The 24:7 Ministry to Women is a new opportunity in Holmes and Washington counties to help women who have been incarcerated. The mission of the ministry is to empower women to experience freedom and wholeness in Christ, break the pattern of destructive lifestyles, restore hope, and rebuild broken lives. The ministry will serve women 24/7, seven days a week, in a residential facility. The ministry is based on Jeremiah 24:7, “I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the Lord. They will be my people, and I will be their God, for they will return to me with all their heart.”
The National Institute of Corrections reports that the number of female inmates is increasing significantly and female inmates must overcome unique social, emotional and physical challenges that impede their ability to integrate smoothly back into society following a period of incarceration.
The board of directors of the new ministry is composed of women representative of several local churches in both counties. The board meets monthly and is currently chaired by Linda Booth who has long visited and taught Bible Study at both county jails. She represents Courts of Praise in Chipley. Others currently serving on the Board are Rev. Jean Tippit, Gretchen Tindell and Chris Geise, First United Methodist Church in Bonifay; Tracy Barbee, Lynn Adams, Sandra Hardin, and Beverly Helms, First Baptist Church, Bonifay; and Juanita Wilson, Carmel Assembly in Bonifay. Many of the board members visit and conduct regular Bible Study for the ladies at both county jails.
The need for a 24/7 year long transition program is great in both counties as there are few, if any, programs available. Many women leave jail or prison with no place to go, no transportation, job, formal job training, source of income, functional support group and often have less than a high school education. Many of them return to jail or prison because they are ill-equipped to deal with the stresses of daily life in the community often including probation requirements. The 24:7 Ministry to Women would provide a safe residential place for women receptive to transformation through a deep personal relationship with Jesus Christ enable them to experience the healing needed for personal woundedness, promote personal accountability, provide continued education, on the job training and employment.
The public can assist by praying for the ministry, donating, inviting a ministry member to speak to a church, class or civic group, volunteering to help or suggesting a site. Donations may be sent to Chris Geise, Treasurer, at 512 E. Nebraska, Bonifay, Fl 32425. All donations are tax deductible as the Ministry is a 501C3 Non- Profit Corporation. Contact Tracy Barbee at email@example.com if you would like to have someone share about the ministry. To volunteer, contact Linda Booth at firstname.lastname@example.org.