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Rehabilitation Programs Division

Volunteer Services Program

2017 Governor’s Criminal Justice Volunteer Service Awards

Houston Ministry Receives Governor's Criminal Justice Volunteer Service Award

Photo of Award Winner(s) From left to right: TBCJ Chairman Dale Wainwright, Keynote Speaker Judge Sharon Keller, Pastor Joseph Gentempo from His Father's Heart Ministry, and TDCJ Executive Director Bryan Collier.

(AUSTIN) – His Father's Heart of Houston, Texas was presented the Nancy Hees Award during the Governor's 2017 Criminal Justice Volunteer Service Award program today. Accepting the award on behalf of the ministry was Pastor Joseph (Joey) Gentempo, founder of His Father's Heart Ministries (HFHM).

The award was presented by Texas Board of Criminal Justice Chairman Dale Wainwright and TDCJ Executive Director Bryan Collier during a ceremony held in Austin.

"It takes a special kind of person to give of their time and expect no material reward," said Bryan Collier, Executive Director of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. "The contributions these volunteers make are invaluable and have a lasting impact on the public safety of our fellow Texans."

"By giving of their time and their gifts as volunteers, these award recipients are helping build a better community not only for themselves but for everyone whose lives they touch," said Wainwright. 

The award is named in recognition of Nancy Hees who passed away in February 2005 after a courageous battle with cancer.  Nancy, a TDCJ employee at the time of her death, worked in the Parole Division admirably for more than 14 years. Her dynamic character and devotion to helping others positively influenced the lives of many parolees and their families. Her heartfelt compassion and generosity built a bridge of communication between parolees and the agency's administration and established the division's ombudsman's office as a reliable information resource for offender families. 

His Father's Heart Ministries primarily provides specialized ministry to ex-offenders and their families. HFHM helps break down barriers and overcome obstacles through effective partnerships with congregations and communities willing to open their doors to former offenders and their families. Pastor Gentempo and HFHM have been extremely beneficial to the Parole Division while working to ensure the success of the parole officer and the client.

His Father's Heart Ministries is one of 9 organizations and 12 individuals from across the state recognized for their efforts to help inmates and those who are on parole or probation. They donate many hours of their personal time every year with the goal of changing the lives of convicted offenders, and aiding and comforting their victims.

In FY2016, there were over 24,500 volunteers who provided a total of 390,711 hours of service.

Note to media: For more information, contact Jason Clark, TDCJ Public Information Director, at 936-437-6052 or by e-mail at jason.clark@tdcj.texas.gov – For high resolution photos of award recipients, contact Jene Andersen at jene.andersen@tdcj.texas.gov.