“The Least” Prison Ministry, is a ministry of compassion and discipleship to the prisons in central Alabama. David Noles, our prison minister, is currently serving as the volunteer Chaplain at Red Eagle Honor Farm, a minimum security facility just north of Montgomery, and as the Assistant Chaplain of Easterling Correctional Facility in Clio, Alabama. Easterling is a medium security facility located in one of the poorest counties in Alabama. David also serves as a volunteer with Kairos Prison Ministry at the Staton Correctional Facility in Elmore County.
The aim of the ministry is to: 1) lead men to an encounter with Jesus as Lord; 2) help the men develop powerful prayer lives; 3) help them get connected with Landmark through the volunteers and hopefully become part of the Landmark family upon release.
This ministry includes volunteers from Landmark and beyond who develop relationships with inmates and minister to the men in a very special way with words of encouragement and heart felt prayer. Landmark members who are actively involved in this ministry are Paul Biller, Matt Jerles, Jerome Dees, Roland Salloum, Martha Jackson, and Doug and Karla Amos. To participate in this ministry, you dont have to enter the prison. Mature pen pals are needed as well as occasional assistance with special projects.
David currently hosts a New Testament Bible study every Monday, using the Thompson Chain Reference Bible as the text. He says we are trying to teach the men to study the Bible for themselves because thats where we come to own our faith. This ministry also provides numerous other resources (audio, video, magazines, books, etc) in their journey to Christ or in discipleship.
One success story is Jason. He became a disciple of Christ through baptism about five months ago. (In fact one of the inmates who came to the Lord earlier in the year baptized him.) He learned how to use the Thompson Study Bible and when he was transferred to another facility he began a Bible study with six others. It is hoped that by equipping these men wonderful things will happen.
It is important to remember that this is not our ministry but rather a ministry of Jesus Christ. We have to let it go and turn it over to the inmates who live behind the walls. They have to live the faith and share the faith if the body of Christ is to exist in Alabama’s prisons. Its slowly becoming a reality.
Discipleship is the major priority of this ministry. He equips and builds a foundation with the men in the word and prayer. Regular times for prayer are what David does most with the inmates as he walks alongside of them. Foundational to this ministry is that if someone has a weak and ineffective prayer life, then they most likely have a weak and ineffective relationship with God. This is tackled head on. These men are learning to be prayer warriors!
Special focus is given to inmates who are indigent or forgotten. Some inmates who have long sentences out live their family and loved ones and with the passage of time may not be able to support themselves. With these inmates regular gifts of hygiene items such as deodorant, soap, toothpaste, and shampoo are provided. These items help to break down barriers and build goodwill within the prison environment. 95% of all people who go to prison are released at some point. Many of those released need assistance and making the transition back into society. Society, Social Services, Technology, and Communities change over time and many former inmates experience great anxiety upon release. Care is given in helping former offenders with whom a relationship has been established in this transition.