The Broken Halos Prison Tour

April 28, 2023

Day 2: The Broken Halos & Company Prison Tour

On the road to Elayn Hunt Correctional Center, St. Gabriel, LA to sing the gospel through the music of Andrew Peterson’s “Behold the Lamb of God.”

Elayn Hunt Correctional Center is the second largest prison in Louisiana, located 70 miles northwest of New Orleans. It’s a multi-security level prison for adult men.

The Prison Tour
includes The Broken Halos Band members: Angela Buikema, Doug Bardolph, Justin Bardolph, Bethany DeHaan, Gregg DeMey, Dave Hendricks, Billy Heschl, Kyle Olson, Cindy Vos, Matt Voss. Prison Team: Bert & Celia DeJong, Richard Kuhr, Calvin Prison Initiative: John and Marilyn Rottman, and Technical Support: Karl Olson.

2000 miles. 5 days. 3 prisons.

Day 3: The Broken Halos & Company Prison Tour

On the road to Louisiana State Penitentiary, Angola, LA to sing the gospel through the music of Andrew Peterson’s “Behold the Lamb of God.”

Angola is a maximum security prison for men. Its name is derived from the former slave plantation that occupied the territory and was named after the country, Angola, from which slaves originated. It is the largest maximum security facility in the U.S., sitting on over 18,000 acres.

Elmhurst CRC has enjoyed a special relationship with this particular institution and its men. Our fellow Christians at Angola have participated with us, and we with them in a joint Christmas-time worship service via livestream for many years prior to COVID. And the seeds of prison ministry with Angola were planted long ago in our congregation by members involved in Prison Ministries Fellowship who forged a proactive partnership with the Angola warden and administration.

Pastor Bert DeJong has been actively mentoring the chaplains of Angola — for about 15 years, with over 50 visits! This visit marks the second post-COVID visit. The music and members of the Broken Halos have made many, many visits prior to COVID. It’s been difficult to get clearance to go in since —we are one of the first to go in live!

2000 miles. 5 days. 3 prisons.

Day 4: The Broken Halos Prison Tour

On the road to our next stop —the Mississippi State Penitentiary in Parchman, MS, to sing the gospel through the music of Andrew Peterson’s “Behold the Lamb of God.”

The Mississippi State Penitentiary (MSP), also known as Parchman Farm, sits on 18,000 acres of fertile Mississippi Delta bottomland. Parchman is the state’s oldest prison —begun with four stockades in 1901 and is the only maximum security for men in the state of Mississippi; and houses approximately 3,400 men.

MSP may sound familiar —it’s the prison where our friend Chaplain Sidney Deloch currently serves as a chaplain. And you might recognize the name of Burl Cain—former warden at the Louisiana State Prison in Angola, and current Commissioner of the Mississippi State Department of Corrections. He’ll be at the Parchman concert tonight as well.

This is the third and final prison to hear the Behold the Lamb of God music as performed by the Broken Halos; we invite you to continue to pray for the hearts of these men, and with this music offering them a lasting impact and renewed sense of purpose, faith, and connection to your divine love. We ask for prayers for protection over the tour, both in transit and the remaining concert, and an outpouring of your grace and mercy on all involved.

2000 miles. 5 days. 3 prisons.

Day 5: The Broken Halos & Company Prison Tour

On the road with John Rottman of the Calvin Prison Initiative (CPI).**

Along with the members of the Broken Halos that you might know and love from Sunday worship, concerts, and the annual Christmastime Behold the Lamb of God concerts, Rev. Dr. John Rottman of the Calvin Prison Initiative and his wife Marilyn rode along on this week’s Broken Halos Prison Tour.

John Rottman is responsible for…Pastor Gregg’s sermons! No, not really, but as Professor Emeritus of Preaching at Calvin Theological Seminary, John was instrumental in teaching a generation of pastors how to preach —including our pastor!

When asked why he does what he does and why was eager to participate in this prison tour, John said, “What keeps me coming back to prison, is that there are people there who are so clearly in the image of God that it dazzles the people who visit.”

Dazzling in the image of God. It doesn’t get more compelling than that.

2000 miles. 5 days. 3 prisons.

**CPI is a higher education program offered to inmates in Michigan’s correctional facilities through Calvin University in Grand Rapids, MI allowing them to earn an associate or bachelor’s degree while serving their sentences. It aims to reduce recidivism rates and to help inmates succeed once they are released from prison.

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