woodman state jail

Terry's Corner - May 2011


Resurrection Sunday was a day of celebration for our family, as we traveled to the Woodman State Jail. Permission had been granted to hold open air services, so any inmate who wanted to worship could attend. Women in white quietly lined up waiting for freedom to move into our area. Razor wire framed the perimeter. Seven chairs were put in place by the young women who assist the Chaplain. The chairs were for us.

There were no pews or chairs for the inmates. Instead, they sat on the ground on concrete slabs for several hours. They were not allowed to stand. Not even for worship. But that did not hinder their passion and praise.

As I lead, “Lord I lift your name on high!” I felt the presence of the Lord. Everyone in that large jail could surely hear our worship. Correctional officers joined in singing Amazing Grace! It was a day for joy!

Terry's Corner - March 2011


My son Jake is in his second year at Temple College and will be 19 years old in May. What a man! When he was three I wrote a song entitled Jacob’s Song (that seems like such a short time ago).  As I thought about my hopes for Jake, I had written, “I pray the blessings given to me will rain down upon his shoulders and he’ll serve you.” God has answered that prayer. Recently, Jake ministered with our team in Woodman State Jail, Mountain View, Hilltop, and Death Row. This dad’s heart overflowed! Walking back into the chapel from Death Row he commented, “This is the happiest, sad place I have ever been.”  Jake’s words nailed the joy and challenge of ministering in prison.


Jake and a gifted team of volunteers joined us for several outreaches that were off the chart! Bev DeSalvo shared her story of healing from abuse, bringing great comfort to the women.

Charla Pereau spoke six times to overflow crowds. Charla founded “Foundation for His Ministry” in Mexico’s Baja 44 years ago to provide a place of love and care for orphans. The ministry now includes an orphanage, medical center, church, feeding station for the poor and a fire department in the Baja location—and three other major works. To echo Jake’s words of this miracle ministry, “This is rad. Charla doesn’t just have an orphanage; she has a whole city.”

Celebrate Recovery, a Christ-centered twelve-step program, continues strong in Woodman. Last week my precious wife Jean shared her story. Many women were in tears, as God used Jean’s past to help the women with their future. This week I will teach and wrap-up the current twelve-week session. It’s a privilege to see God working in all of our lives as we draw close to Him.

A Year of Outreach

2011 has been a year of outreaches for Discipleship Unlimited. Speakers, dancers and wonderful Bible teachers have traveled from many states for these events. 3,000 women in white, from Texas City to Woodman State Jail to Gatesville Prisons, were given an opportunity to hear the “good, glad, merry news!” Prayer paves the way, as volunteers go cell to cell. Divine appointments are the order of the day.  Evenings are filled with worship and teaching. Volunteers travel from many states to join God in what He is doing here.

These men and women are all sizes, shapes, ages and backgrounds but they all want to bring God’s love. Those behind the fences are eager for a ray of hope. Jesus is our hope and prayer unlocks hearts. Edrena Smith did a fantastic job of coordinating this very diverse group of more than 150 people.


Recently, I received a letter from Clara, who has been in the Mountainview unit for eight years. She writes with such deep gratitude for our outreach event that she calls it a “Crusade of Love.” I want to share with you His work through Clara’s eyes:

I cannot express in words my admiration for this labor of love. For four days we have had awesome Bible teaching, poetry, music, dance, and time to interact in small groups. God hand picks each of the team members to cover our spiritual needs and there is something for everyone.

Roy Yamamoto, an ex-offender, is a full-time Pastor of New Hope Church. He shared his powerful story of redemption. He is a precious man of God. We are all ready to follow him to Hawaii to help with his Agape camp for children of the incarcerated.

Jill Briscoe returned to us with her lovely British accent and her stories of those in third world countries who suffer for serving Christ. Her messages give us a desire to go deeper and be stronger in our walk. She writes poetry and one of the team members, who is a lovely ballerina, danced as the poem was recited. It left a lasting impression of what it is like to be in Heaven or Hell—to be alone in a pit or in heaven with Jesus.

Many of the team members who serve with Discipleship Unlimited bring their children or grandchildren. Terry Strom has been a regular at our prison for years. He makes us feel comfortable because he is kind and makes us laugh. We love him. Jake Strom is 18 and tall and handsome. He plays the electric guitar with his father. Sue Mayer from Wisconsin brought her daughter to sing and share her story with us.

I can't believe people do this. Instead of going to a resort or for a four day week-end vacation they come to Gatesville and spend time with prisoners, [who feel like] the lowest of the low in the whole wide world.... They inspire us with hope and their messages are received with joy in our hearts. They encourage, comfort and urge us to live lives worthy of God. So many pleasant memories are left in our hearts. We long to see them again and again!

Thank you for soothing our afflicted hearts. Thank you for inspiring us to live a life worthy of love.


It is wonderful to receive such an affirming letter. However, for all of us who minister behind the walls, the joy is ours. We love the men and women who welcome us into their world and open their hearts to Him. For it is His call—to go to captives and watch Jesus set them free—to go and make disciples.

Through your prayers and gifts you make this ministry possible. Let’s continue to partner with Him in setting captives free!