Prison Ministry has been an active and engaged outreach ministry at Tampa First for over 25 years now. While the number of individuals active in the ministry has varied over the years, there is always a core group of volunteers who have participated in it over the years.
The ministry mostly targets boys and girls in Juvenile Detention. It is specifically focused on involving juveniles in singing hymns and gospel songs, in prayer, and in Bible study. The interactions are both formal and informal with an emphasis on inculcating in juveniles the love of God, the great compassion of Jesus Christ and His soon return. There is always a special emphasis on the redeeming love of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
More recently, Prison Ministry launched a new effort ( Set Free) aimed at reintegrating, rehabilitating, and resettling ex-female inmates into society. Set Free has the same objectives as those of the Florida Conference Prison Ministry Program which are:
1. To present the gospel of Jesus Christ
2. To share the love of God
3. To express the meaning of faith
4. To show the power of prayer
In sum, Tampa First Prison Ministry exists to prepare juveniles and inmates for re-entry into society (physically, mentally, morally and spiritually). Our overall goal is the same as that of the Florida Conference: To provide the opportunity for every inmate in the state to have the opportunity to know Jesus Christ and be saved.
Our ongoing problem is the difficulty in gaining access to the Juvenile Detention Centers and Prisons, because of privatization of these facilities. Please pray for us in this matter, so God will open doors for us in this ministry.