Sunday school class works to build chapel in jail

HENDERSON, TX (KLTV) - By Layron Livingston - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - bio | email | Twitter

HENDERSON, TX (KLTV) - For 13 years, a group of East Texas Sunday school teachers have taken their message inside the walls of some unlikely places. Now, those walls are bursting at the seams, but they have a plan.

"It's going to be a 100 by 70 foot building," said Ken Hale, a Sunday school teacher.

The proposed plans call for a 7,000 square foot chapel. The proposed site is the Bradshaw State Jail, just outside Henderson.

Ken Hale describes himself as "nothing more than just a simple Sunday school teacher." But Hale says he and a group of volunteers have a grand plan to turn the plans.

"The foundation of anyone's life, in prison or not, must be the Lord Jesus Christ," said Hale.

They want a place where 500 men can go to church says Hale. "We started out with four men coming to that Sunday school class." That was more than a decade ago. Now, ten classes host hundreds of inmates every Sunday at the Billy Moore Correctional Center near Overton, the East Texas Treatment Center in Henderson and at Bradshaw where space is getting tight.

For Hale, the mission is not just spiritual but economical. He says it costs tax payers more than $40 a day to house just one inmate.

He says the time in jail is when they can reach out to the men.

"Unless a man can form a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, he, more than likely, is just going to keep going round and round in the system," said Hale.

He says the plans are still in its infant stage, but he is faithful.

"We're on God's timetable," he said. "We're just going to be patient - do our very best until he decides the time is right."

He says the state has been notified of their intentions and a fundraising committee has already been established.

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