BOWIE COUNTY, Texas (KTAL/KMSS) – A group of volunteers is working to bring the message of Jesus Christ to inmates at the Texas State Prison located in New Boston.
Edna Walker is one of those volunteers. She’s made it her life’s mission to minister to prisoners at the Barry B. Telford Unit. “I’m going to say 70 percent of these guys don’t get visits, don’t get letters,” she said.
In her work with Telford Prison Ministries, she helps the families of inmates, as well. She’s currently gathering school supplies at the unit’s Visitation Center. “We provide a comfortable, loving place for the people to wait when they come in,” she said.
Telford Prison Ministries dates back to the opening of the Telford Unit in 1995. The group began as a committee of the New Boston Ministerial Alliance.
The ministers and volunteer workers met with the chaplain to see how they could help through a variety of ministries. Aside from the Visitation Center located at the Telford Unit, the ministry runs an overnight stay facility, Haven of Hope, for visiting families of offenders at the Telford Unit.
Some families drive hours to visit their incarcerated loved ones. Genevieve Link made the long driver for years, before recently moving to the area this year. Her son, Cory, is an inmate at the Telford Unit.
“He was invincible, but he found very quickly that he wasn’t invincible … and turned away from that very quickly and understood that seeking God’s way was the better alternative,” Link said.
Cory helped start a congregation inside. Walker is a support volunteer and worships with the inmates. “I get to interact with the guys,” she said.
“I do a prayer ministry, they write out their prayer requests.”
The road that led this soft-spoken woman to this place, she said, was divinely inspired. “The Lord just spoke to me,” Walker said.
“I was working at Red River Army Depot, and He said you need to quit and do this full time.”
As the nonprofit continues its growth and outreach, Walker and Link agree that connections to the outside for inmates are life-changing.
“I’m thankful that he’s come to know the Lord … the ones that have outside support are so much more fortunate than the ones who don’t,” Link said.
“I want people to know that these are real people, they’re people just like us and this can happen to anyone … I’m so glad that God called me into this,” Walker said.
If you’d like to help support Telford Prison Ministries, you can call (903) 628-0923.