The Bible I Know, written by GPSF friend, Nina Cameron, is currently being distributed to prison seminary students and other inmates around the country. This study Bible is the perfect tool to help inmate ministers share the message of the Gospel in the unique prison environment.
“The Bible I Know takes you on a riveting journey through the Bible. You’ll be challenged to take a close personal look at its truths and answer the question, “Is the Bible for today?” This common sense and practical approach to studying the Bible will challenge and inspire you to dig deeply into the mysteries of its truths for yourself. You will be captivated by discovering amazing love stories, drama of wars, family feuds, floods, murder, and intrigue, as well as enjoy the inspiring poetry and psalms that feed your soul. Discover for yourself how the words of the Bible are Holy Spirit inspired. The Bible I Know invites you to know in a profoundly intimate way that your heavenly Father, loves you and has always loved you. He lovingly inspired men of old to pen His words and leave a written legacy for His children. In plain language The Bible I Know helps you understand where you came from, who you are, and where you’re going. ”
“Corrections officials faced with rising populations and shrinking budgets have increasingly welcomed “faith-based” providers offering services at no cost to help meet the needs of inmates. Drawing from three years of on-site research, this book utilizes survey analysis along with life-history interviews of inmates and staff to explore the history, purpose, and functioning of the Inmate Minister program at Louisiana State Penitentiary (aka “Angola”), America’s largest maximum-security prison. This book takes seriously attributions from inmates that faith is helpful for “surviving prison” and explores the implications of religious programming for an American corrections system in crisis, featuring high recidivism, dehumanizing violence, and often draconian punishments.
A first-of-its-kind prototype in a quickly expanding policy arena, Angola’s unique Inmate Minister program deploys trained graduates of the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary in bi-vocational pastoral service roles throughout the prison. Inmates lead their own congregations and serve in lay-ministry capacities in hospice, cell block visitation, delivery of familial death notifications to fellow inmates, “sidewalk counseling” and tier ministry, officiating inmate funerals, and delivering “care packages” to indigent prisoners. Life-history interviews uncover deep-level change in self-identity corresponding with a growing body of research on identity change and religiously motivated desistance. The concluding chapter addresses concerns regarding the First Amendment, the dysfunctional state of U.S. corrections, and directions for future research.”
The authors have earned the Bachelor of Science in Biblical Studies at the Southwestern Seminary at Darrington, a four-year accredited degree through the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary inside of the maximum security Darrington Prison Unit — all supported and privately funded by The Heart of Texas Foundation. Combined, the authors have already been in prison for more than 48 years. Two of them have life sentences, and one has a 35-year sentence. As graduates of the prison seminary, they now serve as Field Ministers, servants of Christ ministering to their fellow inmates under their assigned warden and unit chaplain.
Formerly known as America’s bloodiest prison, the 18,000 acres that comprise Louisiana’s Angola State Penitentiary are now home to 5,000 inmates and a Bible seminary. The change at Angola to be known as one of the safest prison’s in America happened under the leadership of Warden Burl Cain, who was the longest-standing warden in the history of Angola prison—21 years, before his retirement. Under his leadership, the inmate population of 5,000 went from regular knife fights to Bible studies. Cain is a strong believer in the ability of the gospel to turn the most incorrigible of sinners into productive, moral citizens. Because eight out of ten prisoners are serving life sentences without parole at Angola, Cain has taken upon himself the task of making the lives of these prisoners productive and educational. Through a partnership with New Orleans Baptist Seminary, prisoners have the opportunity to earn the Bachelor of Science in Biblical Studies and be transferred to other prisons in Louisiana as missionaries.