Sitting on a park bench on July 16, 2009, I asked Jesus to forgive and help me. By worldly standards, although having met the definition of the “American Dream”, I sat physically, mentally and spiritually broken. It was at that place of brokenness I prayed “God, if you’ll strengthen and restore me, I’ll submit the rest of my life to you.” God began to strengthen and restore and I began to pray for His calling and purpose for my life.
Soon I began receiving invitations from friends to visit WV prisons and even traveled to Angola Prison in Louisiana. At first, I saw the invitations as kind gestures from Christian brothers. I continued to pray for God’s purpose and kept getting invitations to travel back to Angola prison. It was at Angola that a passion illuminated inside me that has never dulled. God had answered my prayer and His call was clear. Catalyst Ministries was founded to serve the incarcerated, those with no voice or influence. We were called into the prisons of West Virginia to impart the “good news” of Jesus Christ, coupled with consistent discipleship as Jesus gave us in Mathew 28:19, “The Great Commission.”
Everything we do is focused on Safer Communities, Fewer Future Victims and Preventing the Children of Inmates from following their Parents into Prison.
We have introduced and are working with the West Virginia Division of Corrections to implement a proven model of prison reform called “Moral Rehabilitation." This non-traditional approach began at Louisiana State Penitentiary, better known as Angola Prison, under the leadership of Warden Burl Cain. Angola is the largest maximum security prison in the United States. Once known as “Americas Bloodiest Prison”, it’s now considered one of America’s safest. Angola’s violence has been reduced nearly 75% since Warden Cain’s arrival. Statistics reveal that a child who has an incarcerated parent is eight times more likely to end up in prison. Our highest priority is to break this cycle!
We believe nothing changes a person’s moral fabric more permanently than an encounter with the God of the Bible, and the forgiveness offered through the person and work of Jesus Christ. This conviction is the center of our work. When a person experiences spiritual transformation through Jesus Christ, moral rehabilitation occurs, resulting in fewer victims.
- Calvin Sutphin II
Founder, Catalyst Ministries