Connecting Columbia Union Seventh-day Adventists

Allegheny West Conference, Ethan Temple church, Bob Rice, Fred Coleman, Jerry Carter

Ethan Temple Honors Prison Ministries Leaders

Story by Camille Lewis

The Ethan Temple church in Dayton, Ohio, recently featured a Prison Ministries Emphasis Sabbath. Bob Rice, longtime Prison Ministries leader, honored members Lonnie Bynum, Andrew Ewing, Garrett Lockett and Clyde Woodley with engraved appreciation plaques for their many years of service.

Melvin Mitchell, AWC’s Prison Ministries director, issued a charge to the attendees to accept God’s call “to be counted ‘in’ for those who don’t count” in the eyes of society. His appeal for volunteers included a solemn reminder of the greater significance of this ministry, as found in Jesus’ parable in Matthew 25:41–46.

Ewing, a longtime officer with the Cincinnati Police Department, presented a message titled, “The Hostage Negotiator,” a reference to the guilt incarcerated individuals feel upon their return to society. “More specifically, it refers to their need for a negotiator—someone who will intercede for them with those in society who fail to forgive and release them from the shame of their past,” Ewing said.

Ewing acknowledged that we need to forgive people who have hurt us. “Truly, God wants us to experience a full release from an unforgiving spirit so that we can become ‘hostage negotiators’ for our brothers and sisters who need a saving relationship with Jesus,” he concluded. John Trusty, pastor of Ethan Temple, led the congregation in prayer, seeking God’s divine help in breaking free from things that are difficult to let go of on our own.

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