Adult Jail Ministry & Volunteer Program
Who We Are
The mission of Fresh Start Ministries
"Setting captives free through the transformative power of Jesus Christ."
This includes visits to any interested individual wanting to talk to Jail Minister, a RISE Navigator or to any of the many jail volunteers who daily come to visit with those who are imprisoned.
These visits may include a kind word, a prayer, a request for reading materials, or simply talking.
From the Jail chaplain
In all my visits the most important thing is to listen and not “HAVE ALL THE ANSWERS” We establish a relationship and understanding of each other. I share with them that we all make mistakes and that there is forgiveness if we are willing to accept and move on. I share Biblical answers to their questions and help them understand and accept the TRUTH of the Bible. These visits can be a few minutes or as long as an hour depending on the need.
As far as “GOALS” The only goal I have is to sew the SEED of Christ in the men and women I meet. The Chaplain Plants and waters (along with all the Volunteers) and CHRIST causes the GROWTH.
It is my privilege to be able to minister to ALL FAITHS. I have had many visits with Muslim, Satanic followers, Jewish, Atheist etc. In all these visits the conversation always is about sharing our thoughts and concerns but NEVER judging or CONDEMNING.
- Dave Potter
Jail Volunteer Program
The Jail Ministry Volunteer Program goes hand in hand with the Adult Jail Ministry. Specially trained and compassionate volunteers go into the jail to visit and provide bible study with those who are incarcerated.
There are nearly 100 volunteers who share their time and talents by providing visits to those who are incarcerated at the Linn County Jail. Volunteers visit either daily, several times a week, weekly, or monthly.
Bible studies that are conducted during the week are named according to the day attended. Below is a list of the current services provided by the Jail Volunteers:
- Monday nights-Monday Night Bible Study.
- Bible studies that are conducted on Sunday are named church services.
- AA – Alcoholic Anonymous
- NA – Narcotics Anonymous
- Celebrate Recovery
Volunteers (Bible study, AA, NA, Celebrate Recovery, one on one visits) provide moral and godly support. There is no room in the guidelines for any other services. In addition, the RISE Program can conduct meetings which instruct the inmates of resources available to them once the incarcerated is released from prison.
From the Jail Volunteer Coordinator
The definition of change is to make or become different. This is what Christ does!
Men and women at the jail continually share the work of Christ in their lives. I hear the testimonies of the women during our one on one visits and at the Monday night Bible study. I read the letters that Chaplain Dave shares with me of the men whose lives have been touched with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Volunteers also share with excitement the progress of an inmate. However it’s worded, the transformation that happens in the life of a person speaks of the glory of God and the finished work of Christ.
Lamentations 3:22-23, “It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.” A faithfulness that loves unconditionally and forgives as far as the east is from the west. A devotion to His creation to give mercy, grace, compassion, long suffering, gentleness, meekness and goodness. Creating peace, joy and comfort to the troubled soul.
It is the Spirit of God that fills the poor in spirit, mends the brokenhearted, rescues the captive, heals the wounded and gives sight to the blind – Luke 4:18.
As volunteers, we have been given the great opportunity to watch what God can do! God has opened the door and every month 119 volunteers walk through the doors of the Linn County Jail to make a difference. We are a team reaching the many individuals in a personal way. Listening, caring, praying and being there to learn and share from God’s word. Since September of 2009, I have been a volunteer conducting the Monday night Bible study for women.
As the volunteer coordinator at the Linn County Correctional Center, my job is assisting and supporting the volunteers and helping those who are interested in becoming part of our team.