Special Ministries

Prison Ministry

Wanda Markland (pictured, far left), warden of the South Dakota Women’s Prison, introduced WELS Prison Ministry materials to the inmates. Some are available to read in the library, and many can be taken for free—if the women get there fast enough. Amanda, an inmate working in the library, says that sometimes they have to fill the free rack two times or more a day with booklets from WELS Prison Ministry.

When asked what the books mean to her, inmate Katherine responded: “Everything.” The books have enabled her to understand the Bible. Others replied that the books help them to know that they are loved, they are not alone, and they are growing in their spiritual life. One inmate was even led to request baptism.

These women, who rejoice in the good news that they are forgiven, took up a collection from their meager funds and sent a donation to WELS Prison Ministry so that more people could benefit from hearing God’s good news through these materials.

Did you know?

WELS Prison Ministry administers an extensive ministry-by-mail program and provides training opportunities for laypeople and pastors who would like to begin a local jail or prison ministry. Hundreds of volunteers manage this ministry-by-mail program that has reached more than 70,000 inmates.

Military Services

WELS and Evangelical Lutheran Synod pastors serving military families met in May 2019 for the Military Contact Pastors Retreat at Risen Savior, Chula Vista, Calif., near Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton. Under the theme “Serving those who serve our country,” the presentations provided insights into the unique challenges of the military lifestyle during and after deployment and how to reach military members and their families with the gospel. WELS Military Services, a part of WELS Special Ministries, supports servicemen and women with devotions and other spiritual care. Refer a military member at wels.net/refer.