Prison ministry

We believe in discipling the incarcerated and released

At World Impact, we believe that God can transform the lives of those in prison and call them to participate with Him in His Great Commission. Through our Prison Ministry, we are training and equipping radical men and women to pastor and plant churches within prison walls and the communities in which they used to live.

We help thousands of inmates receive effective training and gain vital urban ministry and church leadership knowledge.

We do this first by establishing church-based seminaries inside prison walls. Then, we equip churches and ministries to come alongside released prisoners, provide discipleship, and empower them to do effective ministry in some of the most forgotten places in our cities.

Our prison ministry methodology equips churches for effective ministry both inside and outside of prison walls

When you partner with World Impact, you ensure that men and women get the resources and support they need to find Jesus, become ministers within prison walls and are discipled to change their local communities when they are released.

Prison Ministry Partners


Prison Ministry Trainers


Prison Ministry Workers


Former "Lifers" find hope and spread the gospel

Carlos and Martin first met while they were both serving life sentences in the California State Prison system and living in neighboring cells.

Martin was a new believer at the time and said, “It was in this desire to grow in my faith that brought Carlos and me together.” He began attending Bible studies that Carlos conducted, and soon Carlos began discipling Martin in the “dayroom” of their housing unit.

This was a significant step of faith for both men. Martin states, “In the prison system…the mixing of races is a taboo that has led to…riots and even death. So, for Carlos to conduct a Bible study on the Black side of the dayroom spoke volumes of his faith in God.”

A New Path

Carlos and Martin served the Lord together from 1997–2000 and again from 2010–2015, when Carlos was paroled to San Diego.

In 2012, Martin was ordained as the yard pastor and began attending Church-Based Seminary (TUMI) classes until he was paroled in 2017. When Martin was paroled to San Diego, it was Carlos who picked him up at the train station and blessed him with his first meal as a free man.

Soon after Martin was paroled, he attended World Impact’s Evangel School of Urban Church Planting, where Pillar of Fire Church was chartered. Martin and Danny, who are also former “lifers” and TUMI graduates, now serve as pastors of this church.

A Bright Future

Carlos recently joined the Pillar of Fire leadership team, and his wife, Hanna, is the worship leader for the church. The church is adding more leaders by God’s grace, and it has grown from its original three-member team to around 25. Carlos has also started a re-entry home called Bethel House, for men re-entering the outside world.

God’s sovereign hand has been on Carlos and Martin’s lives, inside prison and out, for over 20 years. Through their ministry, lives are being impacted and changed for the better in San Diego.

Life Transformation is possible because of your generosity

To help more people like Carlos and Martin through prison ministry programs, click below to give now.