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The History of Malachi Men
In September, 2009, Grace Baptist Church initiated a discipling ministry at the Pitchess Detention Center in Los Angeles County. Pitchess is one of nine facilities administered by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. The prior year, in September, Grace Baptist Church had sponsored a one-day Returning Hearts event at Pitchess. The Returning Hearts event was designed by Awana and began several years prior at Angola State Prison in Louisiana. Grace was subsequently invited by the Sheriff's Department to sponsor the Returning Hearts event annually. Grace requested, and was granted permission, to begin a discipling ministry to supplement the Returning Hearts event - both programs are part of moral rehabilitation.
Initially, Grace intended to use materials adopted by Awana for a discipling ministry called Malachi Dads which had been tested at the Angola Prison. For various reasons Grace opted to independently develop a 12-week discipling program for the Pitchess Center but retain the name Malachi Dad's. The intent of this program was to present a biblical foundation for life, marriage, and parenting. Our hope was that when released, the inmates would be better prepared to assume their God-given responsibility as husbands and fathers, and that they would not return to prison. The program purposely avoided promoting any particular Christian denomination or demeaning any competing belief system. Prior to starting a series, each of the inmates is given a two-page document explaining the intent of the program. Participation is voluntary. After the first year the name was changed from Malachi Dads to Malachi Men. The name change served to differentiate the program from Awana's 12-month series and was a more accurate descriptor because some men had hesitated to take the program because they were not dads. We wanted the program to be open to all men.
The facilitators of this program at Pitchess have been blessed to see God reconcile men to Himself, rescue families from the tragedy of divorce, reconcile parents and children after years of angry silence, bring entire families to saving faith, turn men from a selfish pursuit of pleasure (drugs, alcohol, sex) to a strong desire to please and obey God, transform anger into worship, and lead cohabitating couples to marriage. One of the most amazing evidences of transformed lives was when God used the inmate believers to stop a prison riot in August, 2010.
Malachi Men at NCCF
Instruction taking place
Small group discussions
Taking time to talk a bit
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