Chesapeake Conference churches added 545 new members in 2022 through baptism or profession of faith.
“Jesus was an inmate.”
Representatives from three conferences participated in a prison ministries retreat last weekend at Mt. Aetna Camp and Retreat Center in Hagerstown, Md.
Prison ministries leaders and church members from the Chesapeake, Allegheny East, and Potomac conferences gathered from March 25-26 for training, testimonies, and networking. Attendees explored ways the three conferences can continue to collaborate and work together to minister to inmates in the region.
“We wanted to create an opportunity for networking, and I think that was the one thing that was best accomplished,” says Eli Rojas, Chesapeake Conference ministerial director. “There were people who came just to learn because they want to do prison ministries but don’t know how. They were able to listen to the information presented and connect with others who can help them do it.”
The weekend retreat featured presentations from Cleveland Houser and Russell Patterson Jr. Chesapeake Conference President Jerry Lutz delivered the concluding message.
Rojas believes churches should get involved in prison ministries because of Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 25 that when church members visit those in prison, they’re visiting Him.
“I was reminded this weekend that Jesus was an inmate,” Rojas says. “He was held prisoner, sentenced wrongfully, and condemned. Putting it in that perspective was an eyeopener for me.”