Harvest Prison Ministry’s goal is to provide Christian support and encouragement to individuals who are incarcerated, their families and communities. The program began with a few volunteers in January 1993 under the direction of Volunteer Coordinator, Mary Gratz who continues to maintain that position with the support of her husband, Bob.
HPM currently has twelve volunteers serving in various roles; some minister at Marble Valley Correctional Facility in Rutland, Vermont while others (some for more than fifteen years) are Community Sponsors. Pastors Herb & Edi Hutchinson bless this program by ministering in all Vermont prisons and some facilities in other states.
For the past eighteen years – HPM has joined hands with Prison Fellowship at Christmastime with their Angel Tree Program to provide clothes and toys for the children in Bennington County, Vermont. These children have one or both parents who are incarcerated anywhere in the U.S. This is a great opportunity to have contact with and to encourage families. HPM provides toiletries and other personal items for every person incarcerated at MVCF on Christmas Day.
Harvest Prison Ministry will coordinate between Christ-centered discipleship residential homes including Teen Challenge Vermont in Johnson and Covered Bridge Therapeutic Communities in St. Johnsbury, Vermont and assists those individuals seeking further assistance in their recovery from addictions.
Further assistance is available in the community through the Harvest House Soup Kitchen with Pastor Dede Budz. Pastor Larry Whitmire leads the Sunday morning church services at the soup kitchen. Individuals released from prison and their families are welcome to attend the services and to enjoy a Sunday morning breakfast. HCM on East Main Street in Bennington is a welcome center for church services, prayer, bible study and fellowship with Pastors Linda Lebert and Dede Budz.
Our main goal is to reach as many people as possible and spread the good news of Jesus Christ. Over fifty study bibles are given to inmates at MVCF each year. The men are then asked to share the word with others they meet in prison, their loved ones and friends.
Harvest Prison Ministry is under the sponsorship of Harvest Christian Ministries and the supervision of the Vermont Department of Corrections.