Ministry provides devotional books to prisoners
FORT WORTH, Texas––Larry Coppock, chief executive officer of the Nashville-based Strength for Service (SFS) ministry, read selections from Strength for Service to God and Country to 23 inmates at the Tarrant County Jail.
“These veterans of various branches of the Armed Forces were especially appreciative of the devotions prepared for men and women in the military,” said Coppock. “It seemed appropriate to read a 1942 devotion on hope, written by The Rev. James Gilbert, who was then pastor of St. James Episcopal Church in Philadelphia.”
The book contains all of the original devotions written for World War II troops. It also contains additional devotions by contemporary writers.
“I also read a devotion titled “Answering the Bell,” written by Don Hunsberger, the father of Evan, the Boy Scout who led the effort to republish the 1942 book,” said Coppock.
Prior to his Oct. 28 visit to the jail, Coppock had shipped a case of books to Chaplain Wes McDuffie to distribute to prisoners. The chaplain subsequently invited Coppock to speak with prisoners who had earned a sufficient number of “points” to participate in this select group.
Coppock told about the history of the book before reading the two devotionals.
Chaplain McDuffie then encouraged detainees to provide “hope” to their families when they leave prison and to “answer the bell” in response to challenges they will face when returning to their homes.
“We enjoyed some one-on-one time with various detainees after the formal presentation,” said Coppock.
On the same trip, the SFS executive also met with Eddie Aguiar of North Richland Hills, Texas. Eddie’s son, Brandon was a Marine who read the devotional book while in Afghanistan. Brandon died in 2005 after a brief battle with cancer.
Eddie plans to give SFS books to Denton police officers, following the Oct. 29 shooting of Officer Urbano Rodriguez Jr. The five-year veteran is in critical condition at the Denton Medical Center. He was shot twice, once to the head and once to the femur.