First Church of Wheatfield, Indiana is making a massive impact in their community by bringing their church services to local inmates at the Jasper County Jail.
Though the services have only been taking place for the last [three] months, inmates and jail staff alike are already seeing notable progress.
“We have a quieter atmosphere,” said Sheriff Patrick Williamson. “In times past, you would hear banging, kicking, yelling, screaming, but now it’s very quiet. They get along well, they treat staff better, so we have [fewer] incidents. It just complements the other things going on in our jail.”
Before the jail church service initiative began, Sheriff Williamson collaborated with First Church pastor John Hill on an addiction recovery house. Success from that effort inspired Hill to expand their ministry efforts at the Jasper County Jail.
The weekly services held on Thursdays have become a highlight for over half the men and women in the jail who have decided to participate in the optional activity.
Inmate Anthony Gann shared the positive impact the worship services have had on his life with WLFI-TV.
“It’s awesome to get to have that real church experience while we are in here doing our time,” said Gann. “Some of the best guys I know are in here.”
Gann, who was arrested earlier this year for drug use, plans on continuing on the “right path” after he’s released in September by becoming a member of First Church.
In a powerful video shared on Facebook last month, the inmate is featured leading worship, singing soulful praises to the tune of “Amazing Grace.”