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Rehabilitation Programs Division

Volunteer Services Program

2017 Governor’s Criminal Justice Volunteer Service Awards

Houston-Based 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, Dr. Barbara Nelson, Pastor Michael Nelson and TDCJ Executive Director Bryan Collier.

(AUSTIN) – "Standing in Faith Ministries" of Houston, Texas was presented the Religious Service award during the Governor's 2017 Criminal Justice Volunteer Service Award program today. Accepting the award were Dr. Barbara Nelson & Pastor Michael Nelson of Houston.

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. 

"Standing in Faith Ministries" conducts weekly services in TDCJ units throughout the state while also helping offenders transition into society upon release. It serves as a contact for offenders in need of assistance with resources, drivers licenses, shelters, halfway houses, food, clothing and employment. The ministry has also conducted in prison marriage seminars and Men Empowerment conferences throughout the year. There are also Community Empowerment seminars held outside the units which include resources for families in assisting their loved ones upon release.

"Standing in Faith 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 – For high resolution photos of award recipients, contact Jene Andersen at