Working to instill hope and rebuild lives

Who We Are


To provide hope and basic needs, through Christ’s love and truth, to inmates of all faiths, during, and after incarceration. 


To help formerly incarcerated individuals make a successful transition into the community.


We at Fresh Start Ministries believe all humans are created in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-28). We also believe all humans can be renewed and put on a new self, a new start, through partnership with God as Colossians 3:10 says: And have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.

As we already see, the goodness in you, as a Child of God, born in His Image. It is enough that we believe. And it is for that reason, we chose to help those who are incarcerated or formerly incarcerated, find a new life, a new start at living a life in the community.

Woman in sun silhouette

What We Do

Adult Jail Ministry

Adult Jail Ministry

The mission of Fresh Start Ministries starts within the correctional facilities of Linn County, Iowa. This includes visits to any interested individual wanting to talk to Jail Minister or to any of the many jail volunteers who are there daily to visit...
Jail Volunteer Program

Jail Volunteer Program

The Jail Volunteer Program is essential to the mission of Fresh Start Ministries starts within the correctional facilities of Linn County, Iowa.
RISE Program

RISE Program

The RISE Program (Reintegration Initiative for Safety and Empowerment) was started by the Linn County Recidivism Committee but was added in early 2015 to the umbrella of Fresh Start Ministries as the mission and vision for both worked well together.
Adult Mentoring Program

Adult Mentoring Program

The Adult Mentoring Program (AMP) is also a community-based program that offers more intensive assistance to newly released detainees. The program seeks to provide this assistance to each participant through one of two mentoring models.
Juvenile Detention Center Ministry

Juvenile Detention Center Ministry

Fresh Start Ministries provides a Youth Minister to the Linn County Juvenile Detention Center on a part-time basis. The Youth Minister spends on average 20 hours a week with the youth at the Linn County Detention Center.

The Impact We make

Since the year 2000 I’ve been blessed to volunteer through Fresh Start Ministries at the Linn County Correction Center.
I cannot tell you how blessed I have been by being able to share the gospel of Jesus Christ to men who know very little or nothing at all of the gospel.
There is a great need to minister to these men and I am blessed to be able to do so.  Only a personal relationship with Jesus Christ will truly change a man’s life.
Fresh Start Ministries has given me the opportunity to minister this message countless numbers of times. 

Don Williams, Linn County Correctional Center Volunteer
It is when we (as volunteers) are able to step out of our comfort zone and open our hearts … that we experience the most growth.  We all need someone who listens with both their ears and heart.  For many of our participants RISE is a safe community to which they can belong.  This has been … most gratifying … since my retirement.  I feel I am making a real difference in the lives of individuals who have been marginalized in our community.

Kay Jahnel, Rise Navigator