Families on the GallowsFamilies on the Gallows of Criminal Justice – A Local Church Response to Families in the Crisis of Incarceration

By: Roger W. Hollar

Mercy Heart, P. O. Box 163783, Fort Worth, TX 76161

978-0984429509, $ 19.95, 2010, 154 pages

Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

Mercy Heart Chapel Program – A Model for Ministry to Offenders/Ex-Offenders and Their Family Members

“Families on the Gallows of Criminal Justice” is the story of the birth of Mercy Heart, a ministry to at risk families and children of inmates. Testimonies from former inmates, their spouses, and family members tell of how they have been ministered to in areas of redemption, recovery, and restoration.

The book is divided into two sections:

Part One establishes the crisis families of the incarcerated are facing: including: The loss of income, family and friends, and the emotional and psychological issues they experience. Chapter two describes the birth of the Mercy Heart program and challenges the reader to become involved in a similar outreach ministry in their own church.

Part Two provides a model for starting a Mercy Heart Chapel Program; with action steps for establishing the ministry, enlisting and equipping volunteers, evangelism, and church planting.

On a lighter note Hollar includes some “Texas Wisdom” notes to re-enforce the important principles presented in the text. The photos provided throughout the book add a visual impact imparting an added dimension of vision and challenge.

The helpful forms included on an accompanying CD provide tools which add to the value of this manual as a continuing resource for a successful ministry.

“Families on the Gallows of Criminal Justice” is an important manual for every church and faith based ministry reaching out to families in crisis as the result having an incarcerating loved one. Highly recommended.

A complimentary copy of this book was provided for review purposes. The opinions expressed are my own.

Copies of the book are available through the Restorative Justice Ministries Network Store at:  http://rjmntexas.net/store.html



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