We first began to get involved with prison ministry through another church in our area. We were invited by them to come and join in their ministry and we made several trips together to the Walls Unit in Huntsville, Texas. Shortly after those first few trips, we were given an opportunity to start our own monthly ministry there and we’ve been doing so since 1991. It started out as a “men only” ministry but later on the ladies were allowed to come too.
For the “brothers in white” the opportunity to come and worship with us is a privilege, not a right. They have to be obeying the rules in the criminal justice system to be able to participate. For us, it has always been a blessing. You can imagine going somewhere to minister where it seems almost everyone is hungry for God’s word and ready to worship. I always feel like we are the ones getting the blessing.
Our ministry there involves a worship service. The unit has always had a group of men on the inside that lead in music, worship, and occasionally drama. They have some of the greatest talent you’ll ever hear or see anywhere. We lead in our own music, preaching, occasionally have testimonies, and then our men pray with the guys when they come forward.
Ministry inside the “Walls” has been one of the most evangelistically productive ministries we have. Almost every time we go, someone comes to know the Lord, and many times there are a number of guys that accept Christ. It has also been productive in other ways. We had a group of about seven or eight guys who had paid their debt to society that came and shared how their life was going after release. All of them were living for Christ and serving in their local church. We have one brother who is a member of our church now. We have another brother who is serving in another local church in our area. We’ve seen many men get released to go on and walk with Christ. We have a few that have been there with us since day one who are very faithful. We’re always seeing new faces too, brought in by those that know and love our ministry.
If you’d like to be a part of the “Walls” prison ministry. Please let us know. We’ll be glad to tell you how you can participate. It’s a great blessing.
Contact Brother Ray Payne for more information.