Ministry for Bell County jails celebrate another year

Posted at 10:51 PM, Oct 12, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-12 23:57:16-04

J.A.I.L. Ministries, Inc. held its annual banquet at the Bell County Expo Center tonight celebrating another year of bringing the Gospel into Bell County jails.

Harold Ellis began ministering to jail inmates in 1987, but it wasn't until 1992 that J.A.I.L. Ministries incorporated as a non-profit ministry.

"Lots of prison ministry, but jail ministry was pretty unique in that way," J.A.I.L. executive director Steve Cannon said, adding that his organization was one of the first jail ministries in the state.

The services the group provide range from Bible studies, to anger management classes, to baptisms. Bell County Jail Administrator Byron Shelton says some inmates just look at it as something to pass the time, but for a few, it really makes a difference in their lives.

"We truly believe that one or two out of every setting get something out of it," Shelton says.

Six days a week J.A.I.L. Ministries, Inc. volunteers hold religious services in both Bell County jails and the Juvenile Services Center. Some inmates appreciate their efforts.

"Every time I come it's a blessing," inmate Patrick Hamilton said. "I just learn a little more about the lord, a little more about how to live my life."

"You learn about Jesus Christ, and the truth, and the word," inmate Clayton Dillinger says. "It will set you free and make you feel alive in places where you can't."

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