WE CARE PROGRAM - History
Some 53 years ago or so, Martin Weber of Atmore, Alabama, went to prison—not as a convict, but as a preacher called to minister the Gospel of Jesus Christ “even unto the least of these.” Where others saw only human weeds, brambles, thorns and tares, Martin, by the power of the Holy Spirit, saw soul-fields ripe for harvest. And harvest he did, for almost 20 years as a chaplain with the Alabama Department of Corrections.
In Atmore at Fountain Correctional Facility, and later at Holman, Martin found prisons filled with men who, no matter what horrible crimes they may have committed, were created in the image of God, and by the marvelous grace of that same God, could yet become all that they were created to be. But Martin soon realized that the harvest was much too vast for a single laborer. Eventually he was able to convince Department of Corrections officials to allow volunteer ministers to come in to help.
New Life Foundation was established in 1970 with an emphasis on free-world volunteers teaching Bible classes to inmates in the Atmore prisons. In 1983 the name was changed to We Care Program when the prison ministry and a sister crime prevention program were combined into one organization. Since then the crime prevention aspect has been phased out, and today the core of our mission remains the original focus of in-prison ministry. The ministry has grown beyond Atmore to include missionary chaplains and associates in Birmingham and Montgomery, Alabama, as well as in South Carolina, Georgia, and Ohio.
For timelines by decade click an image below ( PDF format):
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