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'Revival' Behind Bars: Dozens of South Dakota Inmates Baptized Including Wiccan Leader

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God Behind Bars, a national prison ministry, has seen a group of 25 men from a maximum security prison in South Dakota give their lives to Jesus Christ last week. 

Since 2009, God Behind Bars has worked to restore the lives of inmates, by building their faith, during incarceration and after their release. Through their outreach programs, they are working to reach more than 2.3 million people in the prison system.

Most recently they shared that in a South Dakota maximum security prison, 20 men were signed up for a water baptism, but five more decided to get spontaneously baptized after hearing the Gospel preached. 


"One man who got baptized was leading a Wiccan group, came to Jesus, and was baptized! Another man (who came) to this service for the first time invited Jesus into his life and was baptized! Another man has been in prison for 40 years and is serving a life sentence. He wasn't signed up to be baptized but made the spontaneous decision to be baptized," the ministry explained.

"Revival in South Dakota prisons," the post added. 

As CBN News has reported, God Behind Bars CEO Jake Bodine started the organization with the mission to "reach the least of these," and it has blossomed into a revival-type movement at correctional facilities across the country. 

"We create satellite campuses in prisons and our whole mission is to introduce inmates to Jesus," Isaac Holt, Director of Innovation for God Behind Bars, told CBN News. 

"There are 3.1 million inmates every day across the nation and that's a huge group of people. We believe we can reach almost all of them," he shared.

In 2021, the ministry created the first Christian app that streams sermons, worship music, and God's Word for prisoners.

"The Pando app streams...right now to 550,000 inmates," Holt explained in 2022. 

God Behind Bars makes it clear that their goal is to spread hope through the Gospel of Jesus Christ from cell to cell. 

"We will stop at nothing, ensuring every inmate in the U.S. has direct and personal access to the gospel and spiritual resources to not only help them grow their faith, but heal trauma and wounds, break addictions and cycles, and allow them to step into their calling as sons and daughters of the Most High," their website reads.

Lisa Cole, a campus pastor with Faith Promise in the east Tennessee area, works closely with God Behind Bars in Morgan County Correctional Complex, Bledsoe County Correctional Complex, and Bledsoe County Women's Unit.

She told CBN News that God Behind Bars offers inmates an opportunity to be a part of a community. 

"They have prayer teams, they do small groups, they do membership classes, they have prayer groups every night in their units, they invite other people," she said. "We challenge them to win their world by sharing the Gospel."

The ministry once shared that what is happening in the prisons is a "new thing" and it is evident in the joy that is felt and the lives that are changed. 

"God is bringing revival to prisons! Jesus is doing a NEW THING," they wrote on social media.

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About The Author


Talia Wise has served as a multi-media producer for, CBN Newswatch, The Prayer Link, and CBN News social media outlets. Prior to joining CBN News she worked for Fox Sports Florida producing and reporting. Talia earned a master’s degree in journalism from Regent University and a bachelor's degree from the University of Virginia.