The story of the thief on the cross (Matthew 27:38) is one of the most touching stories in the Bible. A dying penitent thief accepts Christ as Lord and is assured by Jesus of a place in paradise. Many people have also asked the question, what is the name of the thief on the cross? Unfortunately, the Bible doesn’t give his name, but the story of this thief gives us a beautiful picture of God’s love as shown through Jesus and the mercy freely given to all mankind.
Just as names aren’t important, neither are numbers. I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance. Luke 15:7.
Souls are being saved for sure at the Logan County Detention Center. For Mike Humble, Chaplin at the jail, he doesn’t count how many are brought to Christ, just as long as they come.
Last week 16 individuals were baptized at the jail through a thriving ministry program that encourages area churches to participate. From services every Sunday to Bible studies and most importantly faith… God is working.
When Phil Gregory began serving as jailer over two years ago, one of his platform agendas was to bring church back into the jail. In fact, when Gregory was running he said he prayed about it and told God if He allowed him to win that was one of the first things he would do.
“I feel it is the utmost importance to have services at the jail,” Gregory said. “I made a promise to my Lord and I intended to keep it. Besides, it was something God put on my heart to do.”
Gregory said he contacted Humble asking if he would come into the jail and organize the effort. Humble graciously agreed and now there are numerous churches involved and numerous souls being saved.
“This is not me or anyone else, this is Christ working through us,” said Humble, who is ever so humble.
Keith Burnett, Raymond Oliver, and Rita Oliver are just a few who help on a weekly basis at the jail.
“Christ is working,” Humble said. “We have had such good response by the churches. Several are going in and having services. They are bringing in the Gospel.”
When Humble started at the Logan County Detention Center, inmates who wanted to be baptized would be taken to area churches. Now, those who wish to be baptized can do it at the jail.
“Barry Cates built a baptismal for us at the jail,” said Humble. “Now we can baptize right there.”
Humble has been involved in prison ministry for over 40 years. He and his wife Janice, through their Agape Service Foundation, have been ministering to inmates both general and those on death row in hopes to show them there is hope.
“I’ve been doing this over 41 years,” said Humble, who volunteers as a Chaplin at Eddyville prison. “I’ve seen the value in this. Christ changes hearts. If the heart doesn’t change, nothing is going to change.”
Humble believes education and addiction rehabilitation are extremely important tools to help someone. Bring faith into the picture and it serves as a combination that will change a person. Allow that person to go out and live their lives giving instead of taking.
“It works,” Humble says. “I have seen it. I have seen people change and have seen their lives become productive. There are people right here in our own community that are examples of what Christ has done. God is not going to give up on people, we shouldn’t either. Sin put them in jail. There are consequences because of sin, but when God forgives sin, he doesn’t remember it again.”
Gregory said bringing faith back into the jail has changed the mood of those who live there and work there. He said he knows God is working inside the walls of the detention center and on the hearts of those who are God’s children as well.
Humble asked the community to pray. Pray for those incarcerated and the changes in their lives. Pray for God’s work to be done.
To contact Chris Cooper, email [email protected] or call 270-726-8394.