In the fall of 1999, Bro. Jerrell White began volunteering at the Earle C. Clements Job Corps in Morganfield, Ky. Serving as chaplain at the Job Corps, he worked in a variety of ways to reach the students for Christ. With 1,600 students in the program at any one time, and with approximately 100 young people moving in and out of the program each month.
Bro. Jerrell soon realized the need for help. He began looking and praying for someone to come alongside and help with the great task of reaching the students, and the Lord raised up Harrell Riley for that very purpose. Harrell began volunteering at the Job Corps in October 2000 and the rest is history.
In March 2002 Bro. Harrell took a giant leap of faith, resigned his secular job and founded HR Ministries—whose mission is to "actively seek God's direction in evangelizing, discipling and encouraging the young people of our world by proclaiming the good news of Jesus Christ in every aspect of life in which God opens opportunities through the preached word, special events, correspondence and other avenues that He reveals."
And has God ever "opened opportunities" and "other avenues" to HR Ministries. Since that time 17 years ago, under Bro. Harrell's leadership, HR now has 29 programs at 23 facilities in Kentucky, Tennessee and Alabama. HR ministers to three job corps campuses (Earle C. Clements Job Corps in Morganfield, Muhlenberg Job Corps in Greenville and Whitney M. Young Job Corps in Simpsonville) and offers programs at prisons, jails, rehabs and halfway houses including Malachi Dads, Rubies for L.I.F.E. (Living in Freedom Endures), Celebrate Recovery Inside and a Parenting Class.
Earlier this year the organization was blessed to bring Malachi Dads and Rubies for L.I.F.E. programs to the outside. These programs are available to those in their reentry program and Joseph's Storage Bin's benevolence program. A reentry program, the Emmaus House, is a men's transitional home. It is available to Malachi Dads who are active and in good standing in the class when released from incarceration. Other HR ministries include Joseph's Storage Bin, Princeton outreach, student ministry, engaging missions, evangelism training and music events.
On July 27, HR Ministries had its 10th Annual Summer Slam at the Caldwell County Butler Lawn in Princeton. The day started with a 5K Run, included a classic car cruise-in, a youth challenge human foosball tournament and a concert with performances by Tauren Wells, Colton Dixon and The Color.
Speakers for the event were Ken, Caleb and Clayton Freeman. At the end of the day, there were 48 decisions for Christ. Of those, 35 were new professions, nine rededications and four came with questions and for prayer. God has truly blessed and expanded this ministry through the leadership by Bro. Harrell and many are coming to know the Lord.
There are always opportunities for volunteer mission teams to assist them in ministry. HR is available should you need resources and training to begin a jail or prison ministry in your area. For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit HR on the web at www.hrministries.net/.
Teresa Parrett is Missions Mobilization Coordinator of the Kentucky Baptist Convention.