Tag Archives: prison

Former Inmate Empowers Others through Education

Joel Whiteside

Joel Whiteside’s first stint in prison lasted twenty-eight months when he was just seventeen. After release, Joel struggled to make good decisions and soon his life was spiraling out of control. A three-year sentence in 2008 was a turning point. He realized that it was time to change the trajectory of his life. Joel’s personal story of transformation fuels his nonprofit organization, Been There, Done That, which supports those who are re-entering society in Cowlitz County, Washington, after incarceration. Continue reading

From 30 Times Behind Bars to 30 Years in the Pulpit

By Carl Stagner

He was barely a teen when he was arrested the first time. Between the ages of thirteen and twenty-five, Paul McCulley was put behind bars a total of thirty times. Charges ranged from truancy to assault, and he was also court martialed three times. His shackles—both seen and unseen—would soon fall off after Jesus Christ changed his life, however. Not only did Paul McCulley become a Christian, but he also entered full-time ministry. Until he retired in 2014, he served the Lord as a senior pastor for thirty years. But he never really retired. Paul McCulley’s gripping testimony is too good to put on the shelf, there are too many people that still need to hear it. Today Paul continues a dynamic ministry program to the incarcerated and their families, turning what the devil meant for bad into something very, very good. Continue reading

Doing Time on the Other Side of the Bars: Ministry to Families of Prisoners

By Carl Stagner

You’ve probably seen the bumper sticker that says, “My child is on the honor roll.” But you’ve probably never seen the bumper sticker that reads, “My child is at the county jail.” Linda Davis offers this contrast to stress that parents of the incarcerated are anything but proud of their children’s achievements—and often alone in their shame. Davis, who attends the Church of God in Hartville, Ohio, knows exactly what it’s like to carry the emotional weight of having a son in prison. She also knows all too well what it’s like to have no support system. And that’s a terrible problem when states like hers have fifty thousand people in the prison system. Continue reading