Here's how the model works:
The inmates are the members by their participation. Although inmates give very generously from their meager ($2-$3 per day) earnings, they could not possibly support a pastor's salary, mileage, and office expenses. Therefore, congregations surrounding the institution(s) being served support this ministry through their individual gifts, congregational giving, and/or placing the ministry on their annual budgets. In addition, these supporters are invited to visit the worship services of the prison congregation. They come as more than just a visitor - they are a witness to the inmates that there are people on the outside who care about the inmates enough to take the time to join them in worship and partnership in the ministry of Christ.
Leaders in Corrections today are seeking these connections between inmates and outside people, so this ministry is welcomed by correctional facilities as a very positive means of making this connection.
Today, Ed Nesselhuf is the Executive Director of Prison Congregations of America, Inc. in Vermillion, South Dakota. You can learn more about PCoA by clicking on the link below.
Go to web page of Prison Congregations
E-Mail Pastor Ed Nesselhuf, Executive Director
Go to web page of The Community of St. Dysmas, Jessup, Maryland
Go to web page of St. Dysmas of South Dakota
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