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My Mom, The "Prison Lady"

"To love and invest in a group of women who you have never met, women that society has determined are not fit, speaks volumes of your heart.”


It’s a unique childhood when your mom is known as “the prison lady.” Family trips included places like Louisiana State Prison, Smith State Prison, Homerville State Prison, and Valdosta State Prison. Little did I know that prison ministry would become my vocation one day, but I thank God every day for the calling He has put upon my life. And I thank God for “the prison lady,” my mom, who answered the call on her life 20 years ago to “reach hearts bound by prison walls.”


I now know first-hand that managing a nonprofit is rewarding work, but nobody – including Andrea – will ever tell you it’s easy work. But it is SO worth it because we get to partner with God to make a difference in the lives of incarcerated people and their families, as illustrated by the words of one of our seminary students:


Hello, my name is P.M. [name redacted] from the Whitworth Women’s Facility. I began the Seminary Program in 2021, and the love and support were instant. As a 46-year-old woman incarcerated for nine years reaching her time of release, I am facing many emotions. However, I know I am more prepared and confident with the college education that I now have, thanks to HeartBound Ministries. Your ministry is a true representation of Christianity. To love and invest in a group of women who you have never met, women that society has determined are not fit, speaks volumes of your heart. Your trust, love, and commitment has not only enabled me to have an education that I thought I never could have, but I also have a sense of belonging. Through seminary I have received an extended family of sisters that I will cherish forever. As a survivor of domestic abuse, I have encountered many ups, downs, betrayal and hurts. I am so grateful for the professors and staff of New Orleans Baptist College for showing there are still loving, caring, and thoughtful people in the world.


What we are doing is restoring HOPE. And we need your support. Every dollar makes a difference. If you feel called to give, you can do so by visiting www.givebutter.com/HeartBound20Years or through Venmo @HeartBoundMinistries or visit our website at www.heartboundministries.com. If you prefer to give via check, please let us know and we will send you mailing information.


Thank you for delivering hope to those who desperately need it and for remembering those in prison.


With hope for the future,


Spencer Shelton

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