The Church of the Broken Chalice, Prison Ministry
The Reverend David Noles is a Volunteer Institutional Chaplain at Red Eagle Work Center north of Montgomery, Alabama, where he has established an Anglican Church plant in the prison system called Church of the Broken Chalice.
“I see myself as a missionary chaplain and not as a prison minister,” Chaplain Noles says. “My focus is to serve the inmate population not only during incarceration, but, more importantly, to continue counseling and mentoring as they struggle on their journey to become spiritual men of integrity in a lifelong living faith.”
God gives the desolate a home to dwell in; he leads out the prisoners to prosperity.
Why the Name – Church of the Broken Chalice?
An earthen chalice was ordered to celebrate the first Holy Eucharist service at the prison chapel. The day it arrived on the way to the prison, Chaplain Noles cradled it in the passengers’ seat of the car thinking that it would be safe. Another vehicle pulled out in front of him and an abrupt stop sent the chalice crashing to the floor. The impact broke the stem. As Chaplain Noles apologized to inmates for the damage, one of them said, “Chap, it’s OK for us to have a broken chalice…because we are just a bunch of broken people.” Therein lies the birth of this Anglican Church plant by God’s grace.
The Manhood Program
Chaplain Noles has implemented a manhood program to help fatherless males become Christian men, formed into the likeness of Christ. The program was developed by Dr. Roy Smith of Knights of the 21st Century with 24 sessions to address all aspects of relational growth to maximize manhood. The program is now being developed in six prisons with the goal to move to ten regional prisons. Chaplain Noles is now seeking support from other churches to support the Manhood Program in one of the prisons.
Expanding the Prison Mission
Because of the ministry’s geographical location, there are approximately 10,000 state inmates within a 50-mile radius of Chaplain Noles’ residence, providing ample prospects and opportunities for ministry among the incarcerated of Alabama.
About Red Eagle Work Center
Red Eagle Work Center operates as a minimum-security facility under the Alabama Department of Corrections in Montgomery, Alabama, housing 340 inmates. The purpose of the center is to provide work programs and staff to assist male inmates to reintegrate into society. Each year, 1,600 men move through Red Eagle Work Center.
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