Some 55 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
in Birmingham and Montgomery, Alabama, as well as in South Carolina,
Georgia, and Ohio.
For timelines by decade click an image below ( PDF format):
For further information from the past, check out the We Care Program Web Archives.