Correctional Ministry

Celebration Church’s Correctional Ministry serves as a unique extension of Outreach, bringing not only the weekend experience but the entire life and culture of Celebration inside the walls of Correctional Facilities all over the greater Austin area every weekend. 

For more information, email [email protected]

 

If you are ready to join the Correctional Ministry team and have already completed Connectional Point, attending a Training Day is your next step! Our next Training Day will take place September 8 in the South Auditorium from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.During Training Day you will receive the Mandatory training required by the TDCJ as well as have the opportunity to ask questions about each facility and determine where you want to serve. Register for your training day below!

Register Now

 

Correctional Facilities

These are meetings for men and women in both English and Spanish.  

 

Current Serve Opportunities:

T. Don Hutto Residential Center

1001 Welch Street

Taylor, TX 76574

Every 2nd and 4th Sunday at 9:15 a.m.

Women - Spanish

 

Travis State Jail

8101 FM 969

Austin, TX 78724

Every 2nd and 4th Saturday at 6 p.m.

Every 3rd and 5th Sunday at 10 a.m.

Men

 

Lockhart Correctional Facility

1400 Industrial Boulevard

Lockhart, TX 78644

Every 1st Friday at 6:00 p.m.

Women

 

Ellen Halbert Unit

800 Ellen Halbert Drive

Burnet, TX 78611

Thursday, August 16, 2018 at 5:45 p.m.

Sunday, November 11, 2018 at 12:30 p.m.

Thursday, December 27, 2018 at 5:45 p.m.

Women

 

Williamson County Jail

306 W 4th Street

Georgetown, TX 78626

Every Sunday at 9:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m., 1:30 p.m., and 3:30 p.m. 

Men and Women

 

Travis County Correctional Complex 

3614 Bill Price Rd. 

Del Valle, TX 78617
"Ten Steps Towards Christ" small group study. 

Every 2nd and 4th Sunday at 3:00 p.m. 

Men

 

Bastrop Federal Correctional Institute

1341 Hwy 95 N

Bastrop, TX 78602

Every 2nd and 4th Monday at 6:00 p.m. 

"Marriage on the Rock" Small Group

Men

 

Marlin Correctional Facility

2893 Texas 6

Marlin, TX 76661

Every 2nd and 4th Wednesday at 12:30 p.m. 

"Breaking Free" Small Group

Women

FAQs

 

I’VE NEVER BEEN INSIDE A CORRECTIONAL FACILITY—WHAT’S IT LIKE?

Typically, we hold our church services and Small Groups in the chapel or the visitation area. You will not go into the general population areas. The inmates who attend our services are usually just as excited as our families that attend here each weekend.

 

HOW DO I DECIDE WHERE I WANT TO SERVE?

To serve on the Correctional Ministry Dream Team, completion of Connection Point is your first step. During Step 4, you will learn about each serving opportunities and any additional training.

 

HOW MUCH TIME WILL BE REQUIRED TO SERVE ON A SUNDAY OR IN A SMALL GROUP?

The Correctional Facilities we visit are all within one hour from our church. Depending on which facility you serve at, you should anticipate a minimum of 5 hours. Each of our time slots are 1.5-2 hours, and it generally takes about 30 minutes to go through security.

 

WHAT WILL HAPPEN WHEN I GET TO THE CORRECTIONAL FACILITY? WILL I BE SEARCHED?

When our teams arrive at the Correctional Facility, we generally sign a log book, turn in our driver’s licenses, and walk through a metal detector. An officer may pat each person down in a gender appropriate manner. We always walk to the meeting room together as a team and are usually escorted by security both in and out.

 

WHAT CAN I TAKE INSIDE THE PRISON WITH ME? CAN I TAKE WATER, SNACKS OR MEDICINE?

During the TDCJ Volunteer training, the trainer will go over all the rules pertaining to ministering inside a Correctional Facility. Primarily, we only take in the material that is used for the Sunday Worship Service or Small Group This includes curriculum, DVDs, pens and worship guides. Personally, a team member can take in a Bible with no loose notes, a pen, and any approved curriculum material. We are not allowed to take gum, food, drinks, iPods or electronic devices into the prison without prior approval. If you must have medication with you, you will have to leave it with the gate security and come out of the facility to access it if needed.

HOW DO I TRAVEL TO THE CORRECTIONAL FACILITIES? WILL THERE BE SOMEONE I CAN RIDE WITH?

Depending on where and when you serve, you can ride on the church van or carpool with other team members.

 

WHAT TYPE OF A COMMITMENT IS REQUIRED? WHAT IF I CAN’T MAKE IT TO A MEETING?

One of the most important factors in Correctional Ministry is consistency and faithfulness in our commitment. We schedule our Sunday serve opportunities on a rotation of 2 services each month. The Small Groups run concurrent with our Celebration semesters, which is a 12-week commitment. Every serve opportunity is team-driven, so if you are unable to make a commitment, we always have enough team members to conduct the service without interruption.

 

CAN I TAKE A SMALL GIFT TO THE INMATES, SUCH AS GUM, MINTS, PENS, SNACKS, MONEY, BIBLE, ETC?

It is easy to become very fond of the inmates and feel compassionate toward their plight. The TDCJ policies do not allow ministry volunteers to give anything to an inmate that isn’t

previously approved. As a ministry, we have been approved to take certain items in to our services that are available to every inmate, such as an approved pen, worship guide, Bible and communion elements. Nothing can be given to, or taken from, an inmate at any time that hasn’t been approved by Celebration leadership and TDCJ.

 

CAN I WRITE TO THE INMATES I’VE MET IN BETWEEN MY VISITS?

The TDCJ policies state that volunteers, who physically minister inside a Correctional Facility, are not allowed to visit, write, or give money to an inmate. Nor may a volunteer associate with an inmate’s family members

 

AN INMATE DOESN’T HAVE MONEY TO SEND A LETTER OR TO CALL HIS/HER FAMILY. MAY I CALL THE FAMILY MEMBER AND CONVEY A MESSAGE?

We are not permitted to contact anyone on behalf of an inmate. Many times, inmates attempt to persuade a volunteer to convey a message that is a coded message they do not want the TDCJ to intercept through mail or a phone conversation. Conveying such a message could implicate you in criminal activity and, at the least, cause you and/or this ministry to be banned from entering the facility.

 

CAN I GIVE AN INMATE MY PHONE NUMBER OR ADDRESS SO HE/SHE CAN CONTACT ME?

Under no circumstances are we allowed to provide personal information to an inmate. If you would like for an inmate to send something to you, have him/her send it to the Celebration Church campus. We are not allowed to develop a pen pal relationship with an inmate if we are ministering inside the facilities.

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