This Ministry May Not Be For You

This may not be a ministry that you want to do. It may not even be a ministry that you’ve ever heard of or given any thought to.

There obviously are other ministries like this, but they are small and underpublicized. They are led by people who are fully committed. They seek no publicity or funds. They simply give of themselves.

The ministry is to condemned inmates and their families.

Two weeks ago I became acquainted with Wayne Whiteside. Wayne has just such a ministry to condemned inmates and their families. He serves as a pastor in Farmerville, Louisiana. His ministry on Death Row is his “outside ministry.”

This is the part that I have never heard before. He attends the execution of the condemned in order to minister to them and their families. It is an amazing ministry.

Capital punishment is shocking and brutal, but if you could talk with Wayne you might realize what an opportunity it is for a condemned murderer, his family, and others to hear the Gospel and receive eternal life.  He has seen a lot of people come to the Lord over the years.

This is part of an email that I received that led me to Wayne. He had just returned from an execution. He had to drive through stormy weather. After attending this execution in one state, he would be traveling to another in a few days.

“This will be a short update due to the late hour. I just got in . . . a few minutes ago. The weather was quite a challenge coming and going.

[Inmate’s name] died tonight at 6:18 pm. He was very quiet and reserved. He visited with family earlier today and spent the rest of the day writing letters. He had no final statement and was praying during and the minutes leading up to his death. It was very quiet in the room and the media was respectful.

Please pray for his family and the family of the victim. They are all hurting people. His memorial service will be sometime later this week. The family has asked me to speak at it. There will be a number of people there who do not frequent a church. With the Lord’s help and strength, the gospel will be presented.Again, thank you so much for your prayers, support and love.

This trip was especially stressful for so many reasons.

Because He is merciful,

Bro Wayne

not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit (Titus 3:5).”

May God bless Wayne and all who minister to “the least of these.”

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One Comment


  1. Ed Matthew
    Apr 01, 2012

    Thank you for bringing attention to the multiple aspects of accountability. I am reminded of George K. Duke who for many years was the Gideon Louisiana State Chaplin that ministered to Death Row inmates until his death. It has been a Blessing to hear from God’s pulpit under your stewardship numerous testimonies such as from Warden Cain. It is a foreign world in our midst. Having ministered in prison ministry, public housing, rescue missions as well as foreign and domestic missions it is indeed a special situation for an individual to provide the consistency necessary to build/have a reliable relationship. This statement is true even in the best of circumstances, sadly. Thank God for His enduring Love. Thank God for a family which tolerates/supports such Ministry.

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About Waylon

I am the senior pastor of First Baptist Church, Covington, Louisiana, a position that I have held since 1989.

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But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness. — James 3:17-18 (NIV)