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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 12 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 have 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 rehabilitation 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 educate and equip Texas Field Ministers.
Welcome to The Heart of Texas Foundation College of Ministry,
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 per 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 12 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!
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
The Heart of Texas Foundation College of Ministry provides the Bachelor of Arts in Applied Ministry to women with extremely long prison sentences. Women with extremely long prison sentences must qualify according to educational and behavioral standards set by and agreed upon between the college and the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ). Each application year, incarcerated women from all over the state of Texas are given the opportunity to apply. A class of up to 40 women are carefully selected. The new class is transferred from all over the state of Texas to the Hobby Unit in Marlin, located one hour north of College Station.
The course listings in the Bachelor of Arts in Applied Ministry degree plan::