Prisoners for Christ
Greg & Rhonda Von Tobel
PO Box 1530 | Woodinville, WA 98072 | (425) 483-4151
In 1989, Greg Von Tobel began Prisoners for Christ Outreach Ministries (PFC) in the offices of Overlake Christian Church with a vision to bring the redeeming message of the gospel into the jails, prisons, and juvenile centers here in the Northwest, giving inmates the opportunity to know our Savior Jesus Christ. Today, with the motto of “One Cell at a Time”, PFC is in 32 correctional centers in Washington state, 2 in Florida, and multiple international locations (Africa & Asia).
Some Facts about Prison Ministry
America incarcerates more of its citizens per capita than any other nation in the world.
According to the US Department of Justice, there are today, more than 1.7 million adults who are incarcerated in the jails and prisons of the US. This does not include the 690,000 who are on parole or the 3 million who are on probation.
Our government reports indicate that 75% of the released prison population is rearrested within four years.
A recent study conducted by the Billy Graham organization showed that the rate in which individuals return to prison drops 32% if an inmate, while in prison, becomes involved with a bible study or church service at the prison chapel. If an inmate is connected with an outside church within the first year of their release, their rate of returning to prison (this is called recidivism … new word for the day) decreases by another 10%.
Those incarcerated in third world prisons are an “unreached people group” not yet identified and sanctioned by modern mission planners. These forgotten inmates are truly the least of the least.
Inmates in the African prisons listen intently to PFC missionaries, taking notes on the palms of their hands with ink pens as a means of studying the bible. We should pray that God’s word would forever be written in their hearts!
Doors for international prison work are wide open and there are pockets of revival breaking out in 3rd world prisons. The banquet table in heaven will be lined with the throwaways of the world.
Many youth cannot hear God’s voice when they are out in the community because drugs, street life, violence, sex and chaos has stifled their ears to God’s voice. When they are suddenly forced into a quiet place…often a cell, the distractions are gone. The chaos of their old life is stripped away and they come face to face with a loving God. It is because of this dynamic that the Correspondence Bible Studies have a tremendous impact on believers behind bars.