Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Dr. Pipa's Study Guide Stirring Prison Inmates to Faith

A recent letter to GPTS President Joseph A. Pipa Jr. from a Texas pastor indicated that Dr. Pipa's Westminster Confession of Faith Study Book has become an instrument of spiritual instruction for some inmates at the Texas Correctional Institutions Division's Louis C. Powledge Unit near Palestine, Tex.

Pastor Steven G. Simmons of Fifth Street Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Tyler, Tex. relayed a letter from a prisoner requesting a copy of Dr. Pipa's book to which he had become acquainted through a fellow inmate.

In his handwritten letter to Pastor Simmons, the inmate stated:

I have been attending  your Monday night Bible Study Class at Powledge Unit since I arrived about a month ago. First, let me thank you for your time & energy in your ministry to me and my fellow inmates. I am a 39-year-old first-time offender & also aware that the only reason I was placed in such a "pleasant" unit is by the grace of God. 
I look forward to you and the other teacher's weekly class time. It provides additional instruction & learning to my daily study & meditation in the Word. A fellow classmate ... has also been a great benefit to me in my new road to salvation. He showed me a study book you sent him to complete called the Westminster Confession of Faith Study Book by Joseph Pipa. I guess what I'm really getting at is if you would be so kind as to do the same for me in order in order for me to gain [further] knowledge. Any assistance is greatly appreciated. 
God bless  you.
The Powledge Unit is an 1,100+-inmate prison with a wide variety of rehabilitation and religious ministry programs and a faith-based dormitory. Among the institution's best known and secured inmates is Warren Jeffs, the polygamous sect leader serving a life sentence for sexually molesting one of his child "brides."