Helping and Enriching Lives Through Prison Ministry

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Do you want the good news first or the bad news?


Another quarter is in the books and I want to update everyone regarding God’s work in the prisons and with men that have been released. Do you want the good news first or the bad news?  Ok. The Good News first…

Last spring, I was contacted by the grandmother of a 19-year-old young man who was incarcerated at the Duval County Jail. She is a member of a congregation in Alabama and had been writing him since he was jailed.  She was trying to encourage him to study his Bible and seek out God.  Taylor and I began writing and I answered many questions he had about what he had read in scripture and what he was hearing from others in jail.

After several months of studying through the mail, he expressed his desire to die with Christ. At that time, he thought he would serve very little if any time in prison.  I attended his sentencing hearing a few months later and he was given a sixteen-year sentence for DUI Manslaughter.  It was a shock to him and his family, but his faith stayed

steady, and a few weeks ago I traveled to a prison in the panhandle and baptized him into Christ. He will be in prison for about another thirteen years.  Please pray for Taylor’s growth and safety.

I have written about Rodney before. Rodney successfully completed our transition program and then returned to Michigan to take responsibility for charges that occurred before he came to prison in Florida.  Rodney came back in March and then a couple of months later was able to bring two of his daughters, Alycia – 19, Alona – 14, and a grandson, Karter – 2, down from Michigan.  They were in a bad living situation there with their mother.  They all faithfully attend services with Rodney, and Alycia has especially shown interest in spiritual things.  Please pray for Rodney and his family.

There are currently five men in the transition program. They are Robert – 17 months out, Ken – 7 months out, Tony – 6 months out, Daniel and Keith – almost 3 months out.  All five men are doing very well.  They range in age from 29 to 58, one time in prison to nine times. They all have good jobs and are being faithful servants to others.  Robert has even preached some and taught class at Middleburg in the last several months. Please pray for the continued success of these men as they face the trials of their new life.

Bad News

Joe was the main reason we started our first Bible study at RMC Main in 2005. He grew up up “in the pews” and the first time I met him asked if we could teach a class in the permanent dorm there.  He said there weren’t any real Bible studies being offered to them.  We were granted permission and out of that study over 15 men became Christians and several of them like Berk Thompson and Victor Lopez, are still faithful today many years after release.  Joe never came to our program after release, but he did stay in touch with me and other men that were in our program.  He often attended worship services with us at Middleburg for a few years after he was out.  He even worked with the lawn service that we owned then.  The last few years I rarely heard from Joe.  Many of us were stunned to hear on the news a few weeks ago that he had confessed to murdering awoman that he had been living with.  He is awaiting sentencing now.

Daniel left our transition program the summer of 2015 after being with us for over two years. As far as I know, Daniel never followed God faithfully after he left, and I had not heard from him in over two years.  Last month we found out that Daniel had drowned at a beach near Jacksonville.

This seems pretty trivial after the last two paragraphs, but two of the cars we provide for the men to drive to and from work blew engines in the last several months. It really should have been no surprise, one had over 300,000 miles and the other had over 250,000 miles.  We decided to replace the engines on both cars because we had already spent a good deal of money replacing the transmissions on them.  We will have spent over $6,000 to get them back on the road.  The men pay a weekly fee to use the cars, but that generally only covers insurance and routine maintenance.  Having cars for the men is essential to our program because of the very limited public transportation available in our area.

I can’t say enough to thank everyone for the support you continue to give my work. So many of you pray regularly for us, send kind notes, financial gifts and many other acts of kindness to me and these men.  We look forward to closing the year with two more men coming next month.   Thank you.

Daryl Townsend