One Parish One Prisoner at FPCE

In 2020, our Session voted to participate in the One Parish One Prisoner (OPOP) program developed by Chris Hoke, the Executive Director of Underground Ministries.  OPOP has invited congregations in our state to partner with the WA State Department of Corrections, as well as four inmate-facilitated reentry and mentorship groups within prisons to experiment with helping church communities build relationships with incarcerated individuals releasing to their communities.

Underground Ministries will help our congregation go beyond metaphor, where this Word becomes flesh, a man with a name and a story, behind bars.  Jesus challenges us to roll away Lazarus’ tombstone, help take off the grave clothes, and embrace someone rising from the underground—so that we will see the glory of God (John 11).  This is a unique opportunity for spiritual formation and engaged discipleship with our congregation.  Christ calls us to visit Him, to know Him, in relationship with the imprisoned (Matthew 25).

Underground Ministries currently has twelve OPOP churches from over four denominations organized and trained across Northwest Washington.  We have been paired with a man who is currently in the Washington State Penitentiary at Walla Walla.  In the weeks to come, we will be introducing him to you so that you may join the team in praying for him as he prepares to be released within the next few months.

The OPOP team is made up of 5 individuals from our congregation:  John Gebert, Steve Hammond, Maureen Greene, Dottie Villesvik and Pastor Alan.  We meet monthly to pray for and plan how we will begin the process of building our relationship with him.

Check out Underground Ministries web page:
And this video about their program: