God’s Love First, Inc. is a Christian ministry located in Nashville, Tennessee. We assist prisoners, their families, communities, and victims through many services that promote healing.
A Journey to Emotional Freedom
Based on the Theotherapy model, this program by Mark A. West addresses more than a dozen issues like anger, rejection, guilt, grief, anxiety, fear, and sexuality. Using principles from psychology, counseling, and the Bible, it helps redeem the negative active past to positively impact a participant’s emotions, will, and intellect.
God’s Love First Membership
Using college-level texts on psychology and counseling, this program teaches a series of topics such as Burnout and Crisis Intervention, Effective Lay Ministry, and Secular Modes of Counseling. Those who complete A Journey to Emotional Freedom are eligible for this program, which also earns them credit towards becoming facilitators.
Personal Growth & Ministry Training
Using college-level texts on psychology and counseling, this program teaches a series of topics such as Burnout and Crisis Intervention, Effective Lay Ministry, and Secular Modes of Counseling. Those who complete A Journey to Emotional Freedom are eligible for this program, which earns credit towards becoming facilitators.
A Journey to Financial Stability
Inmate indigence is a major obstacle to successful re-entry. This program is based on a book created by God’s Love First members who managed to achieve financial stability on their meager prison wages. Using best biblical and financial practices, they help others separate from negative associations to build productive lives.
Parole Readiness & Transitioning Workshop
Along with genuine personal growth, parole candidates must have knowledge of the process and prepare for it with the latest information. They conclude this inter-agency program with a personal re-entry plan, a presentation packet for the parole board, a certificate of readiness, and letters of recommendation.
To replicate the success of God’s Love First in other Tennessee correctional facilities, A Journey to Emotional Freedom is administered via a correspondence course to male and female inmates across the state. Correspondence courses also have played an important role to continue all programs in the wake of Covid-19 social limitations.
Take One Mentoring Program
The Tennessee Department of Corrections partnered with God’s Love First to bring this high-impact, faith-based program to Riverbend. Inmates are matched with volunteers for a minimum of three years, two years before release and one year after. Mentors provide support and guidance for the transition—improving lives and making communities safer. For information about volunteering, contact TDOC Re-Entry Specialist Jody Kahn at Jody.L.Khan@tn.gov.
Much more than just another church service, these highly charged inmate-led events visibly light up lives, as brothers are restored to a right relationship with each other and with God. Inmates call on inmates to unify in Christ, put aside differences, and seek and give forgiveness out of their love for Jesus.
Bible Study and Worship
Volunteers lead this life-changing Bible study that is notable for its interpersonal format, which sets this ministry apart. They encourage men to give feedback, participate in discussions, ask questions, and bring topics to study. In return, the men learn to operate, love, and care for each other as a family led and fed by Christ.
Newborn Promise Project
Based on John 3, the Newborn Promise Project study centers on five spiritual abilities to Love, Remember, Seek, Question, and Persevere. Participants grow inwardly and outwardly as they apply biblical concepts to their relationships with their spouses, their children, and their Savior.
*Who succeeds in leaving prison?
Researchers interviewed men who were released from prison to try to understand who succeeds when they are back in the community. They listened to the men’s life stories and found a significant difference between them and the re-offenders. These were the common reasons.
I was a lost soul who didn’t care about anything or anybody. You helped me more than you know.
Melvin, God’s Love First participant