I am an inmate at the TACJ. Lynaugh unit in Ft. Stocton, TX. I am writing this letter to express my desire for a Chapel building at our unit. As we are currently meeting the the gym. We are worshipping and praising God. But it would be a wonderful thing to have a place of our own. Even though God can be worshiped anywhere it would sure be nice to have a nice and comfortable place to attend services. We feel the holy spirit moving in our midst and we pray that we could get the financial help so that this can happen. God will be glorified in whatever happens.
Thank you so much for any help you can send our way.
I believe that we would have a new Chapel at the Lynaugh unit to not only praise and worship the Lord but to do it in style. To have a grand Chapel would bring such normalcy to a lot of offenders on this unit. It will remind us of going to church on the outside with our friends and family. We can learn so much in the classrooms that may keep many of us from ever returning to this place, except to volunteer our time and experiences with others to break the chains.
Thank you for the help and consideration.
Build It, And They Will Come !
Having a chapel would provide dedicated space for all chaplaincy programs and services. Would open up more time for dedicated services and expansion of classes for inmates to learn and grow in their faith and rehabilitation. It would also create an environment where men can grow and change their lives and for the better and decrease the recidivism rate.
Many units are hard pressed to find space for classes and religious services, often having to utilize the inmate the inmate dining rooms, gyms, and visitation halls. By adding a chapel, it would provide dedicated spaces for these classes and would no longer impress on other departments schedules and needs (e.g. food services, officer training, and family visitations, etc.).
By adding a Chapel to a unit, it would open up scheduling so that not only would current classes not be pressed to finish early or even cut short, but would also allow time to expand program offerings. It would also allow for more time to schedule program preparation, so that peer educators could better plan and prepare their lessons and services thereby enabling better personal growth.
In adding dedicated space and expanding time for chaplaincy programming, it would create an environment that would enable and encourage personal growth and life changes. This, in turn, would not only benefit the individual, but the unit as well as the entire institution by reducing negative activity on the unit and minimizing recidivism rates for TDCJ.
In closing, I believe it would be incredibly beneficial, to all, to add a chapel to units in that it would provide dedicated space, expanded time, and an environment for personal growth and life changes.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Im being asked to write a letter to describe the impact of the Torres Chapel on the Inmates and volunteers, I feel I was given a daunting task, for the impact is manifold on all parties concerned. So, this letter will in no way be exhaustive, but will be a sampling of examples on the forefront of my mind.
I will begin with the impact on Volunteers. Before the Chapel was built, everything was held in the Education building, and big services were in the gym. In the Education building, there was always a shortage of space. During the day, Windham School district had their classes, so volunteers were unwanted during school hours. There was no space for volunteers to congregate and wait except in the teacher’s lounge, but the teachers didn’t like strangers invading their space. After School hours, there was still space limitations because some classrooms were, “off-limits.” The volunteers were still forced to congregate in the Teachers Lounge before or between classes, and if anything was broken or stolen, Chaplaincy always got the blame. There was always a feeling of “Trespassing” that we could do not
In the Chapel, all of this has changed. The volunteers know exactly where to go, there is plenty of space, an office has been assigned specifically to the volunteers for use in meeting with Inmates or preparing their lessons. There are classrooms, and even a kitchen to store and heat up their lunch. If there is a downside to the chapel, the volunteers must have an Officer present in order to have Inmates in the building with them; however, it was the same in the Education building, so the only negative is not a negative at all, but part and parcel with doing business in a prison setting.
Where do I begin describing the impact of the Chapel on the Inmates? Allow me to simply make a list:
- The Chapel is a constant visual reminder of the presence of God on the Unit.
- The space available to Chaplaincy programming has been vastly multiplied. Entering the Chapel is like entering the “Free world” and Inmates are able to find peace and respite from the “Prison” environment.
- No longer need large setup teams to cart equipment to and from the Gym
- Can have Church and classes in a Climate controlled environment.
- Nice environment to hold Graduations, and kitchen supports food for larger programs such as Kairos and Kolbe.
- We have more space to store musical equipment.
- Chapel allows us to have nicer and new equipment such as Amps and speakers that do not need to be moved.
- Room for a larger Theological library.
- Field Ministers have their own office space.
- Dedicated Chapel Officer allows us to have an Officer who is sympathetic with the mission of the Chaplaincy Department.
- Each Faith Group has space to store their necessities.
- Inmate Emergency calls and Death Notices are done in a private and quiet environment.
Again, the Impact of the Chapel is hard to define – there is so much more that could be said. If you ask 100 Inmates this question, you are likely to get 100 different answers as they each have been impacted differently. But one thing I appreciate – the Inmates do not refer to the Chapel as, “The Torres Chapel,” but as “Our Chapel”. This is their Church, their Temple, their Synagogue, their Mosque, their place of Worship. It is not a multi-purpose building, or a classroom shared with the secular. It is Holy Ground, set apart for the Worship of God! The Inmates here take great pride in their Chapel, and carefully police each other so there is no nefarious business going on here, just Heavenly business.
Describing the impact of the Chapel is a daunting task. I pray this letter brings a little enlightenment to the wonderous blessing of having a dedicated Chapel, and what it will do for a Prison Unit and the Population of Inmates housed there.
Chaplain David Busby, Th.M., D. Min.
Chaplain Edwards, This last services have been a blessing to me. I have been blessed in the praise and worship of this services. the volunteers always bring a word that inspires me to keep continuing to seek the presence of our Heavenly father. God said that he will bless all that we place our hands to do.
Psalm 1:3 states:
And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.
It is a good work, labor of love unto the people and to our loving God. May he open the windows of his storehouse, and pour out a blessing.
It is written: Malachi 3:10
Bring ye all the tithes into the store house, that there may be meat in mine house and prove me, now here with, saith the lord of hosts, If I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing that there shall not be room enough to receive it.
Be in courage to give and this promise will be yours to live in.
God bless you.
We are very excited at Lynaugh Unit at the possibility of a Chapel being built for us to worship in. I have been in this unit for five years and the Church fellowship has been very important to and beneficial to me.
The Lord has blessed us with a diligent chaplain and many faithful volunteers. Inmates have been using our gym for worship and classes and this has proved difficult at times. The heat is unbearable during the summer and the cold is unpleasant also, which makes it hard for us to worship, to concentrate in the on the sermons. We have a choir and instruments but much of our equipment is very old and unreliable. We do our best, but a new facility would be fantastic. If we could have the lyrics to the songs projected it would greatly increase the singing and worship. A good sound system would also help inmates focus on the sermon and not frequent audio problems. Having breakout rooms would also increase the number of classes that are offered. The Christians at Lynaugh are dedicated to the Lord, and they want to spend time in a new chapel singing, worshipping, learning, studying and praying.
Thank you for the donations and dedication to see that our new Chapel becomes a reality very soon.
Praise God, yesterday they let us take off our covid-19 mask.
Today, I noticed that we are still forced to wear another kind of mask. The one that a man has to put on in order to keep respect of his so called friends and his peers in this place, prison.
No matter how big, how strong, how hard, lll he cannot for a moments peace let down this “mask” and show his true identity…
Until we walk in to your make shirt church on Sunday morning and you can literally see the fake mask come off and the Love of the Lord on their faces. No matter what manor of miscreant… God is able to do exceedingly, abundantly, above anything that you could think to, ask for pray for with these men. Glory to God. That is beautiful to behold.
One thing I have desired of the Lord,
That I will seek:
That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life to behold the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in his temple.
For in the time of trouble, He shall hide me in His pavilion: In the secret place of His tabernacle He shall hide me.
We need a Chapel, for the men here to attend. I pledge the first $320.00 as my tithes to God. Won’t you help us build our chapel with your gift of any amount.
Thank you. God Bless you.
Dear Potential Donor,
I am ecstatic about the prospect of having a dedicated Chapel for praise, worship and study. Currently we use the Unit’s gym for all religious services and events. The gym is designed with recreation in mind, making it impossible to keep multiple groups intimate. A new facility would have multiple rooms to facilitate multiple classes and services independent of one another. This would be a godsend considering some classes or services have to be rescheduled or canceled because of lack of space and/or lack of separation. With and office space in a Chapel, the chaplain can better focus on spiritual guidance of the inmates with less distraction from the pitfalls of prison life.
As someone who has set up the audio and video equipment for the Chaplaincy department, I an attest to the problems of trying to set up equipment and troubleshoot issues while the band and choir simultaneously tries to usher in the Holy Spirit. This can be distracting. Having a dedicated Chapel will allow for the equipment to remain in place, making for a faster and less troublesome start to service. With less movement, connecting, and disconnecting of equipment, the Chaplaincy department will see more longevity with cords and instruments. I can only imagine how state-of-the-art system with fixed video monitors for viewing lyrics, music videos, and movies would encourage greater participation in services. The gym makes it difficult to handle and serve food in a sanitary manner. A new Chapel would provide a clean place to store, prepare, and serve food.
With less movement, connecting, and disconnecting of equipment, the Chaplaincy department will see more longevity with cords and instruments. I can only imagine how state-of-the-art system with fixed video monitors for viewing lyrics, music videos, and movies would encourage greater participation in services. The gym makes it difficult to handle and serve food in a sanitary manner. A new Chapel would provide a clean place to store, prepare, and serve food. The gym makes it difficult to handle and serve food in a sanitary manner. A new Chapel would provide a clean place to store, prepare, and serve food. The gym was not designed with serving food in mind, therefore desert sand blows in along with critters seeking asylum from the elements. A Chapel would be a welcomed addition for our volunteers who suffer high temperatures in the summer months and low temperatures in the winter months being in an airy gym. Days of trying to be heard over loud industrial fans would be a thing of the past. In fact, all participants would enjoy environmental control during religious observance.
In short, a chapel is essential in enabling the Lynaugh Unit residents and volunteers to focus on the reason for gathering in the first place, the Creator. May God show you favor. Thank you for your time in considering being a donor to the Lynaugh Unit Chapel Project.
My name is Hosea D. Brown III, and I’m currently on the Lynaugh Unit. I recently came to this unit due to the fact that the unit was at a closed neal unit. I am writing this letter to let you know why we believe we need a new chapel built.
We were able to have classes going on in the classrooms, a library, and the sanctuary was used not only for worship but multi-purpose.
It will give us as a whole to experience something new to say “We was a part of that building process”. I know and understand that we had a rough year due to covid. We lost a lot of loved one’s friends and extended family, but we gained a new one.
I pray that you will find it in no that God will touch your hearts to allow this process to take place. I know it’s not gonna be easy, but with God all things are possible.
Thank you and you are in my prayers.
Yours In Christ
Hosea D. Brown III
I thank God for you and the work you are doing thru the Prison Chapels Ministry. I found out about this ministry thru Harold Howard and I believe I’ve been moved by the holy spirit to donate.
I pray that God will continue to bless this ministry so that you will continue to be productive for his kingdom. Please accept this grace gift to be use as the spirit leads.
Yours in Christ,