ACC Book Ministry
Through the generosity of God’s people, approximately two thousand new and used books and Bibles have been donated to the Arkansas Community Corrections book ministry since our beginning in September of 2015. A special thanks goes out to all members of Faith who have made this ministry possible by their donations.
This ministry makes Bibles and Christian books available free of charge to over one thousand men and women who meet monthly with their probation/parole officers in Lonoke County. This is a great way to reach them with God’s Word that they might hear the warning to turn from their sins and to Jesus who loves them, died for them, and longs to bring help, healing, and wholeness into their lives.
The staff at ACC has been very encouraging; they love to see offenders come into their office with one of the books we’ve placed for them. One of the officers with the drug court told us that this ministry is the best thing that has ever happened there! This office is often overworked and understaffed because of the growing number of people released from prison. The books and Bibles we place there at this pivotal time in the offenders' lives can make an earthly and eternal difference. We can’t even begin to realize how much God can use this ministry and the effect it could have on the lives of people in our community and upon our own lives.
We are getting ready to take a big step forward by sharing information about our book ministry with other ABA churches who have ACC offices in their communities. Kevin Murphy, Chief Deputy Director of ACC in Arkansas, has asked us to reach out to the other 55 offices in the state and to the six residential facilities with this ministry. He said he has heard good reports from the office in Lonoke about what we are doing and wants to see more churches involved in the other ACC offices across the state.
Mr. Murphy has given us his support of the book ministry from the very beginning. He also encourages churches to become more involved in mentoring and helping those on parole/probation who need a good support system. It is so very important to give them the encouragement they need to straighten out their lives. At the ACC website (dcc.arkansas.gov), he gives more details about their mission.
Governor Asa Hutchinson set up a transitional/reentry housing program in the summer of 2015 that is funded by the state. The program requires churches or other faith-based entities to be involved in overseeing this kind of program in their county. The former inmates are screened to make sure they are eligible. Then they are given a safe place to live for six months while they find a job and get adjusted to their new lives. This gives them a much better chance of not going back to prison. This link contains more information regarding reentry: dcc.arkansas.gov/reentry.
Charles Colson, who started “Prison Fellowship Ministries,” saw each man as a treasure hidden from society by the dirt and grime of crime and addiction. In his book Loving God, he discussed how Jesus went to the people who most needed His message: “... to the homes of the most notorious sinners, to the places he would most likely encounter the handicapped and sick, the needy and the outcasts of society.” People traveling down the wrong road need Jesus to get them on the right road, and the books and Bibles are signs that could point them in His direction.
Please pray that through the ACC book ministry, not only will individuals on parole or probation receive a free book or Bible, but that they will receive God’s free gifts of salvation, grace and forgiveness, as well as the love and support of His people.
If you feel God is leading you to be a part of this type of ministry, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love for you to join us in serving Him!