The story of our beginning traces back to a gentleman from the Detroit area whose name was Ronnie Coon. Mr. Coon was a member of the Purple Gang in Detroit and had been to prison twice by 1948. In 1948 he drove to Lansing, Michigan and robbed a bank. The police caught him and he was lodged in the city jail that night. His testimony was that as he was in the jail that night, he was kicking raging and cussing. As the night wore on he said there was a book laid on his bunk open and there was part of a page that had a red neon pulsing lighted area. Ronnie said he would ignore it while he was kicking raging and cussing but finally he became curious enough walk over and look at the book which was a Bible and he tried to figure out where the light was coming from shining on that page.

 

He looked out the narrow window in the wall and then to a narrow window in the door and could see no cause of the lighted area so he picked it up and read, “for God so loved the world that he gave his only Son that whosoever would believe in him would have eternal life.” He realized he held a miracle in his hand and laid face down on the floor and invited God into his life. Ronnie said that every time he started to get up he would remember more sin and crime and that night totally gave his life to God. His wife Ruby was home while this was happening and had been praying for Ronnie's salvation.

 

He went to prison for the third time from 1949 to 1954, took correspondence courses in Bible topics and became a student of the Bible and a follower of Christ. In 1954 he moved his family to Lansing, Michigan. A neighbor invited them to attend Mount Hope Church.

 

In 1984, he began the prison ministry program at the Eaton County Jail and at the Ingham County Jail.

 

What we do as a ministry: we train individuals how to function as volunteers with integrity for the love of the Lord God to flow through their lives. We teach men and women how to operate within policies of state and county and other institutions and then help them get opportunities to serve through assignments such as offering church services, Bible studies, topical studies and mentoring opportunities.


You may want to assist with our Pen Pal ministry and volunteering in our offices to assist in administrative functions. An important part of this ministry is gathering donated Christian materials such as Bibles, books, magazines, CDs, DVDs, etc. We ship materials to chaplains and administrators in facilities both in Michigan and other states. Volunteers often take shipments of materials with them to a facility is to help us save shipping costs.

 

Volunteers serve in state prisons, county jails and youth offender facilities. We train people to function as mentors both inside facilities and to the returnees coming back into the public sector and rejoining their families. There are many opportunities of different types for people to serve. Our Lord Jesus Christ stated in Matthew, chapter 25, “I was in prison and you visited me.”  He did not say you visited them, he said you visited me and his presence is there for the people.

 

Our Beginnings

Len Hill

Program Director



Address

New Directions, Inc.

202 S.  Creyts Rd.

Lansing MI 48917-80611


Picture by Bill Koons

Web Design by Phil Smith