Thursday, October 30, 2014

Team ministers in prison

PRISON MINISTRIES — Members of the TRBC witnessing team visit the Lynchburg Regional Juvenile detention center once a month and witness in the community every Tuesday.

A team of women led nine young delinquents to Christ, including the 13-year-old charged with the murder of 81-year-old George Baker III. Jodie Walton with the Center for Multicultural Enrichment said a Bridging the Gap urban ministry team visited the Lynchburg Regional Juvenile Detention Center on Monday, Oct. 25 with members of Thomas Road Baptist Church (TRBC) witnessing team to evangelize to young inmates.

While the 13-year-old accused of beating Baker to death on Sept. 5 is held at the juvenile detention center, the two 16-year-olds also charged with the murder have been transferred to an adult prison. Kenneth Davis and Vernon Jackson – who have each appeared in juvenile court for 10 previous charges – have been indicted and will be charged as adults in the Baker case. If convicted, the boys could face a life sentence, the News and Advance reported.

“(The 13-year-old) is very remorseful and is very afraid of going to court and what’s going to happen,” Pamela King, who was at the center with the step team Oct. 25, said. “He listened to us, and he was very attentive and I think he is very regretful that he was in that situation.”

Tracy and Pamela King lead the TRBC witnessing team and visit the detention center once a month, Pamela King said. When the witnessing team and a Bridging the Gap drama team visited the center on Sept. 27, Jackson received Christ as a result of the team’s message, Pamela King said. The next day Jackson and Davis were transferred to the adult prison.

“After we give them a chance to receive Christ, we go and talk to them individually to ask if they did,” Pamela King said. “(Then) we give them Bibles and talk to them and pray for them and encourage them.”

About 30 Liberty students and TRBC members were at the detention center for each visit, Pamela King said, including members of Bridging the Gap urban ministry.

“Liberty has been a big part in reaching out to the inmates,” Pamela King said. “They really love to see Liberty students because they’re close in age and can relate to them. They see that God has changed the lives of these Liberty students, and it makes a big impression on these inmates.”

In addition to the women’s step team, Bridging the Gap has a men’s step team, a miming group, a hip-hop dance team and a group that raps, Walton said.

Sophomore Pamela Parker has been a part of the women’s step team since October 2009.

“It was my first time (at the juvenile detention center),” Parker said. “I told them not to worry about what the people around them think, because they need to worry about their own salvation and faith.”

Parker said the team’s step routine on Oct. 25 focused on prayer and relationship with God.

“We just show the love of Christ, because that’s what wins people over as far as their lives and character are concerned,” Walton said. “We just love and want to serve people. We’re just doing the Great Commission.”

The witnessing team meets at 6:15 p.m. each Tuesday in the TRBC lobby. Liberty students can earn Christian Service for their work with the team. For more information about the witnessing team, contact Tracy King by e-mail at tmking3@liberty.edu. Contact the Center4ME for information about Bridging the Gap urban ministry.

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