Residents Encounter Christ (REC) is an inter-denominational Christian ministry that brings the Good News of God’s grace to residents of jails in Florida. Although Roman Catholic in its roots, REC is ecumenical in its scope. 

 

The word "encounter" is exactly what happens during the 3-day REC experience. A team of 35-45 Christian men and women from different denominational backgrounds, both lay and clergy, enter the jail to share 3 days of Christian community. After the initial REC weekend, monthly gatherings are held to encourage and support the residents in their spiritual growth and Christian walk.
 
In August, 2007, the REC ministry was brought from Louisville, Kentucky to  Florida. REC in most areas of the country is almost exclusively a prison ministry; however, the call for Florida was specifically for ministry in county jails. Our first REC was held in June, 2008 and we are now preparing for expansion to serve additional jails with this ministry in Florida.  REC of Florida is a tax exempt and 501(c)(3) designated organization granted in 2009.
 
Mission Statement
Our one essential belief is that everyone in the world needs a relationship with Jesus Christ. Everything - everything else is non-essential. God has called us to help bring that essential belief to the residents of jails in Florida.
 
To achieve this vision, REC of Florida will provide training and guidance to support 17-24 REC communities in the state - each with their own leadership team. Every community will serve 3-5 county jails in their area and conduct REC weekend events in accordance with a standard program.


"With God's power working in us, God can do much, much more than anything we can ask or imagine. To Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus." Ephesians 3:20

 

Our Goal
Along with the central message of salvation, our goal is to reduce the recidivism rate (habitual relapse into crime) of the residents of Florida jails. With faith as a foundation; if a resident remains drug and alcohol free, reunites with his or her family, and begins to participate in our community in a healthy way, we are ALL the stronger for it.

 

"For I know the plans I have for you", declares the Lord. "Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

 

Our Vision
The ministry will plant REC communities throughout the state of Florida bringing our program to every Florida county jail.


"For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." Ephesians 2:10

 

Our Strategy
To achieve this vision, REC of Florida will provide training and guidance to support 17-24 REC communities in the state - each with their own leadership team. Every community will serve 3-5 county jails in their area and conduct REC weekend events in accordance with a standard program.


"With God's power working in us, God can do much, much more than anything we can ask or imagine. To Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus." Ephesians 3:20

About Us

"With God's power working in us, God can do much, much more than anything we can ask or imagine. To Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus." Ephesians 3:20

History of Residents Encounter Christ

 

  • The REC program began in the late 1960s in a county jail in Lawrence, MA where three Franciscan priests offered a retreat for inmates.

  • In the Albany, NY Diocese, the first REC weekend was held at Mount McGregor Correctional Facility in Wilton, NY in the early 1980s.

  • In Springfield, MA, a volunteer ecumenical group conducted 6 weekends per year at each of two facilities. Since 1982, more than 2,000 men and women have participated.

  • Father Tom Henseler was instrumental in bringing REC to Louisville, KY from Peoria, IL. The first REC weekend took place at the Kentucky Correctional Institution for Women (KCIW) in Pewee Valley in August, 1986. There are now 8 REC weekends per year in 3 men's prisons and 1 women's prison and several additional jail REC weekends in Southern Indiana.  

  • REC started at Boonville (Men's) Correctional Center in Boonville, Missouri in 1987.

  • REC has now spread throughout the United States and Central America.

 
History of Residents Encounter Christ of Florida, Inc.

 

  • The REC program was brought to Central Florida from Louisville, Kentucky in August, 2007. That same month meetings began with the Captain and staff of the Sumter County Jail in Bushnell, Florida.

  • With support from area churches, the first volunteers joined the ministry and in December, 2007, monthly Gatherings began at this facility.  

  • In June, 2008, the first 3-day REC’s were held at the Sumter County Jail and (4) REC’s have been held at this jail each year since that time.   In addition, the first REC-A for high risk residents took place in March, 2011.  

  • The ministry was incorporated in 2008 with a tax exempt and 501(c)(3) designation granted in 2009.   REC was established as a copyrighted program for use by current and future REC communities throughout Florida.  

  • The first 3-day REC weekend in the Orlando Orange County Jail took place in December, 2011 and the Tampa REC community is currently meeting with staff at their area jails.

 

Current Status:  As of May, 2012, the REC community has grown to approximately (200) active members representing over (45) different churches throughout Central Florida.  In addition to the State office of REC of Florida, Inc., there are currently (3) chartered communities in Florida:  REC of Central Florida, Inc., Greater Orlando REC, Inc., and Tampa Bay Area REC, Inc. 

© 2019 by Residents Encounter Christ of Florida, Inc.

Last update on web site:  07/01/2019

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