The Texas Field Ministers Program is privately funded through The Heart of Texas Foundation, a federal nonprofit 501(c)3 organization that does not, nor has ever, received tax dollars of any kind.
No tax dollars are used to pay for the instruction, chairs, tables, computers, or any instructional resources including all books and paper used in the Texas Field Ministers Program. Any indirect funding, any dollar the state pays, such as lights and heat and security and administrative oversight of inmates in general in allowing the Texas Field Ministers Program to exist (as it does for any program), finds its end in the rehabilitation goals set forth by TDCJ.
Instructional space and supplies. The Heart of Texas Foundation raised $2 million to renovate a dilapidated gym within the perimeter of the Darrington Prison Unit and donated the building back to TDCJ for the Bible college portion of the Texas Field Ministers Program. The building renovation was completed and passed TDCJ inspection in November 2017. The first semester with students in the new building was the Spring of 2018. The Heart of Texas Foundation hosted the official ribbon cutting on May 14, 2018 with the leaders of the four key partners and invited donors and guests in attendance.
The Heart of Texas Foundation donates and maintains or replaces all classroom furniture, fixtures, and equipment including two classrooms of computer labs with 80 student work stations. The building is supplied with an extensive phone and intercom system. The building is more than 12,000 square feet and houses a large library, three classrooms, two computer labs, men’s and women’s restrooms, a correctional officer station, a kitchenette, a director’s office, a director’s staff office, a small conference room, Field Ministers workroom, closet space, and a security-minded mechanical room. Classrooms can hold 50 students, and each classroom has a television monitor and computer to aid with Instructional Technology.
Instruction. In addition to the instructional building and its contents, The Heart of Texas Foundation funds the Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Studies. For the women in TDCJ custody, The Heart of Texas Foundation will prepare the temporary classroom space for the Field Ministers Training Center for Women at the Hobby Prison Unit. The Heart of Texas Foundation will work on the permanent school building for the women inside the perimeter of the Hobby Unit while classes begin in the temporary space with the goal of beginning the school in the Fall of 2020 with pre-college classes. The Heart of Texas Foundation will fund the Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Studies for women in the Texas Field Ministers Program.
Events and advocacy. The Heart of Texas Foundation hosts the graduation receptions for guests and takes graduation photos for graduates and their families. HOTF hosts events throughout the year to celebrate, advocate, and educate regarding the Texas Field Ministers Program.
The Texas Field Ministers Program development and support. The Heart of Texas Foundation continues to equip and cross-train and give resources and support to Field Minister Teams anywhere they are assigned in the state of Texas. Each team receives a $7,000 mini-theological library with two computers and one printer delivered by HOTF. The Heart of Texas Foundation hosts, in Huntsville at TDCJ’s headquarters, an orientation regarding the Texas Field Ministers Program to wardens and chaplains throughout the state. The CEO of The Heart of Texas Foundation is an active member of the Field Ministers Advisory Council. The Heart of Texas Foundation works with the TDCJ Field Ministers Coordinator to plan the Field Ministers Academy which will be held for the new graduating class after graduation but before they become Texas Field Ministers. The Heart of Texas Foundation completely supports and funds the Field Ministers Reading Acceleration Center in TDCJ, an opportunity for inmates to learn to read from Texas Field Ministers. We mobilize volunteers and connect churches to their local team of Field Ministers.
The Heart of Texas Foundation supports all people in the Texas Field Ministers Program, both men and women, from the time they apply to the Texas Field Ministers Program throughout the duration of their incarceration in TDCJ and even upon their release from prison—a joy for us to do.