A Growing Ministry - Des Moines' Best Kept Secret!
The new Polk County jail in Northeast Des Moines has the potential for 2500 beds, increasing the importance of the impact of this ministry for those incarcerated, who need the light of the Gospel in their lives. There will be even more and greater ministry opportunities ahead for deputies and office staff, as well. All of my financial support is raised from local churches, businesses and individuals. I am a home Missionary to Polk County - for you. Please partner with me through prayer and financial gifts. Consider volunteering your time. Watch with me as we see our Heavenly Father transform lives one heart at a time for His honor and glory! Amen!!!
Jerry D. Van Cleave
Chaplain, Polk County Jail
Welcome to Polk County Jail Ministry!
The Polk County Jail Ministry exists to bring the transforming power of the gospel of Jesus Christ to those incarcerated and to all the staff of the Polk County Sheriff's offices.
The state of Iowa sees over 70% of the incarcerated going back to prison. With the faith based method only 6% go back to prison or jail. What a huge difference when one is truly transformed by the power of God!
Those we minister to are counseled one on one, sign up for Bible studies, and are challenged to to stay in God's Word. They are encouraged to attend a Bible teaching church and to commit to finding a mentor. All of these help to keep them accountable.
Click here to learn more...
Three essentials to this ministry:
- Volunteer Support (Partnering with the local church)
- Financial Support
You can donate to Polk County Jail Ministry online by credit card. Simply enter the amount of your donation below and then click the Add to Cart button. Thank you for your support!
You may also donate by mail. Please make your check out to Polk County Jail Ministry and mail your financial gift to:
Polk County Jail Ministry
c/o Polk County Jail
1985 NE 51st Place
Des Moines, IA 50313
Polk County Jail Ministry is a non-profit 510 (c) (3) organization that assists all persons regardless of color, race, sex or creed. Donations are tax-deductible.
The Harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. - Matthew 9:37
The Polk County Jail Ministry Inc. exists to bring
With those incarcerated the window of opportunity can be brief. Some inmates are only in the jail a short 24 hours. Others can be housed for up to a year while awaiting sentencing. It is very critical that while working in this ministry I am sensitive to divine appointments.
God has placed a call upon my life to be the Chaplain of the Polk County Jail. I have been uniquely prepared to be a Missionary to this ministry. Most recently, I was on the staff of the InnerChange Freedom Initiative for 3 ½ years. This ministry, which was started by Chuck Colson, is a faith based ministry to the incarcerated in the Newton Correctional Facility. This ministry is only in four states and has brought about phenomenal results. Prior to this I was heavily involved in men’s ministry, teaching and pastoral services in a large local church. My previous interactions with inmates has truly given me invaluable experience for my present post at the jail.
The average tax payer has no idea
that statistically the state in their
efforts to reform the incarcerated
through behavior change sees over 70% going back
to prison. With the faith based method only 6%
go back to prison or jail. What a huge difference
when one is truly transformed by the power of
God! Those who experience brokenness are
candidates for God’s transforming power. They are
counseled one on one, sign up for Bible studies,
challenged to stay in God’s Word, attend a Bible
teaching church and commit to finding a mentor.
All of these help to keep them accountable.
Remember the window of opportunity for me to
come along side the inmates varies from 24 hours
before they post bail and are released, or up to one
I am on call 24/7, every day. I could be called
upon to give a death notification, officiate a funeral
or offer comfort to the sick or dying. I could be
asked to perform a wedding ceremony for deputies, or ride along with them while they are
on duty. As I get to know the officers, I am given
opportunities to encourage them, and to minister
to them and to their families. I am available to
offer marriage and family counseling, and to help
them cope with the often difficult tasks they are
called upon to perform. Hospital visitation of
Deputies or their family members are opportunities
to build relationships. I try to attend roll calls
of the different shifts in order to introduce myself
to the Sheriff’s Deputies. They are a close knit
group and it takes time to develop relationships of
trust with them. As public servants assigned the
task of protecting our community, they are under a
lot of stress as they are the disciplinarians and the
enforcers of justice. The task of building bridges
into the Deputies lives is slow, but rewarding work,
and I am honored to serve them.
Thank you for your prayerful