Jump directly to the Content

Making Ministers of Inmates

Unlocking the potential of the church within Angola prison.

If I told you there was a place where the church was growing dramatically—conversions followed by baptisms and discipleship, red-hot leadership development, and measurable improvements in the well-being of the surrounding community—and it was in North America, not Africa or Asia, you might not believe me.

If I told you it was happening in the nation's largest maximum security prison, Louisiana State Penitentiary, you wouldn't believe me. Given the prison's sordid history, which has inspired books and movies, including Dead Man Walking (1995) and The Green Mile (1999), it is indeed an unlikely story.

"It's truly a God thing," said Norris Grubbs, senior associate dean of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary (NOBTS), which has administered a seminary training program inside Louisiana's penitentiary, known as Angola, since 1995. With an inmate population of some 5,200, 85 percent of whom are violent offenders, Angola is the nation's largest, and historically most notorious, prison. ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe to Christianity Today magazine. Subscribers have full digital access to CT Pastors articles.

Homepage Subscription Panel

Read These Next

Related
No Church Is Perfect
No Church Is Perfect
From the Magazine
When Violent Nationalism Backfired for God’s People
When Violent Nationalism Backfired for God’s People
Jesus saw the disastrous end of faith-fueled zealotry and warned against it.
Editor's Pick
Read Your Bible Through a Kaleidoscope
Read Your Bible Through a Kaleidoscope
Multicolored scholarship expands biblical interpretation beyond traditional Eurocentric perspectives.
close