Offenders Find New Hope
BY ALEXANDRIA SMITH
September 7, 2017
Northview Church launched a campus at the New Castle Correctional Facility on March 12, 2017. Since then, 100+ offenders have made a lifelong commitment to Christ. There’s a lot of positive change happening there, and they are now gearing up to have their first baptism in August.
“My favorite part of this position is seeing men who have no hope find hope in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ,” Campus Pastor Walt Whiteman says.
From his position Whiteman is able to see and hear men having answers to prayer. He acknowledges that God is changing lives in the facility. Whiteman gets to work alongside volunteers from Northview on Sundays and Mondays. His first and foremost hope for these men is that they would have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Whiteman sees these men struggling and he wants them to be free and clean of addictions upon reentry into society.
“My hope for those getting out is that they realize they are a new creation. The old man has passed away, the new man has a job and a place to live, and are accepted into their community — free to worship as set-free men of God,” Whiteman said.
Northview is partnering with God Behind Bars. God Behind Bars is an organization that provides a three-step approach for prisoners that focus on the physical, spiritual and relational needs of inmates and their families. These include weekend services, life groups, family reunification events and reentry. All of these efforts are aimed at taking a holistic approach at investing in the community, like any other Northview campus.
“I tell the men almost every Sunday that I don’t mind when they leave Northview Number 8 [Northview’s 8th campus], because it means they are going home,” Whiteman says.
This post is entirely the opinion of this week’s writer and does not necessarily reflect the view of Northview Church as a whole.