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

WAY TO GO JIM

We are excited to share that our own James Jefferson, a 17-year veteran of the NJ Softball team, was recently recognized for his outstanding service to the community.  JJ was awarded the President’s Game Changer Award by the Gloucester County NAACP, the highest award presented at the annual Game Changers gala!  Congratulations, JJ – we’re glad others recognize what we already know about you; God is working through you to change lives, inside or outside prison walls!

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KINGDOM KARS PROGRAM
Did you know that your old vehicle can help us?

You can make a lasting impact on an inmate’s life by donating your used car to The Saints Prison Ministry. It doesn’t matter how old it is, what shape it is in, or even if it runs – we want your car!

For more information, email us at [email protected]