AFBC Jail Ministry

During the summer, we make big plans! It might be a vacation we have been looking forward to for months. It might be traveling overseas. We might start a hobby, make a list a goals, or tackle projects around the house. Daniel Burnham, who was the director of the World’s Exposition in Chicago in 1893, celebrating innovation and progress, said, “Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir men’s blood.”

Big plans are surely important, but let us not forget about the small things. The practice of prayer, gifts of generosity, extension of patience, and gestures of compassion are all small things. Small things can be sacred things.

One of those small things that are sacred is the gift of showing up. Each week, members of Auburn FBC show up at the Lee County Detention Center. They gather with about 25-30 women, sharing with them the welcome of the love of God. They remind the women of God’s hope, which can shape a different future.

The ministry started in 1989, almost thirty years ago, when Helen Brown visited Sunday School classes and asked for help with a new Jail Ministry. It has continued ever since, as Helen and others, have continued to show up. The group that goes to the jail each week are needing help in order to continue this ministry, which belongs to us all. Mary Joe Howard has been visiting Sunday School classes and sharing this need.

Church members go to the jail each week on Thursday afternoon from about 1:00-3:00 p.m. It does not require any special skills, just a willingness to show up and remind the women they are loved. There is also flexibility in the schedule, so missing a week is possible. Only women are able to go because of the guidelines of the jail, but men are able to help with the Jail Ministry Christmas Box project.

If you are interested in helping, you can contact Mary Joe Howard at 334-887-7458 or howarmj@auburn.edu, or the church office, with any questions. Also, if you know of someone who is a friend of the church, but not necessarily a member, they are also welcome to join this ministry. We are grateful for its history, and we remain committed to its future!

-Tripp