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    One of the biggest hardships of being a Sabbath keeping believer in prison is the lack of fellowship and the opportunity to study, pray and worship with other like-minded believers. Prisoners who choose to obey the laws and commands of the Most High are few and far between. Due to isolation, security and rules, it is rarely possible for them to meet together. Religious programs in prison are largely directed towards mainstream Christianity which seems to have a nearly endless supply of willing volunteers, and prison unit Chaplains who eagerly accommodate them. In contrast to this, programs for Sabbath and commandment keeping believers are non-existent, volunteers are sadly few, and Chaplains are generally resistant to assisting those of our faith. There are literally thousands of our own brethren in prison who are left alone and separated even from each other, simply because so few of us are willing to step forward and take the time to go to them. Prison inmates are not allowed to meet for worship services without a freeworld volunteer to supervise them.


     Don't think you can't do it! Chances are you can. It only takes a couple hours of your time per week or month. And while religious training and biblical knowledge are of great help, they are not required. Most inmates know their faith and are well qualified to conduct a simple study or worship service. They only lack a volunteer who cares enough to come in and supervise them. You can do it, and it is likely there is a prison in your area which has a number of our brethren just waiting for you to come to them. Just contact us and ask how you can help. We’ll be happy to answer any questions you might have, find a prison in your area which needs your services, help you get through the verification and orientation process, and support you and your inmates in any way we can.


     Becoming a volunteer can be one of the biggest blessings to you and one of the most rewarding services to our Creator you will ever experience. Below is a testimonial from one of our volunteers who has experienced the blessings first-hand: 

          My name is Ronel and I have been a volunteer to Sabbath observant prisoners for over 10 years. My wife, Donna, is also a part of the ministry and brings much needed insight from a feminine view.
        The first prison we ministered in was near Dayton, Texas and came about as the result of a dear friend being in the unit there. I began the ministry and then found some other volunteers to help so the men there could meet every week. We currently serve about 25 men at this unit. About 8 years ago we added a unit at Beeville, Texas and currently serve about 60 men at this unit. We are only allowed to hold one service per month there at this time. The administration only allows the men to congregate when there is an outside volunteer to facilitate the meetings. This past year we added 2 prison units on one Sabbath. 

        Our service consists of blowing the shofar (where allowed), saying the Shema and having a song session, followed by a teaching, either from myself or from one of the inmates. We make ourselves available to baptize
those coming into the faith. We lay hands on the sick and pray for their needs as we anoint them with oil.  We usually have 2 hours for our service but this can be cut short at anytime. There is a great blessing to be able to minister to men that are in such desperate need. We receive so much uplifting encouragement from the ones we seek to encourage. These men are cut off from much of their family contact, they live in a place of spiritual darkness but they are lights in that darkness. They practice their beliefs even under persecution from guards, wardens and even chaplains. They display a peace and joy that is not always seen in the outside world.

        It is a privilege to be able to go into the prisons and to fellowship and teach believers who, as a general rule, study more than their outside brethren do. As a teacher this keeps me on my toes as well.  Donna and I see our ministry as a fulfillment of the command in Matt 25:39.
        Would I suggest that others volunteer?  Absolutely, I would because of the great blessings you will receive. Do you need to be an expert teacher or ordained person?? No, just someone willing to give of their time to help others. Is it easy?  No, but the good greatly outweighs the bad. How do you start? You can contact Lisa at  and she will be happy to explain the process to you.
        Shalom-- Ronel McKown

This page was last updated on 06/16/16.