America today faces a mounting prison crisis. The federal, state, and local institutions that seek to bring about rehabilitation have not been successful. Why? Because before a man can be truly rehabilitated, he must first be regenerated. The changed life must start from within.
IT MUST START WITH A NEW LIFE THAT CAN ONLY COME THROUGH JESUS CHRIST!
The Saints Prison Ministry endeavors to reach these men with the life-changing message of Jesus Christ through sports. Studies show that 80% of all prisoners refuse to attend a conventional religious program such as a chapel service or Bible study. However, they will gladly attend a sporting event at which the gospel is shared.
Saints athletes minister seasonally through softball, basketball and soccer in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and 14 other states. Since 1987, our teams have played more than 1,200 games in over 240 different prisons.
We currently correspond with 20,000 inmates in more than 400 different prisons in several different countries. We also operate
- The Saints Bible Correspondence School with an enrollment of 2,000 students
- The Saints Transitional Services Program to help ex-offenders successfully reintegrate into the community
A BRIEF HISTORY
The idea for The Saints Prison Ministry came five years before we played our first game. Dale Glading, the ministry’s founder, trusted Jesus Christ as his personal Savior in March 1977. It was not until 1982, however, that he fully surrendered every area of his life to Christ’s lordship. Almost immediately, God burdened Dale with a desire to combine his love for Christ and his love for sports, for the purpose of reaching the lost.
After thinking and praying about the idea for several years, Glading finally decided to act in 1987. Forming an all-Christian softball team, he was led to contact several area prison chaplains and recreation directors to schedule some games. The first game played by the team, originally named The South Jersey Saints, was on June 6, 1987. That day eight prisoners accepted Christ as Savior at the Bayside State Prison in Leesburg, NJ.
The Saints squad played just five games that first season, but more than doubled its schedule the following year. For three years, a Saints volleyball team also toured area correctional institutions. However, our basketball team, which was formed in 1989, soon supplanted the volleyball squad in popularity and effectiveness. In 2002, the Saints added a soccer team for the purpose of reaching Spanish-speaking inmates.
To present the Gospel of Jesus Christ to prisoners through athletics and to provide them with opportunities for spiritual growth.
To become a nationwide prison ministry with regional branches across the United States.
To partner with local churches in order to provide inmates with personal discipleship and effective aftercare.
- To honor God both individually and corporately
- To minister with passion and biblical conviction
- To prudently and effectively carry out our mission
- To serve with love, compassion, humility and integrity
- To evangelize with a sense of urgency
- To pray expectantly and unceasingly
- To cultivate Spirit led leadership
- To honor our volunteers, prayer partners and financial supporters as valued stakeholders in our ministry
- To trust God to fulfill our ministry’s potential
- To convey hope
- To maintain a God focused perspective
- To assist the local church body
Statement of Faith:
We believe. . .
- In the verbal and plenary inspiration of the Bible, and that it is inerrant in its original autographs. It is the only and sufficient authority for all matters of faith and practice.
- In one God eternally existing in three equal Persons – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
- In Jesus Christ, true God and true man, the Creator and Sustainer of the universe, His virgin birth, His sacrificial death, His bodily resurrection from the dead, His ascension into Heaven, His present work of intercession with the Father on behalf of believers, His imminent return to receive His church, to establish His kingdom and eventually to judge the world.
- In the creation of man in the image and likeness of God; that man fell from his original state as a result of his sin; that by inheritance all men are sinners, totally depraved, at enmity with God and hopeless without Christ.
- In salvation solely through the grace of Jesus Christ who is the only Way, Truth, and Life; that men are saved through His sacrificial, substitutionary death and resurrection; and that salvation is by faith and cannot be earned by works.
- In the deity and personality of the Holy Spirit who convicts man of his sin and the need to be born again. Works of the Holy Spirit at the moment of salvation include regeneration, baptism into the body of Christ, sealing, indwelling, and enabling for service through spiritual gifts. Ongoing works of the Spirit in the life of the believer include illumination of the Scriptures and filling.
- In the invisible Church, the universal body of all those who have exercised saving faith in Jesus Christ; and that believers should not forsake the assembling of themselves together in a local body which teaches clearly the Word of God.
- In two ordinances of the Church: water baptism of believers and the Lord’s Supper.
- In the personification of evil in Satan and his demons.
- In the everlasting salvation of the saved and in the everlasting, conscious punishment of the lost.