It takes a special person to want to go into a prison and help those who are serving time.
Some say it is a calling. Others have been there and understand first hand the need.
Are you that special person?
You can find out Sept. 21 at an Avon church where prison ministry training will be introduced. You can meet the people who volunteer and devote their time to ministering prison inmates and find out why the feel the need.
True Freedom Ministries will be partnering with the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction on Saturday, Sept. 21, to provide prison ministry training to anyone interested in getting involved in the ever-expending mission field inside Ohio's jails and prisons.
Mike Swiger, one of the ministries organizers, said True Freedom Ministries is recruiting locally since they do a considerable amount of work at the men’s and women’s prisons in Grafton.
“The program is recognized statewide because of the work we’ve done,” Swiger said, adding the ministry has been involved in Grafton for five years.
Swiger currently has a group of 30 men, many of then businessmen, who minister in Grafton, but women also participate.
“It’s a two-hour commitment, once a month,” he said of that particular group. Ministers are paired with an individual and are permitted to discuss whatever they want with their protégé.
Swiger said many of the relationships formed while protégés were in prison have lasted years after prisoners are released. The Ministries maintains a post-release program.
Ministering is voluntary. Swiger said those who minister gain personal satisfaction and allows those volunteering to share their talents and gifts.
About the training
The introduction to prison ministry will cover topics ranging from "The Culture Inside," "The Do's and Don'ts," "How Can I Get Involved," "Pre-Release Mentorship" and more.
The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections will be providing a representative who walk attendees through the volunteer application process and will "certify" those individuals who complete the training, allowing them to beginning serving in this ripe and rewarding field of ministry.
Registration will begin at 8 a.m. The training will begin at 9 a.m. and end at 2 p.m. Complimentary continental breakfast and lunch provided. For more information or to pre-register, go to http://www.truefreedomministries.net and sign up through the form on the bottom of the page.