It has been a very busy and interesting couple months at St. Clair Correctional. In the beginning of October, we were given a new State Chaplain. Chaplain Mark Michael came to us from Bullock Correctional where he was serving as a Correctional Officer. Chaplain Michael is a pastor of a church near Union Springs, Alabama and also an author of 5 books. Along with a leadership change there is always other changes as the new Chaplain seeks to put in place his vision for the chapel. As these changes take place there has definitely been some tension and uncertainty, thankfully things are starting to come together and calm down. Pray for Chaplain Michael and myself as we seek to work together to lead the church and advance the kingdom of God at St. Clair Correctional.
I want to thank all those who spend time praying for St. Clair, God has opened several doors these last several months that had been closed for some time. On Friday, November 7 for the first time ever, we held a worship service in segregation. We held a service in each segregation cell block, singing and preaching the Word, while the men watched on through the windows of locked doors. Some opposed the message but many were thrilled to be able to participate in a worship service. Then on Friday, November 14 for the first time, we went into each cell block in general population and had a call to prayer. Men laid down what they were doing and came out of their cells and held hands in prayer. In the last few years these doors had been closed, due to the rise of violence in these cell blocks, but praise God they have been opened again! Thank you for praying! We also have begun a weekly prayer meeting in the chapel on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday nights from 3:30-4:30, where men from the body of Christ come together in the Chapel to lift up prayer needs, those who are lost, and the security of the facility. This prayer meeting has attracted about 25 men who come out every time.
As the Christmas season is upon us, we are in the middle of preparing Christmas packages for all 1358 men at St. Clair Correctional. The holiday season is always the hardest time of year for these men and for many it brings back old memories that bring a lot of hurt. So to reach out to these men each year we raise money to purchase Christmas hygiene packages for each one. Yes, hygiene products are normally not what we would expect for Christmas, but for these men it is a blessing, as many are depraved from proper hygiene throughout the year. We also purchase each year Christmas cards and distribute five cards to each man to send to his family for Christmas. Please pray for those who are incarcerated and may God bless you and your family this Christmas.
Thank you to all who have so faithfully partnered with us this last year through prayer and finances. You are an important part of our ministry and we are blessed and forever grateful! I pray we will continue to partner together for years to come in order that God’s Name would be glorified inside of St. Clair Correctional.
Without God, your prayers, and monthly financial support this ministry would not be possible