Inmates Working On Church Find Faith

For Peter Grimes, Saturday marked a new beginning. He is one of several inmates from the Harrison County work center who has spent weeks helping construct a Sanctuary for a local church. Now, six of them decided to devote their lives to Christ and be baptized.

"One day I woke up, and I felt like I was called on to come out here and help," one inmate, Peter Grimes, said. "Ever since I have my whole life has changed."

"It has a real big impact on them because they get to come out here and work with Christian men and Christian women, and it just builds their spirit and their hearts change," Homer Martin with the Harrison County Sheriff's Department said.

The congregation at Covenant of Peace Church wasn't just interested in the men's construction work. They wanted to work on the inmates hearts.

"It's a shame that they could work and labor with us and not be able to enjoy the fruits of their labor," the church's pastor, Rev. Blair Bradley said.

The inmates work and worship side by side with church members. Although the inmates can be distinguished by their uniforms, the men say here everyone is treated as an equal.

"These people here, they're great," Grimes said. "There is so much love in their hearts for us that they don't make us feel like inmates. They make us feel like real people."

Church members say treating the men with dignity and respect paves the way to helping them become productive citizens once they are released.