Mark Walker...Founding Director?
Southern Colorado Regional Director
Yes, that's me! I don't look much like a minister, do I? I spent around five years of my life, from 2003 to 2008, in prison in Colorado. After I was sentenced I sank into despair and became suicidal. I was caught with a razor blade in my cell, and was placed on suicide watch. I sat in a cell alone, with no clothes but a pair of state-issue boxers and nothing but a roll of bathroom tissue and a styrofoam cup. It was the lowest point of my life, at the bottom of a long and descending series of low points. I had been stripped of all my worldly belongings, and had nothing to do but sit in the silence and think. Looking back,
I can see the Lord dramatically bringing my old life to a close. It was all gone. Although I didn't know it yet, God had prepared the soil of my heart.
Soon after I was moved to a new prison, and the Lord gave me a cellmate from Hong Kong who was a Christian. I began reading Scripture, and while reading the Gospel of John God opened my eyes to the beauty of Christ and my need for Him. I began studying the Bible during virtually every waking moment and attending services at the chapel. Soon the Lord began opening doors for ministry, and I served playing music for worship services. In 2005, having moved to yet another prison, God drew together a group of Christian brothers for a Bible study group, which I led. We met weekly for a year and a half, studying verse by verse through the book of Romans. One day, one of the brothers suggested that I write a book about how to lead a small group in prison, and the Lord planted the seed that would become the vision for The Cell Church.
After being released from prison in 2008, I began attending Moody Bible Institute, and graduated in December of 2013 with a degree in Biblical Studies. The Lord used my time there to shape and refine the ministry vision. While preparing to go on to seminary, I sensed the Spirit calling me to move forward with this ministry, so The Cell Church was formed in 2013. God then graciously led me to Gateway Seminary, where I graduated in 2018 with a Master of Divinity degree. In fall 2019 I embarked on the final stage of my theological education, beginning a PhD in Bible and Theology at Calvary University. May the Lord receive all glory from my life and this ministry, which are His!
My life in prison started in 2003. I knew Christ before but, in an effort to avoid issues in my life by giving them to God and seeking godly accountability from other Christians, I lived my life behind a mask of protection and deception. I ended up hurting many people. In the end God graciously removed the mask and destroyed the “pretend” life I’d lived so long. I am still a work in progress. God continues to crush my ego and provide his grace to live an authentic life and to daily experience the Awesome Gospel.
I met Mark Walker while we were
doing time together in a Colorado prison. Right away we discovered a kindred desire to study God’s word and enjoyed reading the same Christian authors. Over the years in prison God gave us many great opportunities to study the Bible together and to encourage each other in our Christian walk. During that time we started to discuss what would later become The Cell Church.
Both Mark and I were moved around to other facilities and, through that, developed a unique perspective on what God is doing through His established Church inside the walls of prison. As you might imagine, prison can be a difficult place to live. It can also be a place where the Gospel is constantly on display in the lives of those whom Christ has saved. He is calling and gifting Men and Women in prison to the work of the Church and His church is thriving inside those walls.
I currently live in Colorado Springs and, as the ministry grows, hope to move the ministry of The Cell Church more actively into Southern Colorado. If you are in Sothern Colorado and want to know more about The Cell Church or how you can be a part of this cross-cultural ministry to Church Leaders in prison, please don’t hesitate to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our Core Ministry Convictions
We emerged from prison with the following convictions which inform and drive every aspect of The Cell Church's ministry:
Prison ministry is cross-cultural ministry, and many of the same biblical principles which apply to cross-cultural missions should be applied to prison ministry.
There is a complete and vital church already in existence in the prisons; prison ministry should seek to support the full biblical life of the body of Christ in the prison context.
God has given all necessary spiritual gifts to the church in the prisons for the building up of the body and the work of the ministry; this includes gifted incarcerated leaders - pastors, teachers, theologians, artists, etc. - who should be discipled and equipped for effective use of their gifts.
The church in prison is producing works of theology, spirituality, art, music, etc. from the unique perspective of the prison cultural context; these works can make a significant contribution to the whole body of Christ, and should be valued and shared outside of the prisons.
Most prisoners will eventually leave prison and go back to their cities and neighborhoods; prison ministry should seek to equip these men and women, and support their transition as ministers of the gospel who are sent on mission from the prison church back into the community.
We currently support indigenous prison ministers in six states!
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