduct these services. At first, students were hesitant about signing up for this outreach; but after a few ventured to join, they gave very positive reports to the others and the team began to grow. Now it is the most popular outreach for the Pastoral Evangelism majors, and has spread outside Hartland’s grounds to include volunteers from several area churches.
We are now conducting four weekly programs. Three take place at the Coffeewood Correctional Center, and one at the Culpeper Juvenile Correctional Center—Virginia’s only maximum security juvenile facility. Brian and Johny both have been granted a statewide volunteer status with the Virginia Department of Corrections, and are now helping to get similar services started at other prisons. In 2012, they visited the Green Rock Correctional Center near Danville. A weekly Seventh-day Adventist service is now being conducted there by Pastor Danny Milton of the Alleghany West Conference. In March 2013 Johny and Brian began meeting with 60 inmates at Buckingham Correctional Center in south central VA. After an initial meeting with the chaplain at Augusta Correctional Center near Staunton, to expedite the approval process for local volunteers, Johny and Brian conducted their first meeting there in April 2013 with a standing room only group of 77 inmates. God has opened doors also for weekly meetings at the Fluvanna Women’s Facility. Since Johny and Brian are the only two in the prison ministry group with statewide clearance, we are praying for local volunteers to help in all these locations.
Behind prison walls are men and women who have made bad choices. Whether by greed, a lack of self-control, or unwise associations, they are suddenly facing the consequences of their actions. Many feel deep regret, and desire to make changes in their lives, but they don’t know how.
On February 22, 2013, four men were baptized at Coffeewood, who are firmly grounded in the truth and committed to share their faith in the prison system or wherever the Lord sends them. Praise be to God!
There are 38 prisons in the Commonwealth of Virginia, housing 30,000 inmates, and similar numbers in other states across America. You can write to inmates without giving your name and address, or you can volunteer to minister within these mission fields giving Bible studies and leading religious services. No matter where you live, there is a need you can fill! Ask the Lord if He would have you minister to these lost children of God. They are not so different from the rest of us, for we all need a Savior.
Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or interest in prison ministry outreach. We will be glad to talk with you.