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Brothers in white at Alabama prison

Blogging live from Harvest, Ala.
“All of y’all are going to be wearing white one day, too. We just got a jump-start.”

Chaplain Charles Baggett visits with inmate Jackie, who is active in prison ministry, at the Limestone Correctional Facility in Harvest, Ala. (Photo by Bobby Ross Jr.)

So joked Rodney C., a brother in Christ and an inmate at the Limestone Correctional Facility, a medium-security Alabama prison.
He was referring to the white prison garb with “ALABAMA DEPT OF CORRECTIONS” in bold black letters that identifies Limestone’s 2,400 inmates.
I’m in the Huntsville area to cover the 37th National Jail and Prison Workshop, which starts tonight at the Madison Church of Christ.
This morning, Charles Baggett, a member of the Beltline Church of Christ in Decatur, welcomed me to the Limestone prison, where he serves as chaplain.
I toured the faith-based honor dorm and visited with a group of inmates — most serving lengthy sentences for violent crimes — about the new life they found in Jesus Christ.

Fences topped with razor wire separate Limestone inmates from the free world. (Photo by Bobby Ross Jr.)

Before I left the prison, I witnessed the baptism of an inmate named Anthony — the 141st soul immersed into Christ at Limestone so far this year.
My thanks go to volunteer chaplain Sam Drake, a Madison church member, for picking me up bright and early and giving me a ride to the prison. I enjoyed lunch with Sam, Charles and volunteer chaplain Bill Edwards, one of the workshop’s lead organizer.
Look for my story on prison ministry in an upcoming issue of The Christian Chronicle .
Below are a few more pictures from my visit to Limestone.

Chaplain James E. Williams, prison minister of the Northwest Church of Christ in Huntsville, Ala., prepares to baptize inmate Anthony this morning. (Photo by Bobby Ross Jr.)

Inmates play basketball at Limestone Correctional Facility. (Photo by Bobby Ross Jr.)

Honor, respect and integrity are emphasized in the faith-based honor dorm. (Photo by Bobby Ross Jr.)

Inmates lift weights at the Limestone Correctional Facility. (Photo by Bobby Ross Jr.)

Inmate Rodney C., in the prison chapel at the Limestone Correctional Facility. (Photo by Bobby Ross Jr.)

  • Feedback
    My brother (and elder) Kenny is in Alabama with a group of men from our congregation/Conroe Church of Christ/TX. I’ll tell them to look you up and say hello. Great Ministry!
    Cathy Messecar
    June, 10 2010

    thanks for the report, I was wondering if brother Williams was still involved in that ministry, not surprised he’s still there
    June, 11 2010

    Thanks for the blog, Bobby. Enjoyed having lunch with you on Wednesday. Look forward to the rest of the story.The faith based honor dorm at Limestone Correctional Facility is sponsored by the Madison Church of Christ.
    Bill Edwards
    June, 12 2010

    Thanks so much for these photos of the Honor Dorm and some of the wonderful Christians I have met from there. It is one of the most rewarding ministries I’ve ever been blessed to be a small part of.
    June, 12 2010

    Dear Bobby and Christian Chonicle staff,
    Thank you very much for sharing the story of the Limestone prison Honor Dorm.
    The Madison Church of Christ has many heroes (to the prisoners) working in this program.
    H M Motsinger
    H M Motsinger
    June, 12 2010

    Thanks for the great coverage of prison ministry at Limestone C. F., Alabama’s largest prison which involves at least seven north Alabama congregations of the church! The Limestone ministry is a model for all of us serving men behind bars. I, too, look forward to your coverage of the National Jail/Prison Ministry Workshop. Prison ministry offers a great opportunity to reach the lost.
    Ray Cox
    June, 13 2010

    Thank you for this article and the one to follow on the workshop. Just returned and it was wonderful to see 325 brethren doing the same thing I do from 16 states discussing such a needed work. But brethren from western states such as Calif, Wash, Montana, Colorado, etc were visibly missing. Please make every effort to encourage all workers in county jails and state/federal prisons to make plans to attend these workshops which are held annually in June.
    White fields of harvest are found in each jail/prison. The Airport Road congregation baptized 42 during 2009 and sent out 11,000+ Bible Correspondence lessons. Florida ranks just behind Calif & Texas reporting 101,000 inmates in the 62 state prisons located in almost every county. With county jails also full of offenders there is ample work for those willing to go to work. It is our prayer each facility would have a worker in each of these facilities and it is a real opportunity to reach the lost at the bottom of life’s barrel. Many have no where to go but to look up to the Son and we are those who have the truth they need so desperately. Denominational workers are already there and Alabama is blessed to have Chaplain Baggett at their largest facility as Florida does not have one Chaplain who is a member of the church. Please keep this work in front of the church’s eyes and may God bless your work.
    Tom Dugan
    June, 14 2010

    We really enjoyed this years 37th annualJail & Prison seminar. It was one of the best so far! We, Ladies also enjoyed all of our sessions for “Ladies only”. Our rooms were so packed, that we had to move to a larger room. Thanks to the Madison Church of Christ for doing such a fantastic job with everything, and were all so friendly and very helpful at all times. Can’t wait for 2011!
    June, 14 2010

    Thanks so much for doing the special on Limestone. I have worked with Chaplain Baggett for many years and know of no one who is more dedicated to teaching behind bars. I appreciate the good work done by the Christian Chronicle. God bless!
    Nell Reagin
    June, 17 2010

    I am thankful that the states have not figured out the difference between church and state when it comes to religion in the prisons. Praise God for the new saints and I pray that the good work continues. Praise God!
    robert brooks
    June, 17 2010

    So good to read about the prison ministry ! The grounds for the prison was purchased from my best girlfriends parents.the Wales Farm in Harvest Al.Also MADISON C O C WAS MY HOME CHURCH.ALL YOUR ARTICLES VERY INTERESTING !THANK YOU SO MUCH ! GOD BLESS YOUR EVERY
    Evelyn Underwood
    June, 25 2010

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