Light 'Em Up

The ABCs of Prison Ministry: Accept it, Believe it and Confess it! Church behind prison bars: Worship and Praise in "The Big House" with Minister Latif Ali, Prison Ministry Pastor.

June 01, 2021 Phillip Rizzo Season 2 Episode 8
Light 'Em Up
The ABCs of Prison Ministry: Accept it, Believe it and Confess it! Church behind prison bars: Worship and Praise in "The Big House" with Minister Latif Ali, Prison Ministry Pastor.
Show Notes

Our worldwide footprint has EXPANDED!  We’re currently airing in more than 74 countries! 

On this in-depth new and trailblazing episode of Light ‘Em Up we go behind the armed gun turrets, high walls, razor wire and steel bars to talk candidly about church in prison.

An estimated 6,410,000 persons were held in prisons or jails or were on probation or parole in 2018, which marked a 19-year low in the number of persons under the supervision of U.S. adult correctional systems.  The American criminal justice system holds, houses and confines almost 2.3 million people.

Today we have the distinct pleasure and honor of sitting and talking with one of my closest friends, Minister Latif Ali, about his walk with God and his nearly a decade of experience in prison ministry, sharing the gospel of the Lord inside state and federal penitentiaries. 
“Even though a person has committed a crime or done wrong – no one is without fault, except Christ. God has spoken clearly and HE so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.  John 3:16 - this directive does not exclude those that are incarcerated.” 

Latif grew up in a unique experience, in a household with a Muslim father and a Christian mother, watching the love of their relationship thrive, endure and flourish, only ending through death which parted them.  

His learning the word of the Lord was also unique: through the wonderful hymns played on the piano by his mother through her music ministry.
It was the Agape love shown to him by the Holy Trinity which drew him in and kept him as a follower of Christ. 

As a lifelong student and instructor in the Criminal Justice System, I have come to know that the degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons.  As a society how we treat those we incarcerate is a reflection on us as a collective people. 

The thief on the cross next to Jesus on Calvary Mount found his way to spend eternity with Jesus simply for asking. All are loved by God and worthy of hearing and knowing the word of God, including those that are incarcerated. 

In this intense episode:  We examine the living word and interrogate, investigate and examine: 

● How you go about working to replace the cycle of crime with a cycle of renewal and re-birth as a new being in Christ Jesus, and restoring hope. 
● How can an incarcerated person HAVE Only Positive Expectations, when so many things are stacked up against him or her for their successful transition out of prison and re-entry into society? 
● His story that led him into Prison Ministry:  How he came to know of, learn and develop in the word of God.
● An up close and personal look at what is “church” in “The Big House”? What does “church” in “The Joint” look like?  His first-hand experiences in ministering to inmates. 
● The “transformative things” he has observed in those who are incarcerated that attend the prison ministry worship services that he offers.  
● There’s something about the sweet name of Jesus: The redemptive power of the word of God. 
● Regarding Christ’s directive found in the Book of Matthew Chapter 18: verses 20-21…to forgive our brethren “seventy times seven” and directives to “turn the other cheek”: How would this be worked out in the hard and harsh realities of prison life where disrespect can bring death? 

I sincerely hope this episode educates, empowers and edifies you and provides you with some insight as to the behind-the-scenes process of delivering the word of God to those incarcerated in prison. 

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Thanks much, 
Executive Producer Phil Rizzo