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There Is a 'Revival in America's Prisons' Says 2nd Chance Outreach Founder

  • Michael Foust Crosswalk Headlines Contributor
  • Updated Jul 21, 2023
There Is a 'Revival in America's Prisons' Says 2nd Chance Outreach Founder

A new TBN documentary series examines the often-overlooked role of prison ministry in America's penitentiaries with inspiring stories of transformation and redemption.

The latest episode in the series, 2nd Chance Presents: Revival in America's Prisons, launched on TBN platforms in recent weeks, giving viewers a behind-the-scenes look at worship services, Bible studies and personal testimonies of inmates who found hope in Christ

The documentary is the result of a partnership between TBN and 2nd Chance Outreach Ministries that launched in 2017. CJ Orndorff, who founded 2nd Chance Outreach Ministries three decades ago, said prison ministry is "close to the heart of the Father." 

"I found that there was a harvest field [in prisons] that I had never thought of, never had considered," Orndorff told Christian Headlines. "And it was just because I had never been there and never been placed in that position of actually looking at it from a gospel, from a biblical point of view."

The body of Christ, Orndorff said, is commanded by God to minister to those in prison. He quoted Matthew 25:36 ("I was in prison and you came to visit me") and Hebrews 13:3 ("Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison").

America's prison system, he added, desperately needs the church to get involved. 

"The prison system in the beginning, in the founding days of our country, was meant to take the mistakes that a person's making, correct the mistakes, and he's forever a different person," Orndorff said. "Well, it's morphed into a whole money-making business that is dangerous, actually, for the lives of people that get locked up. It creates more criminal activity. And you've heard before of guys going in for something petty, and they come out as seasoned criminals because they've been hanging out with these guys. And that stuff is perpetuated. That doesn't heal the person, it doesn't heal their families, and it doesn't heal their future.

Today's prison system, he said, is "more punishment than it is correction."

The gospel is the answer to the system's problems, he said. The men and women seen in the docuseries, he said, are "thriving" in their faith.

"It's all about transforming who that person is on the inside," he said. "And we all know that when Jesus changes your heart, He changes your life."

Photo courtesy: ©TBN, used with permission.


Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.