The real test of prison ministry is the success of its re-entry programs. It’s having ex-inmates becoming productive citizens. In an effort to bring those successes forward, Alaska Correctional Ministries is transitioning one of their Chaplains, Scott Thompson serving at Goose Creek Correctional Center into a new Community Chaplain position. As Scott explains, this position will allow him to work within Goose Creek for half his time, then in the community in re-entry ministry with pastors, community leaders and ex-inmates the rest of the time. This is an incredible opportunity for discipleship and counseling, helping men re-enter society as a productive member of the community.
ACM sees this as a very important part of chaplaincy that will help reduce the number of men returning to prison. One of the opportunities now present for future success is a relationship with God Behind Bars. GBB, a church service specific to prisoner’s mindset is telecast weekly from a church in Nevada. The Gospel in the form of ex-offender testimonies, gospel preaching, amazing worship, and of course prayer is available online and played on a huge screen at Goose Creek Correctional Center. It’s also shown at Hiland Mountain, Ketchikan and Seward. Other Alaska correctional centers like Palmer and Lemon Creek in Juneau will be anticipating regular showings in 2015. Acting as Program Director for GBB Alaska, Chaplain Scott and his wife Kelly work on recruiting and scheduling volunteers for the services while coordinating the delivery of the video services to all these facilities.
The work and vision doesn’t stop there. A large focus is growing the volunteer team while working with the Department of Corrections, local churches and organizations. In fact, plans for a prison Bible school are in the works using The Urban Ministry Institute or TUMI training! As you reflect on this news, consider partnering through prayer to join with others moving God’s hand to reach these captives. You may also sense God leading you to partner financially, or as a volunteer. More information can be gained by contacting Alaska Correctional Ministries at firstname.lastname@example.org, or 907-339-0432. Or you may contact Chaplain Scott or Kelly personally at email@example.com. Remember, the real test of prison ministry is the success of its re-entry programs, and the success of re-entry comes from hearts changed by Jesus Christ!