Since 1972

We bring hope to incarcerated women and men of Linn County

Who We Are

The ministry was founded by an ecumenical group of seven Cedar Rapids ministers and co-sponsored by St. Luke’s Hospital under the name Linn County Correctional Ministry.

Our programs offer supportive spiritual and emotional care to inmates while incarcerated, and our aftercare programs help with employment, transportation, household items as well as continual spiritual and mentoring through our aftercare programs.

From its inception, Fresh Start Ministries has capitalized on the hearts, efforts, and commitment of hundreds of volunteers spanning over the past four and a half decades. All with the focused intent to serve men and women both in and recently released from incarceration.

Our Approach

We Facilitate Prisoner Re-Entry Into Society

Fresh Start Ministries is a non-profit, ecumenical Christian jail ministry. The purpose and goal of Fresh Start Ministries is to assist those who are imprisoned during and after their incarceration. We invite people of all backgrounds, races and religions to rebuild their lives in partnership and to help make re-integration into productive community life a real possibility. 

Fresh Start Ministries is in Cedar Rapids, Iowa and serves people returning to community life in Linn County.

— Our Mission

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.

— Our Vision

And because we believe, we chose to work through the Jail Ministries offered by Fresh Start Ministries.

We do not mandate that you believe in God. We fully understand how it may be difficult and sometimes impossible to believe in the goodness of God. But this is okay.

— Our Story

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.