RLPM Founder & Board Members
My journey began as a 9-year-old child at our church children’s camp, located in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. The pastor, who served as the camp director, showed a very dynamic film about some devoted missionaries who were martyred in Ecuador. You may be familiar with Jim Elliot, along with 4 other men who were commissioned by God to reach out with the Gospel to the Quechua Indians, who were a violent, tribe of people. Gradually, they had made friends with them. But soon, the five men in the missionary group were martyred, leaving their wives and children widowed and fatherless! However, the tribe’s leader later received Jesus, through Jim’s widow, Elizabeth’s, forgiving ministry!
Jim Elliot had made a profound statement that deeply impacted my heart and mind:
HE IS NO FOOL WHO GIVES WHAT HE CANNOT KEEP TO GAIN WHAT HE CANNOT LOSE.
After the dramatic film, the pastor gave an invitation for salvation, and I was one of the first of several children to come to the front to receive Jesus as my Savior. I knew then, that God had put a call on my heart to serve Him as a missionary, but I never felt called to a third world country. I soon began listening to several Christian radio programs while I got ready for school. On some
Rev. Sharla Yoder,
Founder & Board President
Saturdays, as I ironed clothes for my mother, I listened to Chaplain Ray. He was later known as “The Father of Prison Ministry.” I was very compelled to listen to the testimonies of born again inmates, as well as poems and songs they had written and shared on his program. They deeply touched my heart! Many years later, God brought this back to my mind. (Read More)
Faithful servants of the Lord, Bill and Judy Hulett have been very involved with Redeeming Love Prison Ministry since 1994. Judy is a former Christian school principal. Bill is an ordained minister. They both have a deep love for prison ministry. They have ministered with RLPM at several correctional facilities for over 25 years. For the last 5 years, Bill has served as a volunteer chaplain, and they both have conducted the (Christian-based) Homes of Honor courses, by Gary Smalley, at Jess Dunn Correctional Center for 15 years. Several hundred men have graduated and received cerlificates. A number of inmates have taken it 2 and 3 times because it helped them so much! They will soon be starting a marriage, parenting, and relationship video class, called Marriage on the Rock, with well-known Bible teacher/counselor Jimmy Evans. Bill and Judy have served on the board of Redeeming Love Prison Ministry since 2000. Judy has served as Board Secretary since 2005.
Judy says that RLPM gives stability and a definite scriptural call to prison ministry. The Huletts share that The Lord led them to become a part of the ministry because of the ministry's vision lined up with their ministry call.
Judy Hulett, Board Secretary
Bill Hulett, Board Member
Dr. Michael Shanahan started with Redeeming Love Prison Ministry in 1996 at Dick Conners Correctional Center, in Hominy, OK. His son was graduating from high school, and Michael wanted to begin using some of his time in serving the Lord in prison ministry. For the past 5 years, he has been the Director of Human Resources for the Stillwater, OK, Public Schools. He began ministry to the men at Cimarron Correctional Center in Cushing, OK, in1997 and his ministry has expanded to 3 times per month on both sides of the yard.
Michael loves teaching God’s word to incarcerated men and applying it in a practical way to their every day lives. Michael became a member of the Board of RLPM in 2004 and is a faithful asset to this ministry. He says that he loves that Redeeming Love Prison Ministry reaches so many inmates in life changing ways. However, he is very concerned that few churches seem to see the value of prison ministry enough to become involved and support it.
Dr. Michael Shanahan
Sandra joined the ministry in 2003 as a volunteer when she was studying Biblical Literature at Oral Roberts University's Graduate School of Theology. Sandra has served as a volunteer minister at the Tulsa County Jail, Jackie Brannon Correctional Center, Eddie Warrior Correctional Center, and at the Creek County Jail. In 2004, she was nominated and unanimously approved as a member of the Board of Directors. In 2013, Sandra relocated to her home state; however, she has continued to support the ministry through her talents and skills in administrative management. A nonprofit consultant, Sandra maintains frequent contact with Sharla, offering advice and support on various topics concerning the ministry's fiscal responsibilities, and attends annual business meetings of the Board of Directors.
Sandra states that she was drawn to prison ministry because of the growing crisis of youth incarceration and recidivism throughout our nation. She adds that she was led to join RLPM because of the ministry's organization and discipline in spiritual leadership that is firmly grounded in biblical faith. Sandra shares the following: As believers, we are easily moved with compassion for those who are incarcerated, and their families; however, it is rare to actually see that compassion translated to action - actually taking on the difficult task of going inside prisons and sharing the Gospel of Jesus and His "life more abundantly" with inmates. RLPM does this work so beautifully, and in faith, with confidence that it will not return void, but accomplish what it has been sent forth to do. Over the years, the focused and disciplined work of RLPM and its ambassadors and partners has consistently been proven both worthy and rewarding.
Board Member / Treasurer
Angie Davis King and her late husband were very involved in ministry since 1969 when they began ministering on the Navajo Reservations. They moved to Tulsa in 1980 and became directors of Student Housing at Rhema Bible Collage for many years. They were also instructors of Home Missions Classes for 17 years. They led many annual student mission trips to the Native American Reservation. In 1999 they left Rhema to continued their ministry on the reservations full time. After Angie’s husband, Phil, went to heaven in 2008, Angie felt called to serve the Lord in Redeeming Love Prison Ministry. She has taught the Bible and helped with ministry at both EWCC and MBCC women’s prisons, as well as mentoring at MBCC. She has been a great blessing to do the administrative work in the office at RLPM for the last 5 years. She has served on the Board of Directors for the last 3 years. She had these comments: Redeeming Love Prison Ministry is an outstanding ministry and mission to thousands of Oklahoma inmates. I am very privileged to be a part of it! I admire Sharla Yoder for her many faithful years of directing and guiding this ministry.
Tom has been pastor or co-pastor of 3 churches in Georgia & Florida for 25 years. Tom has a strong calling in prison ministry, and the churches he has pastored have had very impactful prison ministries. Tom became involved with Redeeming Love Prison Ministry in 2010, serving with us in several correctional facilities. He especially loves the evangelism part of prison ministry, describing it as often “low hanging fruit!” He also likes teaching men the basics of the God’s Word, known to him as “Christian Mechanics.” Tom has also served on the board since 2017.
Tom’s wife, Vickie is a new member of the board, starting in early 2019. She has served the Lord with Tom for many years as a praise and worship leader, prayer intercessor, and church administrator, and is an excellent cook! We are very thankful to have them both.
Tom & Vicki Cabell