A place of Restoration and Preparation for
Ex-Offenders Who Have Turned to Christ
Jesus House, a ministry of Jesus Inside Prison Ministry and the Indianapolis Pastor's Gathering, is truly a place of restoration and preparation for exoffenders who have turned to Christ and are being released from incarceration. Some 80% of all men who enter prison are released within four years; most having served time for nonviolent offenses. One of the great failures of our correctional system is the inability of the system to truly reform men so that they do not return to the same social condition and behaviors which led to crime in the first place.
This failure is reflected in the present 75% "rate of recidivism" which is the proportion of men that are rearrested and reincarcerated, often for the same crimes. Offenders who confess Christ and are discipled have a recidivism rate of only 2%. After receiving Christ as Lord and Savior, the second most important factor for offenders who will soon be released is preparation to reenter society. This preparation is also called "aftercare". The main cause for recidivism is a lock of spiritual and social preparation of living "on the outside".
Jesus Inside Prison Ministry (JIPM), founded by Pastor William Bumphus, is dedicated both in turning people from crime to Christ and providing effective aftercare. For more than 19 years, Pastor Bumphus has travelled to prisons in and outside Indiana preaching the Word to tens of thousands of offenders. Over the years, a great number of men have been born again, released from prison, and are living productive lives.
In September of 1997, William Bumphus was featured in the cover story of Charisma magazine which has a large international circulation. In its September, 1998 issue Charisma carried an article about Jesus House. In addition to ministering to prisoners and serving as director of Jesus House, William Bumphus is pastor of Faith Center Church in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Early in 1997, a group of pastors in the Indianapolis area decided to partner with Pastor Bumphus to help purchase a large house in the inner city section of Indianapolis, to renovate it, and call it Jesus House.
Men who have confessed Christ while in prison can make application to enter the JIPM aftercare program based at the Jesus House. Those who are accepted:
- Are discipled in the Word;
- Are given responsibilities;
- Have a street address;
- Have a telephone number;
- Have access to resources for finding employment; and
- Receive counselling from the Jesus House ministry team.
Those who enter Jesus House may stay until they find employment and are able to move into a residence of their own. For all men, residence at Jesus House is temporary.
How You Can Help.
As you can see, God has done a great work through the faithfulness of pastors and individuals who recognize that leading offenders to Christ and helping them succeed when they reenter society benefits everyone.
You are invited to become a partner with Jesus Inside Prison Ministry and the Jesus House project. We believe that God would have us raise up many such places of restoration and preparation.
From a financial standpoint, the Jesus House is a low budget, high output ministry. Your financial gifts will go directly into resources and programs to help men grow in Christ and find success in society.
We also accept gifts of quality equipment and furniture for the Jesus House. However, please contact JIPM before making equipment or furniture donations for scheduling and coordination purposes. All gifts are tax deductible through Jesus Inside Prison Ministry, a recognized IRS 501(c)3 organization.
On going expenses include:
- Retirement of a modest mortgage;
- Utilities (gas, electricity, telephone, water, & sewer;
- Food and supplies;
- Books, training materials, & other helpful resources; and
- Funds for clothing, transportation, etc.
Special thanks to the
Indianapolis Pastor's Gathering
and the congregations and pastors
of the churches that have participated in
The Jesus House Project.
Charity Christian Center, Pastor Kenneth Sullivan
New Covenant Church, Pastor Bryan Hudson
Greater Faith Temple, Pastor Perry Jackson
Metro Church, Pastor Sharyn Cheek
Faith Center Church, Pastor William & Anita Bumphus
The Harvest Church, Pastor Charles Neal
Overcoming Church, Pastor Bruce Farr
Majestic Love Community Church, Pastor Joann Bush
Christian Center Family Church, Pastor Del Bock
Indianapolis Christian Fellowship, Pastor Paul Gustitus
Immanuel House of Prayer, Bishop D. K. Jones
Jesus is the Word Church, Pastor Roger Holloway
Church of the Harvest, Pastor Garrett Myers
Citadel of Faith COGIC, Pastor Johnson Beaven
The text of "Charisma's" September, 1998
article about Jesus House
appears below in case you missed it.
Jesus House Gives Freed Inmates
a Second Chance in Indianapolis
Evangelist William Bumphus
helps ex-offenders find a new life
by Carol Shepard
Almost a year ago it was no more than a neighborhood eyesore, covered in graffiti. A boarded up crack house that had been vacant 15 years. Now the two story building in northwest Indianapolis boasts a new life, trumpeted to passersby by a small red and white sign that reads: "The Jesus House".
Although its residents are exoffenders just discharged from prison, there are no drugs here. And the only party going on inside this house is what residents call "a Holy Ghost party".
An aftercare shelter for Christian men just released from prison, The Jesus House is more than that to its founder, prison evangelist William Bumphus. It's a place of restoration for exoffenders who found salvation while behind bars.
I'm looking for men who want to serve God; those 'sold out' Christians, said Bumphus, who has led thousands of inmates to Christ. He established his Jesus Inside Prison Ministry soon after his release from prison 19 years ago.
The Jesus House is a sorely needed answer to the nation's serious recidivism rate. Too many inmates return to prison because they leave with no more than a probation card, $50, and a bus ticket. Unless they're discipled in the faith and offered lodging and employment assistance, Bumphus knows the men will most likely return to crime.
His vision for the facility was born in 1984 after a similar halfway house he started failed. I learned the hard way you can't mis street people and prisoners, Bumphus said.
In July 1997 the building was purchased with funding from local pastors. But neighbors opposed the home and Bumphus had to install the furnace and plumbing himself.
Bumphus's first guest arrived the next month but the house wasn't ready. Robert Weddington, 53, had just been discharged from a 12 year drug sentence. Weddington volunteered to help remodel the house and, today, he serves as resident director.
A Christian in prison spends 80 percent of his time praising God and Studying the Word, Weddington said. But when you leave prison, there is so much stress; mostly, from trying to find a job.
Mark Barnes, 39, is one of the newest residents of The Jesus House. After serving four years of a 10 year child molesting sentence. Barnes moved to the facility in April.
Prison life had taken its toll on Barnes. He lost his family and a job making $80,000 a year. He took a severe pay cut in a job after prison, had no transportation, and lived in a hotel.
Sometimes I feel all alone in the world, Barnes said. But I can be myself at The Jesus House. Currently Barnes and Weddington are studying the Book of Proverbs together.
Weddington and Barnes have implemented a strict program that provides a bridge Christian exoffenders need. It offers safety, fellowship, accountability, and time to adjust to civilian life.
It's easier living inside prison than on the outside, Bumphus added. The average guy in prison goes to church every day for seven years. When he gets out the church doors are only open once a week. Most prisoners don't make it.
Bumphus believes a stay at The Jesus House, even though it is temporary, will keep men from returning to prison. The devil doesn't want these men to have power he said. We teach these guys how to be victorious in Christ.