YOKEFELLOW PRISON MINISTRY OF NC INC
- Justice & Legal
LocationPO BOX 38964GREENSBORO, NC 27438 United States
In response to the call and example of Christ, Yokefellow Prison Ministry of N.C., Inc. motivates and encourages prisoners, yoked in personal relationships with community volunteers, to examine their lives; experience the forgiveness, healing and power of God’s love; and return from incarceration with a covenant commitment to, and new disciplines for, personal responsibility and contribution to family and community.
Yokefellow is a Christian interdenominational and interracial prison ministry. For almost 50 years (since 1969/incorporated in 1972), Yokefellow has been ministering to NC inmates. Today, Yokefellow has local ministries in 37 of NC’s 57, which covers 2/3 of the NC prisons with a vision to grow to serve all of them. The standard protocol is that volunteers visit the prison weekly for 90 minutes with a ratio of 1 volunteer to 3-5 inmates. The meetings open with a prayer, song, and welcome to newcomers. The bulk of the time is spent in small "sharing groups," ideally with 2 volunteers seated with 6-10 inmates. The volunteers invite the inmates to talk about whatever is on their minds. If the inmates do not raise the topic of faith, then that topic is not discussed that night - the ministry is caring enough to listen and "hear" the inmates. Over time, the inmates are drawn to the faith motivating the volunteers to come week after week and do ask about God, and that is the invitation to share Jesus with them. The meetings end with a snack and informal socializing followed by a closing prayer. In 2018, Yokefellow plans to launch its first post-incarceration ministry for former inmates who are reentering society. This ministry will use the same format that has worked so well in the prisons for nearly half a century and meet in a church to minister to former inmates seeking emotional and spiritual mentoring. Yokefellow will work with the State’s Local Reentry Council to provide mentoring to former inmates and help reduce recidivism.