Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
February 21, 1952

Work Among Convicts

Ray D. Fullerton, Jr., Lovelady, Texas

Arrangements have recently been completed for teaching, meeting, and working with state convicts at the Eastham Prison Farm, a unit of the Texas Prison System, near Weldon, Texas. This Farm is about sixteen miles from Lovelady, Texas, where I preach. Officials of the Farm have been very cooperative in helping the work by making the necessary arrangements for holding services, visitations, etc. A brief report of the progress to date is given in the following paragraphs:

The first service was held Saturday night, January 19. Over seventy men attended, all voluntarily. They requested that a service of from one and one-half to two hours be held, consisting of both preaching and a Bible class. Several members of the Lord's church were found to be among these men. The group expressed a general attitude of thankfulness for having someone from the "outside" show an interest in their welfare. One convict even told me that my coming was actually an answer to prayers he had prayed for the past six months—hoping someone would come for such a purpose. This man, not a member of the Lord's church, has been confined for about two years, and has taught a Bible class each Lord's day for the past eighteen months.

The second service, Saturday night, January 26, was attended by forty-five men, about the number we may expect regularly. I preached and then propositioned them with the idea of voluntarily enrolling in a Bible course, offering to furnish all necessary materials and to work with them on the lessons, etc. Twenty-four men registered for this course.

There is no reason why these men may not be helped to a successful comeback both spiritually and in their communities through Christianity. Even those who must spend a lifetime in prison should be offered the benefits of the gospel plan of saving men's souls. Churches in the communities from which these men have come might help them when they come home to re-take their places as citizens and in addition, as children of God.

If you know of some man from your locality who is so unfortunate as to be a prisoner of the state at Eastham Prison Farm, won't you please write us about him? We might help him by contacting him and letting him know someone is interested in him. These men seem to appreciate this. As one young man, age nineteen, told me: "I just gotta talk to someone—those guys back there in the 'tank' (quarters) aren't interested in anyone." If the man you know of is a friend, relative, or acquaintance—Christian or not—tell us and we will try to help him by encouragement and teaching. Some of the men have families back home and have asked me to make arrangements with local churches in their hometowns to help their families get to worship services of the church. Can we refuse such requests as these? As opportunity presents itself, I plan to ask local churches to do their part in matters such as these. If further information is desired, please write me: Box 21, Lovelady, Texas. "... I was in prison, and ye came unto me."