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21 Inmates Give Their Lives to Jesus at Hillsong NYC and Prison Fellowship 'Hope Event' Service

  • Amanda Casanova

    Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and…

  • 2019 Jul 15

Hillsong NYC and Prison Fellowship joined with inmates in New York for a night of hope as part of the “Hope Events” initiative.

According to The Christian Post, the event took place July 3 and included about 43 male inmates at the Rikers Island detention center. 

The event, held in the Rikers Island gym, featured live music from Hillsong NYC’s worship band and Chris Davenport, of Hillsong United. A Hillsong NYC band member spoke and Prison Fellowship field director Jose Negron also delivered a message.

Some 21 inmates came forward during the event’s altar call, said Jennifer Lowrey, Prison Fellowship senior director of programs and special events.

“It has an amazing lyric about not being alone and about how Jesus is our other person in the fire with us,” Lowrey said of the Hillsong United song, “Another in the Fire.” 

“I was standing back next to the men so I could see the lyrics. ... I just couldn’t stop crying,” she said.

“It just moved me so much. The guy right next to me couldn’t stop crying. It was amazing to see.” 

Lowrey’s parents had previously been detained at the detention center.

“I think the thing that moved me on a personal level was that I am so grateful that we have an opportunity to bring hope into places like Rikers,” Lowrey told CP. “At the same time, it makes me really sad because when I see the guys, a lot of times I wish that my dad had somebody to intervene and do that for him. You wonder, what if someone had been able to be there for him at a key point. His trajectory could have changed.”

Prison Fellowship’s Hope Events are led all over the country and feature speakers and musicians. The events also hope to give inmates a chance to “take the next step of joining a faith community behind bars.”

In 2018, Prison Fellowship held 209 events nationwide.

Photo courtesy: Matthew Ansley/Unsplash