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The God of the Bible is the God who calls. He has done this continually throughout history, beginning in Genesis chapter 1. There, he calls light into the world. In Genesis 3, he calls to Adam, “Where are you?” Then on, straight through to the book of Revelation, God repeatedly calls the entire human race to himself; and in the process he also calls down fire, soothing rain, pestilence, locusts, rainbows—and he continues to call people. Our God calls people—in groups and individually—to himself. And when God sees an individual respond to his call and has truly turned in His direction, God gives that person a life-giving gift: God keeps one of his many promises, and he reveals himself to that person. And when that personal revelation takes place, the person undergoes a fundamental change that lasts for all eternity.
God calls Ezekiel to a valley of dead people, and shows him in Chapter 36 that dead bones can live.
It’s quite simple on the face of it. It’s a story children understand. The Bible describes this supernatural gift to an individual as “the gift of faith.” One historic evening in Jerusalem, Jesus tells a senior pastor it’s the spiritual equivalent of being born again. Later on, in Ephesians chapter 2, the Apostle Paul explains it to church members:
“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your doing; it is the gift of God,”Ephesians 2:8, ESV
Once the gift has been given by God, it now becomes a question of the call. The calling of God is a huge event in the life of a Christian, and it was a huge event in ours. God calls every Christian to live lives of service and ministry to others, and to produce fruit. The bottom line for every Christian is what Christ said in Matthew 7:16.
“You will recognize them by their fruits.”Matthew 7:16, ESV
The work of The Heart of Texas Foundation is a calling on the lives of our staff, donors, Key Partners, prayer partners, Board of Directors, and the Texas Field Ministers.
Christ tells us, as he told his disciples in Matthew chapter 7, “You will know them by their fruits.” We pray earnestly that your own fruit is plentiful, as you respond to the calling God makes on your life.
Over the last 10 years, we have seen the fruit of our labors, brought out as only the spirit of Jesus Christ could do it. It is our prayer that the fruit of our labors has been multiplied many times over, through the lives of people the Texas Field Ministers program has touched. We do see evidence of that, and for it we give all thanks to the kindness of our God. We are grateful to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice for allowing us to come alongside them and join together to meet their rehabilitative goals, while we continue to offer spiritual growth and life-changing impact to many men and women inside Texas prisons.
Our calling is a privilege, as we work with The Texas Department of Criminal Justice and our Key Partners to deliver the Texas Field Ministers Program.
Welcome to The Heart of Texas Foundation,
It’s hard to believe. From the first round-table discussions in 2010 to now, it’s a clear testimony of grace from the God we serve.
We were told, “Grove, this will never happen in Texas!”
After all, who ever heard of such a thing in a state prison system: Men and women with long sentences being trained, then appointed as something called “Field Ministers,” then being shipped in teams to other prisons all over the state with the freedom to minister to others?
Is it possible they would be allowed to walk the aisles in the cellblocks, cell to cell, and minister to men in solitary confinement or to men on suicide watch or known gang leaders, locked up by themselves 23 hours a day?
Would it be possible in Texas to see gang leaders listen to the Field Ministers, hear the gospel and come to faith in Jesus, then renounce their gangs, come out of solitary confinement, and enroll in the Bible college at Darrington so that they could become Field Ministers?
We are watching all that happen, and it has been going on for 10 years now.
It is because of our partnership: Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, Texas Senator John Whitmire, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, and The Heart of Texas Foundation.
We have been continually sustained by our givers: our donors, supporters, and prayer warriors. We are also deeply grateful that it is we who have been given the privilege of designing, organizing, overseeing, and funding this amazing, historic, ten-year movement that has impacted Texas inmates and their families—what we all celebrate this year.
And now, what we need is your consistent help to go generational. That means this: year after year, on into the future, teams of trained men and women, all serving long sentences and equipped to minister the good news of Jesus Christ—will continue as a stream of light going into the darkest of places in our prisons.
Will you become one of those who helps us send them? Unless they are sent, they cannot preach.
With great hope, and with thanks for you, to God be the glory, we all say in unison!
Happy Ten-Year Anniversary, everyone!
What drives us in this calling? It is to take the Gospel of Jesus Christ into the darkest of places. For us, those places are where men in solitary confinement live out their days, and often years, alone. Totally alone. They are not allowed to go to church, to attend bible study, to take classes, go to the library, the recreation yard, the cafeteria. They are locked up inside the lockup.
Bachelor of Arts in Applied Ministry
Who Will Train the Women?
One of the common questions we receive is, “Who will actually teach the women in the training portion of the Texas Field Ministers Program?”
The Texas Field Ministers Program provided by The Heart of Texas Foundation is not a volunteer-driven program. The Bachelor of Arts in Applied Ministry is a degree which requires all professors who teach in the school to be meet doctrinal and accreditation requirements. Accreditation requirements help elevate and protect the quality of education the women will acquire in the course of their studies. Women will teach women. This means that the women who teach as professors must have the academic credentials to teach in their given subject area. The Women’s Advisory Council, which served from January 2019-June 2020, represents the qualified women who will step into this most precious stewardship—the discipleship of the women who will serve as Texas Field Ministers.
Bible College Building at the Hobby Unit
What courses are in the curriculum?
The Heart of Texas Foundation is excited to provide the Bachelor of Arts in Applied Ministry to women with extremely long prison sentences in Texas.
Many will argue that so many women who will have the opportunity to leave prison should be allowed to enter the Texas Field Ministers Program. Our calling is to women with extremely long prison sentences who may never have the opportunity to live anywhere but prison.
The Texas Field Ministers Program begins for a woman with an extremely long prison sentence who applies and is accepted to begin as a student pursuing the Bachelor of Arts in Applied Ministry through The Heart of Texas Foundation at the Hobby Prison Unit.
The Heart of Texas Foundation is aggressively pursuing accreditation with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).
SACS is the same accrediting body that accredits the degrees from all of our state colleges in Texas such as Texas A&M University, Baylor University, the University of Texas and many more.
If you would like to see the courses in the Bachelor of Arts in Applied Ministry, they are included below: