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Our Prison Ministry at the Anamosa State Penitentiary began in January of 1989.  It was a leading by the Holy Spirit that opened the door.  We began, what the State of Iowa refers to as a Volunteers Program.  Each person was asked to fill out a Volunteer Signature Card which included our name, address, and other identifying information.  This was then sent into the State and, after begin thoroughly investigated, we were sent a letter signed by the Governor stating we had been accepted as a volunteer.

In the last few months, we have seen God move in a mighty way.Fred Wood and Beverly Mork were put in charge of the workings of the Prison Ministry which meant attending meetings with the Chaplains and, at times, some of the other staff members.  Each month before our scheduled Chapel Service, we were to submit a list of volunteers that would be attending and also a list of items we would be bringing with us such as bibles, transparencies, sheet music, etc.  These would all be checked by the guards before we were allowed in.

While at the prison, we conducted a service very similar to the service we have each Sunday at Church of the King.  We began with an opening prayer, followed by several worship songs, then Pastor Don gave a sermon, followed by a closing prayer and then a time of personal ministry.  Sometimes the prisoners testified to answers to prayers.

The prisoners also have a Spirit-filled Bible Study and prayer group.  We have seen our numbers grow from 10 to 45 in the Chapel Service.

Sometime in the Spring, the prison holds an Appreciation Sunday for all of the volunteers at which time they are presented with "Certificates ofHis Word Is Forever.....Matthew 25:34 Appreciation" followed by a reception and fellowship time.  Glenn Ashworth also makes a point of visiting the prison each time he comes to minister at our church.  He has been doing this now for about 10 years and the prisoners really look forward to his coming.  Not everyone wants to go into the prison to minister to those behind bars, but I know God blesses the ones who do!   This last fall, the prisoners showed their gratitude for our coming by presenting us with a wall hanging they had made and in inscription of Matthew 25:34 on the bottom of it.

 

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