THE PRISON MINISTRY at West Greeley Baptist Church
WELD COUNTY JAIL
Steve Poggenpohl has been leading group Bible studies at the Weld County Jail on Sunday evenings in two pods since October, 2011. In April 2012, he was asked if he would like a Wednesday night group also, so he was also in Pod O. Lives are being transformed, as he sees many of the regular attendees growing spiritually. Perhaps the most exciting part, though, is seeing men want to invite Jesus Christ into their hearts and lives. As of August 16, 2014, 225 men have received Christ as their personal savior (John 1: 12), and have been born again (John 3:7), as a result of this teaching/preaching at the Weld County Jail. Every week that number grows! BUT, ALL THE GLORY GOES TO THE LORD!
The jail now is in the process of hiring a new chaplain who again will be in charge of scheduling volunteers, but at least for now Steve has once again been able to have two evenings a week, both Monday and Wednesday. With the previous chaplain, Steve was only able to go one night a week, Mondays. Like before, the groups are growing and most weeks there are new guys who make commitments to Christ. He is thrilled to see such enthusiasm by the men and to see their spiritual growth. Most evenings he is there teaching, preaching, and answering their questions from 7 to 9 pm and with driving and checking in and out it is always at least a 3 hour commitment. Of course, that all happens after a full day of working, which involves driving from Greeley to Denver and contacting businesses all over the Metro area. Steve would be the first to tell you that the Holy Spirit is the one speaking and leading him in every area of his life, but especially during his hours with the inmates. But for any of you reading this, please remember to pray for him. Obviously, it would be a challenging schedule for anyone, but for someone with chronic pain like Steve, it is almost amazing that he can do it. Please keep him and his entire ministry in your prayers!
SOARING EAGLES BIBLE CLASS
This class was taught by Steve Poggenpohl with Linda acting as an assistant, who occasionally throws in her comments. We are no longer meeting on Sunday mornings at West Greeley Baptist Church due to lack of interest. However, we do often have a Saturday evening Bible Study in our home. If you are interested, we would love to have you join us. In fact, we are sad that we don’t have enough interest to have the Sunday class. (Sounds like another prayer request!) The primary purpose is to have a class is to invite the men and women who have served time in jail or probation, especially those who Steve has encouraged during their incarceration at the jail, to a class and support group after they are released. Of course, their spouse or significant other is also invited, even before the ex-offender is released, if possible. This is a great class for any who struggle with addictions as well. We focus on God's Word to help us overcome our past failures as we celebrate new opportunities to advance to be the individuals God desires us to be “in Christ”. (Colossians 2:10)
ANGEL TREE - A PROGRAM OF PRISON FELLOWSHIP - WEST GREELEY BAPTIST CHURCH IS PART OF IT!
“It Starts with a Gift, but It's So Much More! Angel Tree is a Prison Fellowship program that connects parents in prison with their children through the delivery of Christmas gifts”.
“In most cases, local church volunteers purchase and deliver gifts and the Gospel to children in the name of their prisoner-parent. Many churches make an annual commitment to this highly rewarding program, and recognize it as a way to care for some of the most overlooked members of our communities. Continue your Angel Tree ministry year-round and God will use your church to help these children and their families grow in their faith, strengthen their relationships with imprisoned parents, and fulfil the purposes that God has for their lives. “
The two paragraphs above are copied from the website. Linda has served as the church coordinator in 2012 and 2013 and will be filling the position and 2014. You will be learning a lot more about this wonderful ministry opportunity in the fall as we plan ahead for Christmas. To learn more about it now, go online: www.angeltree.org
In 2012, members of West Greeley Baptist Church sponsored 30 children. We had an Angel tree party on December 15 where we distributed gifts to many of the children. After cookies and treats, Santa came and helped distribute the gifts to all the children. It was a wonderful successful party. Some were unable to attend, so we delivered their gifts to them. We had several young moms thanking us with tears, who said, “Thank you; I was afraid my child would have nothing under the tree.” We would change things
In 2013, We Sponsored 43 Children and we hosted a fabulous party on December 22nd! We were blessed again with getting to know new families and making children happy! The Cowboy Church of Kersey joined us to help provide all of the gifts this year, which was another blessing.
MISSION SERVICE CORPS
On February 15, 2012, Steve and Linda Poggenpohl were appointed as missionaries for prison ministry by the North American Mission Board, a division of the Southern Baptist Convention. This allows them to receive financial support from any individuals or churches who would like to support them personally so they can keep devoting their primary attention to this ministry. THEY DESPERATELY NEED FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE and will appreciate it so much.
Anyone who desires to support them can do so by writing a check to West Greeley Baptist Church (WGBC) and just designate that it is for PPM, which stands for Poggenpohl Prison Ministry. Your gifts will be tax-deductible as a contribution. You can mail your checks to West Greeley Baptist Church, 3251 W. 22nd St., Greeley, CO 80634.
Who is Steve Poggenpohl? Why is his prison ministry so effective?
· He grew up in a non-Christian home and environment, so he identifies well with many of the prisoners.
· He was an alcoholic by age 18, so he understands addictions, and the inmates identify with him, and hopefully long for the same victory in overcoming their addictions and problems that he freely shares with them.
· He invited Jesus Christ into his heart at age 30 and gave his drinking, smoking cigars, and filthy language to the Lord, and he was instantly healed. He became a devoted student of the Bible. His photographic memory has allowed great Scripture memorization and recall to answer most any question that is asked with Scripture and he has the men at the jail turn to it in their own Bibles.
· He challenges them to read their Bibles and bring their questions to the next session, and encourages them to bring another man along also. The inmates often tell him how no one else who comes for jail ministry will answer their questions about Scriptures, which gives him a big advantage.
· He loves the Lord Jesus Christ, who completely changed his life and filled him with agapé love and a HUGE desire for others to have the same life changing experience. He lets the inmates know that God loves them, Jesus died for them, and is willing to forgive them and give them a new start, no matter what they have done.
· He is committed to teach what the Bible says, not church doctrine. He waits for them to ask what church he attends. Many of the inmates are intrigued by that since most of the volunteers do exactly the opposite.
· His passion is evangelism, teaching, preaching and writing about God's Word in a simple manner that all can understand and comprehend.
He is a licensed Southern Baptist preacher and has served as a pastor in the past. Both Steve and Linda have shared their testimonies in many evangelistic meetings.