The current Episcopal Prison Ministry program at Angola began in the early 90’s through the efforts of dedicated volunteers like Deacon Charles deGravelles. Read Charlie’s recollections of the history of the Episcopal ministry at Angola here: “A Brief History”
The ministry continues and is sustained by both lay and ordained volunteers, who visit the prison to conduct worship services, teach classes, and most importantly, to make manifest the love of Christ by reaching out to build relationships and show concern for “the least of these” (Matt 25:40). As many will attest, the ministry that occurs is never unidirectional (i.e. from us to them), but rather, both groups find Christ in the other. “I was in prison and you visited me…” Read the response of one long time lay volunteer, Audis Thornton, to the prompt “Why I Volunteer”
In 2002, Episcopal volunteers began leading a Disciples of Christ in Community program (DOCC) at Angola -the first time a DOCC program has been offered to incarcerated persons. More information about DOCC can be found here: “The DOCC Program”
Many of us are completely ignorant about the inner-workings of the penal system, our perspectives warped by hearsay and fictional depictions in the media. Read John L. Picou’s account of his first visit to Angola and why we should not trust “bad prison movies” here: “Beautiful and Terrible: An Angola Visit”
If you have any questions or would like additional information about the ministry please send us an e-mail or sign-up for our mailing list using the forms on the Contact page.