Taking church outside the walls of the POA, individuals involved in the Prison Ministry make sure those who are incarcerated have the opportunity to attend worship services.
Presently, the POA's Prison Ministry has 34 volunteers. These volunteers provide services at 12 facilities in six different parishes in Central Louisiana. All but two of the facilities house weekly services. The overall attendance of all services averages 300 per week.
At these services, attendees are part of a worship experience. Modeled on a traditional worship service, workers in the Prison Ministry provide all the elements of church, including singing, preaching, and altar calls. Testimonies also are common; sometimes, members of the church will accompany a team to a prison service to share their own testimony of how God has worked in their lives.
The main objective is to share the Acts 2:38 message with the men and women of the prisons. If the incarcerated follow the plan of salvation and build a relationship with Jesus Christ, the chains that are on their lives–the ones that bind them in an emotional and spiritual prison–will be broken, and they will be free to start a new life, no longer bound in their mind and soul.
Monthly meetings are held for training and coordination. The structure of the ministry is such that everyone who participates is accompanied by a seasoned volunteer. Team leaders are responsible for all services at a specific location.
Volunteers can be part of the ministry on a one-time, occasional, or weekly basis. Those who assist with the ministry play musical instruments, sing, share their testimonies, or work in the altars.
Through these services, those ministering in the prisons work to bring eternal hope to the incarcerated through the preaching and teaching of the Bible. Volunteers are committed to the inmates at their respective facilities. Prayer, fasting, and a willingness to "go" enable those who are part of the Prison Ministry to take a message of salvation and hope to incarcerated men and women and impact their eternal destiny.