Success StoriesStories about some of the men and women who volunteer and those who are ministered to through the CJAMM ministries
The apartment was temporary – a cramped living room with a couch covered by a tan sheet. A Bible sat in front of a large-screen television. The Exodus House dwelling is one of many that gives haven to former felons as they try to start over. This is where Melissa...
A prayer circle with benches, flowers in planters, and a fire pit overlooking Lake Texoma now greets campers at Cross Point Camp. The serene spot to pray and meditate was built this summer by children attending New Day Camp I, a program related to the Conference’s Criminal Justice & Mercy Ministries (CJAMM).
Each summer New Day Camp welcomes children (who have an incarcerated parent) to Lake Texoma to ride boats, take swimming lessons from an Olympic swim coach, bike, fish and so much more.
Will you volunteer a week of your time. Will you volunteer a week of your time for a child whose parent is in jail?
Volunteer Jim Key made his first trip inside prison walls in 1994, at McAlester. He took with him food that Jean Key had helped prepare, as a United Methodist team introduced a Christian renewal weekend for men incarcerated at Oklahoma State Penitentiary.
Called Kairos, the program launched at a women’s prison the next year, at Mabel Bassett Correctional Center. Jean was on that volunteer team.
I hear stories that often include the phrase “I felt God’s call” or “God spoke to me” so often that I find myself slightly skeptical of God’s involvement in the event. With that said, lately when I am asked to move outside my normal routine, I find myself responding, “Is this you, God? Are you speaking to me? Is this a call?”
Earlier this year, I received a wonderful letter from Meagan Gaddis, a 27-year-old woman from Oklahoma City. She was writing to thank the General Board of Church & Society for the Peace with Justice grant supporting Exodus House, part of Criminal Justice and Mercy Ministries (CJAMM) of the Oklahoma Conference.
Two men made clear God’s good work through Criminal Justice & Mercy Ministries (CJAMM) when they spoke at a recent Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon.
About 60 people saw Steve Bear of Tulsa honored as volunteer of the year and heard keynote speaker Tony Altizer of Oklahoma City. Both support CJAMM’s two Exodus House programs for newly released offenders and their families.
News media began calling clergyman Adam Leathers after the controversial Oklahoma execution on April 29 of Clayton Lockett, who killed Stephanie Neiman in 1999.
In the state that executes more prisoners per capita than any other state, according to National Public Radio, Lockett’s death by lethal injection did not go as planned. Public criticism and questions erupted. The United Methodist Church opposes capital punishment (para. 164G, Social Principles, The Book of Discipline).
Stan Basler heard the yelling as he walked through the state’s maximum-security men’s prison at McAlester. “The wicked shall overcome the righteous!” men shouted.
He was there to lead the first Kairos weekend inside an Oklahoma Department of Corrections facility. The year was 1994, and Rev. Basler was new director of Criminal Justice & Mercy Ministries (CJAMM) of the Oklahoma Conference.