Throughout America today, there are more people locked up in jails and prisons than any other time in our nation’s history. Every incarcerated person represents a suffering family and the prisons of Arizona are populated by thousands of people desperately in need of the transforming power of Jesus Christ. Rescue Not Arrested ministers in the greater Phoenix, Arizona area by visiting those incarcerated in the City, County, State and Federal systems, as well as the young people in the juvenile system. They provide over 40 worship services and baptize dozens of inmates per month. Bibles, New Testaments, Gospels of John and role model books are distributed to assist inmates in their daily walk. Rescue Not Arrested not only provides free counseling and encouragement for those who are released, but also offers low cost housing assistance to those trying to reestablish themselves in the community. The goal is to get those newly released involved in a local church as soon as possible.
Rick is a long time resident of Phoenix, Arizona. After finishing high school at age 17 he enrolled the Air Force to serve our country in the Vietnam War. Rick is married to Janice and they have two children and one grandchild. Over the years Rick maintained the desire to unselfishly contribute to society. As a business owner he invested countless hours serving communities that are economically challenged. Rick serves the homeless by providing meals on a weekly basis to those living on the streets of Phoenix. His involvement went beyond what was expected of him since he believes that every human being is valuable regardless of race, social status or gender. Currently, Rick is one of the Teaching Pastors serving hundreds of those incarcerated and their families. His unselfish service to society is an ingredient to solving the issue of social stigma. His passion is to see people start anew.
What I find so appealing is the RELATIONAL approach “RESCUED NOT ARRESTED” offers with prison ministry. Roger Munchian, the founder of RNA, is a former multiple felon who saw his arrest as a “Damascus Road” experience, similar to Saul’s, that turned him around and saved his life (& his soul). This is the HOPE we offer to others.
The foundation of Christianity is based upon the person of Jesus – WHO He IS. I have a restlessness in my spirit to help spread this “good news” to others, who so desperately need the HOPE that is only found in a relationship with Jesus. As a pastor for over 30 years, I am very disappointed in my own misunderstanding of my responsibility to serve and minister to ALL of those that Jesus mentions in Matthew 25. (For most, those in prison would certainly be the LEAST, of the “least of these”.)
I now believe that it is unacceptable to pick one or two from the groups of those in need or suffering that Jesus identifies, and simply ignore the needs of the others. I want to help influence, encourage, and equip more Christians to serve others in the name of Jesus; to help them see ministry to others as basic to their responsibility as His disciples.
Roger has certified me as his “ministry agent” for RNA in Texas, giving me access to Life Application study Bibles, lesson materials and other resources to help with our prison ministry efforts in this state. I look forward to more people joining us in this journey of faith and faithfulness, as “ambassadors of grace.” I am offering to partner with you in ministry, to “the least of these.”
As an Air Force veteran, and a retired Air Traffic Controller I’m used to controlled environments. As a faithful steward of the Word of God, I’m willing to learn and grow in my faith. Dan Spencer, a good friend sponsored me for a spiritual weekend called “ Walk to Emmaus” which changed my life in Ministry. Over the next 7 years, another good friend, Tom Barnes ask for my help with a Prison Ministry program. Now years later, Tom and I are working together with Carl Etchison, who I have connected with from my Emmaus Walk. I now serve as a full-time volunteer in 3 Prisons Units, teaching classes and coordinating the Faith Based programming through The Chaplaincy Department. We help men focus on their spiritual growth. Despite the low funding of prison ministry, we have done Great work. I am willing to suffer for the church as mentioned in Col. 1:24. I am working with “Rescued Not Arrested” to help these men, by breaking the chains of bondage, so their kids don’t have to follow their Dads in prison. Please DONATE to this Ministry (Designation – JC Castro) Your Good and Faithful servant, JC.
Robert and his wife Teri have been continuously volunteering with Rescued Not Arrested since November, 2010. Their focus has been with the incarcerated youth housed in the Juvenile Core at Lower Buckeye Jail awaiting sentencing as adults and facing penalties from probation to life in prison. During this time they have mentored more than 60 youth by either one-on-one mentoring sessions or via mail mentoring. They took another leap in this ministry by becoming badged for the AZ Department of Juvenile Corrections. Their involvement here includes special events, Christmas morning specials, church services for the females, and Robert mentors one-on-one. In September, 2014, they stepped it up again and became involved with the Coconino County Sherriff’s Detention Center and make their way up to Flagstaff, AZ once a month to facilitate services to the men and women incarcerated in that facility.
Their commitment to Rescued Not Arrested, in their eyes, is a God-directed decision. They both come from non-Christian backgrounds and believe if God can bring them around to making Him and Christ the focal point of their lives, how can they question God’s direction to become involved in this ministry. There are ministry opportunities all over the world, but they truly believe their focus needs to be in their own backyard with an emphasis on the least of the least of these.
Bud and his wife Carin have been participating in the Rescued Not Arrested prison ministry for more than two years now. They started out visiting just two inmates in the Maricopa County jails each weekend when they began volunteering back in February 2011. Since that time they have spent over 1900 hours visiting the incarcerated and teaching them from the Bible about Jesus Christ and salvation. In that time Carin and Bud have made more than 1400 visits and met with over 700 different men and women in jail. I have also led over 100 church services reaching out to more than 2000 men during that time. Simply put, prison ministry is the best work they have ever done together. It is ideal for couples who want to serve together sharing the gospel with those who need Christ and who are asking for someone to come help them get their lives turned around. They literally receive dozens and dozens of requests each month from men and women asking them to come to the jails and share the message of Christ with them. They are hungry and eager to learn and they have the great pleasure of bringing comfort, peace, and light to them. It is a great blessing to both the incarcerated and the team to witness the changes in their lives as they are transformed by God’s power. Carin and Bud remain fully committed to this ministry so long as God leads them to do so. What a privilege it is for us to be used as “instruments of righteousness” (Rom. 6:13) in the service of the Lord to these desperate souls who are behind bars. “I was in prison and you came to visit me… When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?… The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” Matt. 25:36,39-40