19 inmates set free on the inside at Baptism service PDF Print E-mail

Some cried, some screamed for joy and some were just overwhelmed as 19 inmates committed their lives to Jesus.


The event took place in the courtyard at the Washington County Detention Center on Tuesday, July 11.

Local church goers attended the event and staff at the jail filled up a horse trouth for inmates to be Baptized.

Those who made a decision for Jesus were, Allison Collins, Tammy Pilkerton, Monica Dorta, Greisis de la Paz Ochoa, Christa King, Chancla Hobson, Krista Carty, Ashlee Marshall, Maranda Young and Michelle Knight.

Men deciding to Jesus were Brandon Gibson, David C. Lakins, Joshua Risinger, Eli Engleking, David Elliott, Tony Shelton, Jeremiah McCoskey, Leslie Spaulding and Chris Chism.

In addition to the battles that come at people who decide to live their life in faith, those who were Baptized will also have to battle the judgement that the decision was only, “Jailhouse Religion.”

Ron Blackman, who is a pastor at the Church on the Hill in Hardinsburg, wasn’t able to attend the Baptisms, but he did accept Christ when he was in jail.

“Jailhouse religion describes those who find Jesus in jail, but leave Jesus when they get out,” Blackman said. “I found Jesus in jail, took him into my heart and decided to make Luke 10:27 my life!”

The verse Blackman speaks of says, “Love the Lord with all your heart and with all your should and with all your strength and with all your mind!”

Inmates at Washington County have several opportunities for church services.

Every Tuesday George Parsley, who pastors the Westside Church of Christ, has church service for the men.

On the second and fourth Mondays of the month, another group offers church service.

The women have an opportunity for church every Tuesday night and Saturdays.

Tracy Roberts is one of the ladies who ministers to the female inmates.

“The women have various studies including Bible Scripture, Christian books, like Bad Girls of the BIble, and we also use the Christ Centered Living Free studies,” Roberts said. “These all work together to give a strong foundation in Christ and tools to live life without “doing life.”

Roberts said the possibility that they will make the changes needed to stay out of jail and turn their lives around is what keeps her going back.

“You cannot argue with a changed life,” she said. “Second Corinthians 5:17 reads ‘Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!’

“The fruit over time reveals the work of God, which will show their true character.”

In addition to the regular services, every June the men and women experience an evangelistic experience when the Residents Encounter Christ program visits the jail.

The REC is a three-day event with a series of 13 talks designed to point the men and women toward Christ.

Part of the REC program is also providing inmates with guidance and tools to help turn things around once they get out of jail.