"The First Thing I Asked Is Where Is the Chapel?"

12:14 AM, May 15, 2013   |    comments
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Columbia, SC (WLTX) -- One local prison is working to get a chapel beyond the barbed wire.

"We need a special place, we need a special place to get in touch with our God," Judy Anderson said. 

Anderson has been the Warden at several prison systems around South Carolina.

But at Camille Griffin Graham Correctional, something's missing.

"All of the chaplains have recognized that there was a need," Anderson said. 

When Chaplain Kimberly Campbell came to the prison in 2003, she noticed too.

"The first thing I asked was where is the chapel," Campbell said.

That's when it clicked for Campbell.

She assembled a board to raise money for a chapel to be built on the prison's campus. And that hefty price tag will be $500,000.

But Campbell isn't worried about that task.

"We can do all things through Christ, with our faith in Christ nothing's too big, nothing's impossible for Him," Campbell said. "And if we have that faith in Him and believe in what we do and when we believe, we walk in what we believe, it shall come to pass."

Until then they'll try to make a joyful noise in the gym.

"Our gym doesn't have air conditioning so we have these big fans, so when you're trying to preach the fans are real loud."

And when they can't use the gym they downsize to a visitation room.

Although God welcomes all, that space can only hold 70 people.


"It breaks my heart to tell the women, 'You can't come, you'll have to come next Sunday, try to get here early because we're full,'" Campbell said.

The prison has many programs, but Campbell believes this chapel will help the inmates become better people.

"We can educate an inmate and they'll be a smarter inmate, but when you give them Christ you have a changed individual," Campbell said.

So far the Chapel Foundation board has raised $14,000. They're  working on bringing Ray Charles' daughter for a concert to raise funds later this year.

To donate monetary funds you can mail them to:

Multi-Purpose CGG Chapel Foundation
P.O. Box 85791
Lexington, SC 29073


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