Olney Springs, Colorado … Seven years ago, a team made up of Ted Williams, Craig Hamilton, and Jimmy Schwab began ministering to the inmates at the Crowley County Correctional Facility in Olney Springs, Colorado. Williams and Hamilton drove from Fort Lupton, putting in 160 miles each way even though sometimes nobody showed up. But it wasn’t long before as many as 30 inmates began regular attendance.

Soon Delbert Hayden, a man from Pueblo, began faithful leadership every Friday night, eventually leading the Thursday night service and mentoring the inmates as they led out on Friday. As many as 90 inmates were attending each of these services.

To hear the story of God’s intervention at this detention center in January of 2017 when one inmate was baptized in a service that almost didn’t happen, was reported on January 17, 2017 in the NewsNuggets (see: “The Day the Holy Spirit Took Charge.”)

A spirit-filled service was held last October when the group was allowed to hold a communion service with basins, towels, juice, and crackers, things not usually allowed in a correctional facility. That night, 61 men, most of whom had never before experienced a foot-washing service, experienced the joy most had never before experienced.

Anton Kapusi, the new pastor in Pueblo, joined the men for this special service, having just completed the required training by the Colorado Department of Corrections. He was given permission to attend even though he hadn’t yet been approved for Crowley County, an unusual concession. During the service, Schwab, Hayden, Williams and Kapusi all took turns explaining the symbolism of communion. All 61 men, inmates of Crowley County Correctional Facility, took part in this cleansing rite before commemorating the sacrifice of their Lord through the eating the bread, an emblem of Christ’s broken body, and the drinking the grape juice, an emblem of Christ’s spilled blood.

The joy in their hearts was a reflection of the joy in Heaven.

Carol Bolden; photo by Ted Williams