Regional Criminal Justice Ministry Center of South Texas

Highway 202 at Entrance to Chase Field
Beeville, Texas
Since 1997 RCJM has distributed
  • 11,000+ Bibles
  • 35,000+ workbooks and other pieces of printed material
No salaries are paid with RCJM funds
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Garza Units-TDCJ/Chase Field


Sunday - March 23, 1997
2:00 p.m.

Welcome and Introductions Gene Woodard
Director of Regional Criminal Justice Ministry Center of South Texas

Recognition Of Honored Guests:
TDCJ Personnel, Wardens and Chaplains
Recognition of Regional Criminal Justice Ministry of South Texas Board, CJM Council, Pastors,

Purpose: To identify a cooperative relationship of TDCJ with the community in the development of a humanitarian ministry to the inmates of the Garza Units and their families. This building, identified as the Family Visitors Center, will stand as a reminder of our heritage and responsibility in cooperative service to the improvement of character and respect for human life.

The Planners Warden II Iglesias...How This All Came About

The Builders
Wayne Simpkins
...Why We Came to Help

The Servers
Penny Davis
...What We Are Doing Here

Regional CJM of South Texas
Board of Director
Gene Seaman

Prayer of Dedication Emmett Solomon

Cutting the Ribbon

Passing the Keys by Wayne Simpkins
(The Texas Baptist Retired Builders)

To Warden Iglesias
(Warden II of Garza Units, TDCJ)

To Gene Woodard
(Director of Regional CJM of South Texas)

To Ron & Diana Smith
(Visitor Center Ministries Coordinators)

Presenting the Gifts Rena Simpkins
(The Builders' Wives)
Presentation of Stuffed Toys for Use in the Center

Prayer of Thanksgiving
and Commitment to Ministry
Chaplain Tommy Ingle

Take the Tour of the Center

Word of Dedication of Family Visitors Center

Whereas the Blanco Baptist Association has for the last few years expressed interest in helping to give spiritual encouragement and physical assistance to the families of inmates and those employed by TDCJ located in Beeville and has received funds directed to the establishment of a Regional Criminal Justice Ministry Center of South Texas and the building of a Family Visitors Center in Beeville;

Whereas the Texas Baptist Men Retired Builders have given of their time and labor to construct the building to house the Family Visitors Center and volunteers from the Beeville area have donated their labor, and the churches and businesses of the area have given of food for the workers and merchandise to assist in the construction of said facility;

Whereas the Wardens and Leadership of TDCJ at Chase field / Garza Units have guided the inmates to assisted with painting, tiling the floor, landscaping and other jobs to improve the Family Visitors Center;

Whereas much prayer has been offered to God in behalf of this project and many churches have continually expressed interest in this unique ministry;

We give thanks for the opportunity to provide a facility through which to minister to the physical and spiritual needs of families who come to visit the inmates at the Beeville Units of TDCJ.

We now dedicate this building to its intended purpose and pray for the commitment of those who will be serving here.

The Cost Of The Construction

The Cost of the construction of the Family Visitors Center materials is approximately $40,000.

Figuring the of the 2600 square feet building construction at $35 per square foot gives a retail cost of $91,000.00.

If a monetary value could be placed on the labor of the Texas Baptist Retired Builders (29 men working for two weeks), Doug & Chris Johnson, and the many other volunteers, along with the materials and services donated, the value of the labor and donated materials added to the actual cost of materials would again well approach the $91,000.

Uses of the FVC building:

  • Waiting place for families of inmates on visitation days
  • Counseling for Correction Officers and families
  • Bible Study group for TDCJ employees or families
  • Special meetings relating to Criminal justice Ministry
  • Office of Regional Criminal Justice Ministry Center of South Texas

Overview of Visitors Center

As one approaches the gate to Chase Field on Highway 202 east of Beeville a new tan building graces the property to the right. This structure is the result of a cooperative mission involving:

  • TDCJ personnel at Beeville,
  • Blanco Baptist Association,
  • Church Ministries Department of the Baptist General Convention of Texas,
  • Regional Criminal Justice Ministry Center of South Texas
  • and many people and businesses in the area who are giving support to this special ministry.

The building was constructed by the Texas Baptist Men Retired Builders.

Warden Zeller welcomed the 29 RV units as they set up camp inside the gate of Chase Field around Feb. 10th to begin the project of constructing a 2600 sq. ft. building on a cleared slab. The weather was cool and rainy for several days, but the men worked on to complete the building in two weeks.

The Criminal Justice Ministry Council, led by Penny Davis, enlisted the provision of food for the builders. Pizza Hut, K-Bob's and many of the area churches brought food to be served in Building #2006 at the prison. HEB gave one-hour service to develop the pictures so Ray Waugh could scan the daily events onto the web. This allowed families of the workers to see pictures on the Internet of "papa" from Beeville. Other businesses provided some of the materials used in the construction of the building.

Doug & Chris Johnson (Mission Service Corps) took two weeks vacation in order to be on sight with the builders. They along with Gene Woodard (RCJM Director) were there to assist Wayne Simpkins (Head Carpenter TBRB) with materials as needed. Several local men came in to join the builders in helping with the project. The inmates were there every afternoon to clean up the grounds and get things ready for the next day. The inmates installed the insulation in all the walls, did some painting, and laid the tile flooring.

This building is to be used for a special ministry to the families who come to visit the inmates at the two Garza Units located at Chase Field in Beeville. It will be open on Saturdays and Sundays during the regular visitation schedule at the prison.

Ron and Diana Smith of Pettus will be planning and enlisting helpers to share in this ministry to families. Rena Simpkins will be presenting the Center with stuffed animals made by the wives of the retired builders. These soft toys will be available for the children of inmate families as they come to the Center. Some clothing will be brought to the Center to be used as needed to meet the prison dress code. Some "listening ministry" will also be available as needed. Some of the area churches will provide cookies and refreshments for the families. The Center will also serve as a place to get in out of the weather and wait in a nice facility with restrooms and refreshments and someone to talk to.

The building will also office the Director of the Regional Criminal Justice Ministry of South Texas and be used for special meetings of the Board of Directors and the CJM Council. Chaplaincy training and family counseling will be available to help the Correction Officers and TDCJ employees. And it will all be done in the name of Jesus our Lord.

It is our prayer that by the time of the dedication God will have provided the $40,000 cost of the building. The Garza Inmate Picture Fund gave the first $10,000 toward the building. Some of the Board Members have given some and other donations have been received. The interim financing was provided by the Cooperative Mission Funds from Baptist General Convention of Texas directed through the Blanco Baptist Association.

All pictures were developed courtesy of the BEEVILLE HEB one hour processing.

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Regional Criminal Justice Center of South Texas -  Texas non-profit - 501 (c) (3) status by the l.R.S.