Christian Education for Prisoners
Crossroad Bible Institute has its origins in the command of Christ to go and make disciples. Our effort to reach prisoners with the gospel was producing significant response from prison to prison. However, Christ’s command to teach new Christians to “obey everything I have commanded” was not being accomplished. The goal: a Christ centered, biblically-based, ministry-directed, Christian education for prisoners. The answer: Crossroad Bible institute, a way to teach them.
The mission of Crossroad Bible Institute is to proclaim the Gospel of the Grace of God to prisoners, encourage them to seek a saving personal relationship with Jesus Christ, and provide them with the opportunity to receive a quality, prisoner-specific, Christian education from a Reformed perspective.
CROSSROAD EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM
Crossroad Bible Institute seeks to empower student-prisoners for effective Christian service both during their imprisonment and upon release. Crossroad also seeks to provide prisoners with the tools they need to influence others for Christ both in prison gatherings and among their families and friends.
Educational materials are provided on three basic levels:
1. An introductory course called Answers to Live By 2. More advanced studies called Biblical Christian Truths (based on the Heidelberg Catechism). Supplemental studies entitled, Straightway Roadmaps, are also included. 3. Some students go on to Reformed Bible College extension courses.
“I’m Not a Crossroads Project!”
That’s right! Charles is not a project, he’s a person! And what a testimony he has for Christ! Charles studied the Bible with Crossroad Bible Institute while he was in prison.
He’s out now and leads a Bible study of his own in a drug rehabilitation center. Charles loves the Bible. He says, “I may not have a shiny new car, but I have the Word of Cod shining in my soul!”
CROSSROAD IS NETWORKING WITH NATIONAL RADIO BROADCASTS
After eight years of ministry in Michigan prisons, Crossroad began a networking relationship with Back to God Hour/Faith 20 which ignited a national ministry. Dozens of prisoners write to the Back to God Hour each month asking for a copy of the Today devotional or responding to a broadcast. In addition to sending a copy of the daily devotional booklet. Rev. David Feddes began to enclose an application form and a personalized letter inviting the inmate to enroll in Crossroad Bible Institute. These prisoners show motivation because they fill out the enrollment form and send it in to Crossroad. This provides us a student who takes the initiative.
After two years we have prisoners in 130 jails and prisons in 32 states (1400 students altogether) enrolled and 60 who have done so well that we recommended them for Reformed Bible College level extension work. These students are operating on a 95% completion level.
Two years later we thought if it works this well with Back to God Hour perhaps other radio broadcasts would be interested in this unique enrollment process. We contacted Rev. David Bast, the broadcast minister for Words of Hope, he was interested and another successful relationship was formed.
Recently a growing number of students began to surface in the west. The administrative and outreach answer was Crossroad Ministries West, a Regional Extension Center.
With the recent addition of CURE (a Reformation radio talk show) and the exciting new radio broadcast of R.C. Sproul all we can do is work and pray that God will give us the wisdom to manage what He is doing through this revolutionary access to those who are hungry for the Truth. Yes, prisoners can hunger for the Truth—Glory to God!
LET’S HEAR FROM SOME OF THE CROSSROAD STUDENTS
FROM ANDRE (incarcerated in Beacon, NY) After Lesson 10 of Biblical Christian Truths
“Praise the Lord, Crossroad, I really really enjoyed this lesson very much! Once I started, I just could not put this lesson down! J thank you guys so much, because these lessons are really uplifting for my spiritual growth as a Christian. And I thank the Lord ministry like this one. The material that I receive from Crossroad, I also share with my wife and children—they love it also. God bless this ministry!”
FROM FRANKLIN (incarcerated in Coldsboro, NC) In Response to Some Essay Questions in Lesson 10 of Biblical Christian Truths
QUESTION: What does the work of Christ mean to you personally?
ANSWER: “What Christ done for me really can’t be put into words. As I am writing my eyes are swelling up with tears. I was lost and couldn’t find my way. Then I asked Jesus to save me and He did. I am alive again! I have a whole new life ahead of me.
I think the most wonderful thing Jesus gave back to me was my conscience. I used to be able to do anything and feel no remorse. I hurt people, my family, friends, even myself but Jesus changed all of that. Some of my friends say I have become weak. But once I share with them what Jesus has done for me they too become weak—weak to sin and stronger for righteousness. People really love me now-I mean really love me! And it is all because of Christ and the work He done!
But the biggest joy is knowing that I am no longer separated from God. What a blessing! You ask me: ‘What does the work of Christ mean to me?’ It’s my life and my salvation!”
FROM TOM (incarcerated in Carson City, MI)
“Crossroad Bible Institute has made an incredible difference in my life! Growing up in the Reformed church, and being a Christian all of my life, I never expected to find myself in prison. Now [ am looking at spending a large portion of my adult life incarcerated. Needless to say I have been through some very low valleys in my walk through life. Crossroad, however, has been there to help pick me up. One of my first visitors in the county jail was a member of Crossroad. Since then I have been studying the Bible using Crossroad correspondence studies. I also am fortunate to be able to attend worship services that Crossroad leads here in the prison. They have made a tremendous difference in my life and many others here in Carson City. Their personalized interaction with each individual inmate is far more beneficial and rewarding than other correspondence Bible studies that I have taken. I have worked though the basic introductory courses and now have moved on to classes from Reformed Bible College which are sponsored by Crossroad Bible Institute. It is hard for me to put into words how much Crossroad has done for me and means to me.”