June 29, 2020
By Grace Thornton
The Alabama Baptist
For the past few months, Truett Maddox hasn’t gotten to go into Chilton County jail like usual.
But it doesn’t stop him from seeing the people he’s loved and shared Jesus with there during the past 16 years.
“I ran into a guy recently down at the lake who said, ‘I recognize you — you came to the jail when I was incarcerated,’” said Maddox, a member of Mineral Springs Baptist Church, Clanton. “I run into several from time to time who share that their life was changed because of my ministry there at the jail, and I tell them, ‘The Lord changes you, not me. He deserves the credit for your change.’”
Maddox first got involved in jail ministry 16 years ago when the pastor of Union Grove Baptist Church, Jemison, where Maddox attended at the time, started taking a group to the jail.
Other volunteers have come and gone through the years, but Maddox has always stayed.
“I’ve felt the Lord called me to this ministry,” he said.
Up until COVID-19 restrictions, he led a weekly worship service in the jail. It’s a challenge, but it’s rewarding, he said.
“If you see lives changed, it’s worthwhile,” he said.
Larry Felkins, retired director of missions for Chilton Baptist Association, said Maddox has kept the association’s ministry at the jail alive through the years.
“He feels confident that he is supposed to be there,” Felkins said. “It’s not easy ministry, but he has stayed consistent and faithful.”
Maddox insists he’s the blessed one. “I get a blessing out of the inmates and their contributions in worship. I had one guy, he brought tears to my eyes with the songs he would share with us,” Maddox said. “It’s rewarding just to see the change God can make in a person’s life.”