Jail Ministry
OCEANA COUNTY JAIL MINISTRY began over 20 years ago when Rev. Chuck Uken, pastor of Newman Chapel
and Deputy Todd Cheney of the Oceana Sheriff Dept took it on themselves to begin a ministry to inmates in the county
jail. Their motto was Matthew 25:36...

I was in prison and you came to visit me...

For over twenty years a group of 5-10 men and women gather each Monday evening from 7 – 9 to lead a worship
service for inmates. These volunteers are from a wide variety of churches within the county and many of their pastors
give the message on a rotating basis. In a typical evening, from 15 – 30 inmates come to a large room to be greeted by
the volunteers, lead in prayer time, sing songs, listen to a sermon and join in small groups for 10 minutes at the end to
discuss the sermon. On their way back to their cells, there is a table where they may pick up a Bible, literature, Bible
studies, envelopes, papers and greeting cards for their use.

For those who for various reasons cannot come down to the service, 2-3 volunteers go up into the jail and visit one-on- one with inmates. They provide the same services, literature, studies and spend time in the Word with inmates on a
more intimate level.

Another project the ministry is involved in is Project Angel Tree. This is where Christmas gifts are purchased for
children of inmates incarcerated over Christmas. The inmates are able to watch as the children open their gifts. It
certainly is an exciting time for the inmates and their children.

I can attest to the benefits of this program both to various inmates and to the volunteers. It is exciting to see how God
has worked in the lives of some of the men and women. Years later, those I have visited will come up on the street or
stop in and give thanks for the time we spent with them at that difficult time in their lives. If you ever feel Gods leading
you to help these men and women through these visits, I'd be happy to give you information you would need to join our
volunteer group.

-Dick Walhout
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