President of NHCLC, Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, Calls Chuck Colson's Life Inspirational
Rodriguez Believes Colson's Ideas and Convictions Will Carry On Through a Generation Committed to Reconciling Righteousness with Justice
SACRAMENTO, Calif.-Chuck Colson, known around the world as the Founder of Prison Fellowship, as an Evangelical leader, a cultural commentator and also as former special counsel to President Richard Nixon, will be remembered as a leader of integrity and compassion and who will be sorely missed by those he touched around the world and forever held in the highest of regard.
"Chuck Colson stands as an iconic figure who enriched the Christian community by personifying the power of a redeemed narrative. His personal experience speaks to a man who fell into grace rather than falling from grace. From the birth of Prison Fellowship to the Manhattan Declaration, Dr. Colson's optics of reconciling truth with love permeated all aspects of his life," said, Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, President of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (www.NHCLC.org), also known as the Hispanic Evangelical Association, the nation's largest Christian Hispanic organization.
"I had the privilege of serving with him on the Gordon Conwell Board and serving as his Hispanic partner for the Manhattan Declaration. He served as one of my greatest inspirations. Although his physical voice may be silenced, his ideas and convictions will carry on via a generation committed to reconciling righteousness with justice," Rodriguez concluded.
Colson was known as the White House "hatchet man," a man feared by even the most powerful politicos during his four years of service to President Nixon. When news of Colson's conversion to Christianity leaked to the press in 1973, the Boston Globe reported, "If Mr. Colson can repent of his sins, there just has to be hope for everybody."
Chuck Colson's inmates wanted to know what he would do when he was released from prison after serving seven months in Alabama's Maxwell Prison in 1974. His response was remarkable and continues to carry a profound reach and impact 36 years later.
He founded the non-profit Prison Fellowship (www.pfm.org) in 1976 which has become the world's largest outreach to prisoners, ex-prisoners, and their families, with ministry taking place in 113 countries around the globe--giving prisoners the opportunity to experience the radically transforming power of Christ that he experienced. Prison Fellowship's mission is to seek the transformation of prisoners and their reconciliation to God, family, and community through the power and truth of Jesus Christ.
To best accomplish this mission, Prison Fellowship has created a holistic model called Transformational Ministry, which draws upon a number of coordinated and complementary programs and services including equipping and empowering local churches and volunteers to reach out to prisoners, ex-prisoners, and their families with the love and hope of Christ. Prison Fellowship's programs and initiatives include Angel Tree, Justice Fellowship, InnerChange Freedom Initiative and Operation Starting Line. BreakPoint commentary, by Chuck Colson, airs each weekday on more than 1,200 outlets with an estimated weekly listening audience of eight million people.
Chuck Colson's heart was ever with the prisoner. He clearly never forgot the promise he made to his fellow inmates during his brief stay in prison: that he would "never forget" those behind bars.