The Back Story

Reverend Bud WIlson

12 years ago I began my journey of ministering to the incarcerated. As most really good  things in my life, it wasn't my idea. But once I answered God's call on my life to this mission field, it became apparent to me that, though there is a lot of good ministries in prisons, These men and women deserved more. They deserved to be recognized as a church, so they could become the church where they reside and we only visit.


As I felt God calling me to plant a mainline Christian church in a state prison, it occurred to me that that would include being ordained. I felt both unworthy and incapable. But whom God calls, God equips. 

With the encouragement of my pastors, my family and friends, I entered seminary and will graduate in December 2017 with an MDIV degree. I am currently a commissioned minister in the Christian Church and will be fully ordained shortly after graduating.


In my first semester in seminary I met a pastor, Rev. Diane Harrison, who gave a talk in one of my classes about her vision to plant a church in the state prison for women. It has been my pleasure and my apprenticeship to serve in her church plant for the last 10 years as a volunteer and, at time a guest preacher. 

Grace Place United Methodist church is a flourishing church in a Tennessee state prison for women. One of the greatest honors I have ever received was when they named me an honorary 'Lady' of Grace Place. Helping Rev.Harrison has further equipped me to serve as the pastor of this new endeavor that is Prisoners of Hope Christian Church .