Since our earliest days, friends like you have helped Prison Fellowship answer God’s call to restore those affected by crime and incarceration. With your prayers and support, this ministry has embraced millions of prisoners and their families for more than 45 years.
After the passing of Chuck Colson in 2012, Prison Fellowship remained committed to its original vision, but it had not yet made the shift from being founder-led to mission-driven. Back then, I was grateful to be part of Prison Fellowship as a donor and volunteer. As the longtime CEO of media companies, I hadn’t yet dreamed what God had in store, but the skills I had developed in the private sector turned out to be the tools the ministry needed. When the Board of Directors offered me the position of CEO in 2016, I was overjoyed to see where the Lord would lead us.
The last several years have been incredible. We are more than halfway through a 10-year strategic plan to restore thousands of lives in prison, bring fresh hope to families affected by incarceration, and transform the culture and outcomes of prison. We have seen substantial growth on all fronts. What the Lord has accomplished in and through us over the past several years has far surpassed any vision I had at the beginning.
After starting my tenure at Prison Fellowship, I wasn’t sure how long the Lord intended for me to remain. I had inklings that I was called to help Prison Fellowship turn an important corner, but the Board and I had no clear timeline in mind, so we prayed for direction. Through a series of events, discussions, and prayerful discernment spanning months, God has made it clear that, while important groundwork for the next phase of Prison Fellowship’s growth has been laid, it will soon be someone else’s turn to lead us into our future.
In 2021, following the Lord’s leading, I told our Board that I intend to step down in June 2024. We have begun a phased, orderly transition to new executive leadership. As the ministry looks to its exciting next steps, the Board of Directors is leading the process to name my successor.
I am sharing information about this transition in advance with you because your prayers and heart of generosity propel us along the path the Lord has marked out for us. We will keep you up to date throughout this 20-month transition.
As I prepare to pass the baton to a new leader, we plan to continue in ministry to prisoners and their families without breaking stride. So many people are counting on the continued work of restoration you empower with your support. Will you continue to uphold us—especially our Board, our leaders, and all those we serve—in prayer as we take these next steps?
For His Kingdom,
JAMES J. ACKERMAN President and Chief Executive Officer
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Prison Fellowship P.O. Box 1550, Merrifield, VA, 22116-1550 US
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