At least $1,000 has been raised for a prison church by way of a Christmas concert. The church is located within the South Dakota Women’s Prison.
The money was raised during a Christmas concert held on Sunday at the First United Methodist Church. The church congregation within the women’s prison is called the Church of Hope.
The fact that the Church of Hope for inmates is located inside the South Dakota Women’s Prison does not matter, said LuAnne Beckwith. She clarified:
“It’s a church within walls, but it is a church.”
Prison Church Heals Broken Hearts
Sunday’s Christmas concert to raise funds for the prison church was the first of its sort. A number of church officials performed for about 200 attendees during the concert. Some of these were Ron Smith who played the organ and piano, Lori Hall who played the bells, and Jeff Speaect who led with vocals.
According to Speaect, an unnamed donor pledged a match for the first $500 raised via freewill offerings. He said there was another anonymous donor who was willing to give $500 to make a total of $1,000 as initial amount generated.
Beckwith remarked that the Church of Hope prison congregation has lots of broken hearts. She said these inmates need love and care.
“The songs we heard today tell of a great savior who gave his love, and his story, the story of salvation…that Christmas. And we have a lot to sing about because of that, and so do they.”
Christmas Concert Organized By Supporters of Prison Churches
Kimberly Kaveny-LaPlante is the pastor of the Church of Hope. She was not at Sunday’s Christmas concert. This was because she was at a Christmas party holding within the women prison facility for the families of inmates.
The American Baptist Church sponsors the Church of Hope. But the mission of the church is ecumenical – promoting unity among all church denominations. To this extent, the Church of Hope is largely supported by very many churches in South Dakota.
Based on its ecumenical outlook, Sunday’s Christmas concert was carried out by members of several supporting churches. The event held at the First United Methodist Church to which Smith belongs. Hall and Speaect are however members of First Baptist.