Christian Ministry in Prison, by Charles Diehl

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We are blessed to have two Godly chaplains here at the State Correctional Institute (SCI) at Mahanoy in Pennsylvania. They love Jesus and they love us as well. Due to their obligations to their churches on the outside we have worship service on  Sunday afternoons. The ministry I have the privilege of participating in is the book, tape and game distribution ministry. My team and I select certain books, cassette tapes and Christian games from the Christian library to display so that the congregation can check them out… like you would do at a regular library.

One might think that this isn’t a ministry but you would be wrong! We arrive before the worship service begins and lay out the books, tapes and games on tables in a side room. Then we go in to the worship service and sing and hear the message. After the service is over we enter the side room and prepare for our act of service. Our mission in this service for the Lord is to build relationships with the brothers in the congregation and to encourage the nonbelievers to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. We accomplish this through personal interaction with the men. We talk to them and encourage and pray with them. Although the books, tapes and games draw them in, it is in this personal interaction with the men that the ministry happens.

As we fill out the form for the men to check out the items they have selected, we talk to them and interact on a personal level. We want the men to know that we care about them and love them in Christ. I have found that the greatest encouragement for the men is to learn their name…and then say “hello”!to them every time I see them in the prison. In a place where you are referred to by number it is truly satisfying when someone takes the time to remember your name and that you are a human being. By the grace of God I’ve been blessed to serve in this capacity for over a decade and I will continue to serve for as long as the Lord allows.

I hope this give a little glimpse into one of the many ways Christians are able to serve the Lord on the inside. The Holy Spirit is alive and present in our daily lives. May you enjoy the blessings of the Holy Spirit in your daily life.


Charles Diehl

EDITORS NOTE:  You may write to my friend and brother in Christ,  Charles Diehl, at the following address–he would love to hear from you!

  • Smart Communications / PADOC, 
  • Charles Diehl AS3410
  • SCI Mahanoy,
  • PO Box 33028,
  • ST Petersburg FL 33733


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