Volunteer Christian Mission to Disciple Inmates at Walker State Prison.
WALKER COUNTY, Ga. (WDEF) — Walker State Prison is not your average penitentiary. It’s a Specially designated Faith & Character Based prison.
It provides a pro-social environment to help offenders change their lives. But they have to volunteer to participate.
One program there is showing some amazing results.
Some people who end up in prison don’t get a second chance to change their lives.
But a mentoring program at Walker State Prison is showing results with a “Christian Discipleship” Program behind bars.
Roger Erickson has been doing one-on-one discipleship with men for almost 50 years. He wrote a book called “Fruit That Won’t Spoil”, designed to convince other men to get involved and become “disciple-makers”.
About 7 years ago, some of these disciple-makers decided to reach out to the inmates at Walker State Prison. Not everyone gets to come here. It’s known as a Faith and Character based institution. The inmate must request to be relocated here, and they are thoroughly vetted. These inmates have 2 years at Walker before they are either released, or transferred to another facility.
“They are changed people. Only, nothing we have done, it’s God doing all of it, making those changes, and that’s a beautiful thing,” said Roger Erickson, Author of Fruit That Won’t Spoil.
Harold Thrower has been leading worship services on Sunday nights at Walker for the last 12 years.
“Most of them go back to the same neighborhood where they was, when they had the crime, or whatever they did to get incarcerated and you know, the people that was there when they left, most of them are probably going to still be there. So, by having a change of heart, they go back with a different attitude,” said Harold Thrower, volunteer worship leader, at Walker State Prison.
Doug White is here three or 4 times a week….pouring his life into the men at Walker State. He says he always feels like he gets more out of it than he gives. He’s done it for 12 years.
“As these men come out and contact me, again, I use the word metamorphosis, because to just watch these guys blossom, it is such a blessing, and I’m blessed, and I’m challenged by their walk with Christ as they come out, and they are such a light on a hill, everyone can see it, anyone that’s around them. It’s an amazing, amazing thing,” said Doug White, volunteer at Walker State Prison.
So far, there have been about 45 “Fruit That Won’t Spoil” classes at Walker. About 250 men are currently going though..or have already been through the program.
“These guys, they’re free, they’re locked up, incarcerated, some of them for years, some of them are lifers, but they’re still free, because their soul is free from sin. And God lives with them. That’s why I go back,” said Thrower.
Tomorrow night, we visit with a former Walker inmate, who, statistics show is unlikely to ever be behind bars again.