In 1985, God opened a window of opportunity for Richard Mendenhall to go into the Williamson County Jail. Soon thereafter, clearance was granted to conduct classes in the Bartlett State Jail. This ministry has grown into one of the largest and most successful programs at the Georgetown Church of Christ. We have experienced phonomenal growth teaching classes, conducting services and furnishing World Bible School lessons, as well as New Life Behavior courses. These lessons are offered in English and in Spanish and may be mailed to any individual wishing to learn more of God’s will for his life.
New Life Behavior was just recently introduced to inmates and has been so successful because changing habits, attitudes and behavior is the most difficult challenge an inmate can face. Old surroundings and acquaintances keep pulling him back to the same mistakes. But when a person finds himself in new surroundings with new rules, the door to his heart is often open to the Word of God. People who have never before been touched are suddenly asking for a chance to receive the Word. This ministry answers their desperate calls for help. NLB is so important because it places emphasis on “God loves the sinner but despises the sin.” This program has been approved by Huntsville for use throughout the penal system, and in 1997 was awarded the George W. Bush Award for Best State Jail Program in the state of Texas.
Recently, a new student said,
“I did wrong on the outside so I was sent here for punishment. This is the best class I have ever been in. God is blessing me. In my past life, I see no way God’s Word would have reached me.”
Hope has been found for this young man in a place where hope seemed impossible.
There are opportunities to grade lessons, prepare lessons for mailing, do volunteer office duties, data entry, counseling, etc. Someone may be interested in becoming one of these important teachers of God’s Word – you are welcome. Yes, God does go behind prison bars in the form of beautiful Christians who take to heart: Jesus said,