Prison Ministry

"I was in prison and you visited me."  Matthew 25:36
  • The Prison Ministry Project is a pastoral ministry of word and sacrament for prisoners inside the walls.
  • It is a ministry of help for their families.
  • It is a ministry of resource for local pastors and congregations faced with members in prison or who want to learn how they can respond to the Gospel of Matthew.
  • It is a ministry of advocacy for prison reform.
  • It is a ministry of cooperation with other denominations and social justice programs around the state.

The Restorative Justice Program works to restore healthy relationships between offenders, victim/ survivors, and the community. In an eight week program we share information, hear stories, and build trust and community within the walls at several Wisconsin prisons.

We hold regular Worship and Communion Services at Fox Lake (both medium and minimum populations) and Redgranite. And a weekly Spiritual Discipline Group meets at Columbia.

Rev. Jerry Hancock maintains a calendar of one-on-one pastoral visits with inmates in several prisons.

There have been more than 100 volunteers who have participated in The Prison Ministry Project.
They come from churches such as:

  • First Congregational UCC (Madison)
  • First Congregational UCC (Appleton)
  • First Congregational UCC (Redgranite)

And they come from the wider Madison community and beyond.

In addition to these programs which can be tangibly seen and counted, the ministry's most important charge is to tell the stories of people on the inside to people on the outside. It is in telling these stories that we are transformed. We may have begun this ministry thinking that we were bringing God to people in prison, but we have found that they, too, were bringing God to us.  You don’t have to go into prison to learn some of the stories.  Visit the Prison Ministry Reflections page.

The Prison Ministry Project began in 2006, and continues with the support of First Congregational UCC in Madison, The Wisconsin Conference of the United Church of Christ, The Southwest Association of the United Church of Christ, local congregations and many individuals who support the work of the ministry.


Nine ways to get involved.

Join Jerry Hancock, J.D., M.Div. and other volunteers who make over 300 face-to-face visits a year with inmates inside the walls.

Contact Jerry Hancock, Prison Ministry Director at 608.658.6630.

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