Inside Story: A Chaplain’s Perspective

by Chaplain Sterling Averett, Dodge State Prison, Chester, GA

I’ve been serving at Dodge State Prison for 28 years, eight as a volunteer and twenty as Chaplain. I’ve seen many wonderful ministries come through our gates, but one of the most solidly consistent groups is The Saints Prison Ministry softball team. The Saints have been making their annual trek to Dodge for the last seven years, and the men here always look forward to their arrival. The Saints are like Chick-Fil-A – they do one thing, and they do that one thing really well. They bring the heat, then they bring the light. They attract the men with a highly competitive softball game. Then they present the gospel, using personal testimony and a short, strong biblical message to shine the light of Jesus from baseline to bleachers. I am a pastor/teacher by calling, so I really appreciate the evangelistic thrust of The Saints. A lot of guys who won’t come to a church service will gladly come out for a good softball game, and some of them will even slip up and get saved if they’re not careful! Respect is a big thing for men in general, but especially in the chain gang. And by playing a tough, competitive game of softball, The Saints win the men’s respect and earn the right to be heard by those who might normally turn a deaf ear to a gospel presentation. Then it’s up to the Holy Spirit, and He always moves in the hearts of the men as The Saints move among the crowd – passing out literature, praying, encouraging, and drawing in the net so that none are lost. Plus, not to be forgotten is the simple follow-up of a handwritten birthday card sent each year to any inmate who asks. The kindness of such a simple, yet profound, act is not lost on men who appreciate cards and letters more than you’d imagine. Put simply, The Saints do good, and they do it well. If you can help them out with prayers, encouragement or even a little piece of change, be assured that anything you can sow is going into good ground, helping The Saints as they’re “bringing in the sheaves.”

Announcements

Thank you for your patience and prayers, especially this year. We are deeply saddened to announce that the 2020 NE Softball season is officially canceled.

We worked most recently to reschedule the NE softball season into a compressed 6 week fall blitz but, despite our best efforts, there is no one willing to commit to rescheduling any longer and they aren’t even discussing fall options for any sport at this time.  Know that we did not make this decision lightly, however this is clearly the direction the Lord is leading for this year.

The August KY crusade is also now officially cancelled.

Our crusade to Georgia in September is still on at this time, and we are in constant contact with the state keeping up-to-date with any changes that are happening and are hopeful the DOC will open soon.

Hot Topics

Southeast Golf Classic
August 24, 2020 at the Fairways of Canton Golf Club

Northeast Golf Classic
September 21, 2020 at Merchantville Country Club

Visit our events page for details!