UPDATED: On Friday, WGNS interviewed John Spurgeon from New Vision Baptist Church. Pastor Spurgeon oversees the inmate and law enforcement ministry in Rutherford County. During the interview he talked about inmates who have turned their lives around due to a new or reconnected relationship with Christ.
WGNS' Robert Rickman has more...
The prison ministry program has helped to lower the recidivism rate at the Rutherford County Correctional Work Center that is overseen by Superintendent Bernard Salandy. Under Salandy, programs allowing for Bible studies and groups for Celebrate Recovery have proven to be a big success. Salandy took over the Work Center in 2010
On Saturday, a special family day was held for many of the inmates at the Work Center. Inmates were bused to New Vision Baptist Church where they enjoyed grilled hamburgers and extended visits with their children, wives, girlfriends and parents.
The event was not only encouraging to witness, but also touching as children were held by their incarcerated mothers or fathers. Tears were shed by children, visitors and inmates on Saturday as promises to stay out of trouble when they are released were made by many.
Note: The Rutherford County Correctional Work Center is not the same as the Rutherford County Adult Detention Center on the New Salem Highway. Inmates in the Detention Center (Jail) are awaiting trial, sentencing or to be transferred to a state run facility after sentencing. The jail (Detention Center) is under the direct control of Sheriff Robert Arnold where as the Work Center is under Bernard Salandy. Inmates in the Work Center have already been sentenced and are serving their time as directed.
Hebrews 13:3 "Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body."
Superintendent Bernard Salandy has a strong background in helping others. One former inmate who Salandy worked with in 1999 is now a pastor who oversees a congregation of about 250 members. For more on that story, CLIKC HERE.