Brandon (10), Beckie, Cristen (13), and Marcus Baird
The Bairds have been missionaries with Good News Jail & Prison Ministry since 1995. Good News provides more chaplains to correctional facilities than any other organization in the world. Marcus serves as a chaplain (pastor) with the Colorado Department of Corrections, working in three prisons. He counsels prisoners, staff, and officers. He also helps lead and facilitate worship services, Bible studies, and classes to help inmates lead productive lives when they are released from prison. Beckie, a busy mom, works part-time doing demos with CROSSMARK at Wal-Mart, provides childcare at Woodmen Valley Chapel, and volunteers at Brandon’s school.
Did you know:
- People who have been arrested for a crime are held in temporary holding places called local jails. If sentenced for more than one year, they are transferred to the state or federal correctional system, known as prison.
- At year-end 2010, there were 1.6 million people incarcerated in state and federal correctional systems in the U.S.
- Ninety-six percent of those incarcerated (in jail or prison) today will one day return to our communities.
- At year-end 2010, about 7.1 million people, or 1 in 33 adults were under supervision of U.S. correctional authorities. This includes people on parole or probation.
- Chaplains who work in Colorado prisons must go through the same basic training as correctional officers, learning to protect themselves and others, and to be aware of security and safety concerns.
- One of the goals of prison is to teach inmates to change the way they have previously lived their lives. For lasting life change, they desperately need Jesus—the same as all people who do not know Him.
- Jesus Himself tells us to help those who are in prison:
For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, . . . I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, . . .? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.' Matthew 25:35–40
A Recent Story from Chaplain Marcus Baird
For a long time we’ve had difficulty finding Spanish-speaking volunteers to provide Bible studies and worship services in the prisons. Not long ago I come across a dozen or so Experiencing God workbooks (Henry Blackaby’s modern Christian classic that has helped millions of people come to know God better and experience the depth of His love) in Spanish. After getting the go-ahead to adjust some schedules at the prison, I was able to arrange a Spanish study group that would use these workbooks. The guys were so appreciative!
A bilingual man I’ve worked with is part of that group and regularly gives me updates on how the group is going and what they are learning. I'm excited to say that five of these offenders have come to Christ and are setting a prime example for other men and for their families, as they demonstrate what it means to experience God in their own lives. This group is growing by leaps and bounds and continues to be an active part of “the church behind bars.”
We have also begun a Christian Movie Night each week for the Spanish-speaking population. Recently these groups of men completed the Jesus video and the Gospel of Matthew movie (from the Visual Bible series) and are now working through the Gospel of John movie.
These resources have brought new impact to our ministry to Spanish-speaking men. Introducing them to quality Christian movies and entertainment has opened a whole new perspective for these men!
Thank you, Wheaton Bible Church! Your support and prayers make these ministries possible!
Pray for the Bairds…
- Pray that correctional staff and prisoners will open their hearts to God’s direction and His plan for their lives.
- Pray that inmates who come to know Christ will grow in their faith and not end up back in jail when they are released.
- Pray that more people will financially support the Good News Jail & Prison Ministry so more inmates can learn about the transforming power of Christ.
- Pray for the right medical treatment for Marcus, who has complications from diabetes, and that Beckie would find a full-time job.
Good News Jail & Prison Ministry celebrates 50 years…
In 1961, correctional chaplaincy was the exclusive province of the federal and state prison systems. A local jail might have a pastor or pastors volunteering to come in on Sunday, but an on-site chaplain was basically nonexistent.
A young Bible college student in Washington, DC changed all that in 1961. Dr. William L. Simmer’s vision of placing evangelical, Christian chaplains in local jails to minister to inmates became reality with the founding of Good News Mission (now Good News Jail & Prison Ministry) and the placement of the ministry’s first chaplain in the Fairfax County, Virginia jail.
In 1983, Dr. Simmer passed the mantle of leadership to Harry L. Greene, his "son in the faith." Harry had trusted Christ in 1964 in the Arlington County, Virginia…..Read more
Contact the Bairds,
, directly to receive regular prayer updates and/or to inquire about joining their support team.
Also visit Good News on Facebook to learn more about the Baird’s ministry.