Park Prison Ministry Report 09/15/2019



Tulsa County Jail.  

Jim Pinkston and Francisco Davila teach three days each week and Zeth Parkhurst one, They teach in the men’s pods. Several ladies go to the women’s pods every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday for the last eight years, to teach. Zeth is teaching with Jim each Wednesday and teaching the hearing impaired. We have baptized 296 of our students this year (men, women, Hispanic). Finally we are going to be allowed to add a few helpers. The Jail has not allowed a training class for a long time. We have 3 that are preparing for the training by getting there applications in.


Back to the ladies: 

We have ladies teaching New Life Behavior lessons in all three ladies pods at Tulsa County Jail each week. They rotate lessons every thirteen weeks. Carol Siling, Elaine Russell, and Theresa Hawkins teach. Jan Upton helps when she can. Elaine is the coordinator for the women. Many ladies are being changed by the Gospel because of these ladies.


Dick Connors Correctional Center.  


Jim Pinkston preaches at Dick Connors three evenings each month. He has taught there since 1990.  Jim Carmichael teaches every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday mornings and preaches when Pinkston cannot, and every fourth Sunday Evening on the minimum side with a total of 15+ visits a month.  Jim Carmichael teaches a total of 5 – 7 apologetics courses, and is developing a new course designed to teach evangelizing utilizing permissive and apologetics in the prison system. Jim is now an assistant volunteer Chaplain at Dick Connors.

Jim Carmichael also prepares the correspondence courses for grading, and mailing. We have several volunteers that come every other Tuesday evening to the church building to help us grade papers. 

Worship services, Elaine Russell, Jim’s wife Jean, Jim & Jody Carmichael, Jake Schweikhard and Patrick Murphy help and Booker leads singing when he can. We go to the Minimum Security unit on the first and forth Sunday nights for services and to the Medium Security (behind the walls) on the first and third Tuesday nights for services. Seven of our students have been baptized this year that we know of.



40 packages of 6 to 7 lessons mailed too many prisons in Oklahoma. With a total of close to 400 students. Every two weeks = 260 lessons x 2 = 520 per month or 6,240 per year. As of March 29, 2019 we have 169 active students. Many of these are people we studied with at Tulsa and Creek County Jail and have gone on to prison or were transferred from one prison to another. This is one way we keep up with our students as they are moved from prison to prison. Elaine Russell & Carol Siling send lessons to ladies who were former students at Tulsa County Jail who have gone to a prison or gone home. On the second and fourth Tuesdays evenings we have a group that meets to grade and get these lessons ready to mail. This is one place we can use some help. We meet at 6 PM in the office area of the new church building.



John H. Lilly Correctional Center.  The Park  CR group is helping a man go there and carry on the Celebrate Recovery program every Saturday.


Re-entry program. (Hope City) houses up to eight men right now. Mark Clayton is the onsite manager.  In the last several years over thirty men have been helped and are closer to Jesus because of the Hope City ministry. Two of these men have their own businesses today and employ several ex-offenders.


Advisory Board.  The board is made up of eight men and one woman:  James Ivy (deacon over ministry), Ken Williams, Gary Medley, Mark Clayton, Randy Milam, Kevin Neiman and Elaine Russell.  Jim is the recruiter for the applicants.  The board decides who is approved to enter the reentry program.  They go by a set of guidelines approved by the Elders. The board also oversees the operation of the program.


Rogers County Jail.  

Mike Hawkins started a great jail ministry a few years ago and has been very successful teaching there. God just keeps growing this ministry along with the others.


Future Plans. 

To continue with the programs that are now successful and just see where God leads us in 2019. Jim Carmichael joined Jim Pinkston about the first of 2018. He will be learning how the whole ministry works and be prepared to take over when Jim cannot continue.


This ministry originated with Marvin Phillips at Garnett Church of Christ in 1989.  Elaine Russell brought it to Park Plaza in 2007 where Mitch Wilburn, Terry Finch and James Ivey began working with the ministry in 2007-2008, then Jim Pinkston came on board in 2010 part time for 2 years then full time after that. Jim took the leadership position in 2012. Jim started doing Prison Jail ministry in 1984 by working with Ralph Hunter and Bud Tibbles.






Baptisms from this work

2010                            94

2011                            109

2012                            139

2013                            259

2014                            406

2015                            382

2016                          398

2017                          348

2018                          474

2019                          296

Total                          3097 Since 2010 That we know of. Six of these were at DCCC.

To put this in perspective, is 1597 more than we had at the new Park location the first Sunday we met there.

The main help we need is your prayers and support and we could use some help on second and fourth Tuesday evenings grading. We start at 6 PM at the office area in the new church building.  We furnish everything you need to help with this.

We now have a website for our prison ministry


Impossible without your support.

“Jesus did it again!!!”

Thank you Jesus


Bryon Sullivent wrote a book entitled Life, Another Four Letter Word. He started by describing it as My True Story of Abuse, Addiction, Prison and Freedom. Our Prison Ministry has offered it free to any inmate. I believe we have at least two or more copies in every prison in Oklahoma and many other places. This has touched many lives and given many men and women hope again.  We have received many letters telling how this book has helped them have hope in Jesus. What a blessing to be a part of this. We have given away 600 books and have 200 more on order.




  • Jim I hope this letter reaches you at a time of health and happiness. I want to thank you and express my gratitude for your ministry. You provide hope for people in a time and place of perceived hopelessness. Your weekly classes gave me the strength, support, and encouragement that I needed to survive a year and one half in the Tulsa County Jail. Brent
  • Brent was in our classes at David L Moss Correctional Center for one and one half years. He received a fairly long sentence. But is using his time in prison to teach others about Jesus and the new way to live. A fine Christian man now that he has accepted the way of the Lord.
  • Just a few lines to say hello and that all is well, and to answer your letter. Was so good to hear from you I was a little surprised, but overtaken by joy. It is good to be thought of. This place is ok but very different from what I thought it would be. They sure have a lot of rules here and are very serious about one keeping them. I have no problem following the rules. They also have a couple of good Church Services that I have been to. I also plan to attend the one tomorrow. I am also attending a couple of bible studies. I have to keep my ears open because they are full gospel Church. But they are still good Christians seeking the truth. No Church of Christ. But the baptized are here but most of all the Lord is here. So tell everybody I will be ok. I don’t know how long I will be here, everyone says not long. So I am just carrying on as the Lord says to do. Tell Elaine, Booker and Patrick and the rest all is good. God bless all and remember Philippians 4:13. Love Bruce.


  • Bruce was a student of ours at DCCC for over 25 years. I had the privilege of baptizing him over 20 years ago. He was transferred to a minimum security prison to prepare for going home. God has changed him to a really fine Christian Man. He led our singing at the services when Booker could not be with us. PRAISE GOD FOR HIS MERCY AND COMPASSION.


There are more but these let us know that Gods word is so powerful. Also learning how it affected others helps those who otherwise have no hope.   




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