Prison Ministries Newsletter

April 2019

“Setting the captives Free”

Psalms 146:7 states – Which executeth judgment for the oppressed: which giveth food to the hungry. The Lord looseth the prisoners.

Hello everyone! I have the honor of sharing with you the baptism of eight men at

Elmore Correctional Facility in Elmore, Alabama. On Friday, March 22, 2019, I had the

blessed fortune of experiencing the transformation of eight worldly men as they

joined the flock of our Shepherd, Jesus. Working in conjunction with Elder Ellis Smiley

of Bethany SDA, we were able to provide study material explaining the fundamental

beliefs of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, discuss these beliefs, and watch God

write His truths on their hearts. The Gulf States Conference provided the men with

the book “In His Steps” to help them gain the understanding they needed.

Back in February 2019, twenty men expressed a desire for baptism.

Due to an unfortunate turn of events on the day of baptism, only eight were able to

be present. However, God always has a plan. The baptism for the remaining twelve

men will take place on a later date to be determined. Elder Smiley performed the

baptisms and his church will be issuing certificates and adding these men to the

church roster. Bethany S.D.A. will also be a much needed support and encouragement

to these men upon release as they transition back into society. It was truly a blessing

to be able to work with members across conference boarders. It displayed the unity

that Christ prayed for and the fulfillment of His purpose in our lives. Isaiah 43:7 says

…for I have created him for my glory.

I took the opportunity to encourage the men as they prepare to follow the steps

Christ trod. In Mark 1:12-15 Immediately after Jesus was baptized He heard a voice

from heaven saying, “This is my Beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.” and directly

sent into the wilderness to be tempted by Satan. I wanted them to understand that

just as God allowed Satan to tempt our Savior, this same experience will be ours as we

take up our cross and follow Him. I counseled them to stay prayerful and keep their

eyes on the cross. Jesus is our strength and very present help in trouble.

Mathew 28:19 -20 states, Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in

the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to

observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always,

even unto the end of the world. Amen. Walls, fences, and bars cannot shackle the

true freedom of Christ. We thank God for the sacrifice of His Son to “set the captives

free!” Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new Creature: old things are passed

away; behold all things are become new. 2 Cor. 5:17 Congratulations my brothers,

welcome to the family of God!

Steve Radford
Assistant Prison Ministries Director

Gulf States Conference of SDA

Big picture