Prison Fellowship, the nation's largest Christian nonprofit serving prisoners, former prisoners, and their families, is partnering with Grammy Award-winning multi-platinum artist Lecrae to present a HOPE event, the first prison to be scheduled since the Covid-19 pandemic began. On Friday, September 11th beginning at 5:30 pm, Lecrae will join Prison Fellowship and opening act, The Birdsongs, a Christian rock band, for a two-hour event intended to bring hope and restoration to men incarcerated at St. Clair Prison in Springville, AL. The HOPE event will feature live performances from The Birdsongs, Lecrae, and conclude around 7:30pm with an impactful conversation with the men who will view the event from a safe distance.
"We are thrilled to have Lecrae and Birdsongs join us and perform for our first HOPE event since this coronavirus pandemic began," said James Ackerman, President, and CEO of Prison Fellowship. "Their God-given talents come at a perfect time for these men after losing many critical in-prison services and visitation, due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Not only will Lecrae perform for the men, but he's also taking the time to talk with them about God's incredible transforming power. For those who desire a second chance at life, we know that God will use Lecrae to restore them in a powerful way."
Honoring the biblical verse Matthew 20:16, "the last will be first, and the first will be last," this is not the first time Lecrae has partnered with Prison Fellowship Ministry (PFM). In fact, he has a history of connecting his music and message with prisons. “When Anomaly dropped and was the #1 album in the country, our first stop on the tour was Riker’s Island and LA County Jail because I wanted the people in prison to understand that they were not forgotten. I remember the impact of those visits not just on them, but on me! Prison Fellowship and I have the same mission, to restore a sense of value, worth, meaning, and purpose to the lives of those who feel hopeless. I want everyone to know that restoration is possible. You are never too far gone, with God, change is always possible!”
He also recently partnered with PFM on Mother’s Day 2020 as part of a compassionate release campaign to raise awareness about the tragic death of Andrea High Bear, the first woman to die of COVID-19 in the Bureau of Prisons, and to urge followers to take action to ensure this never happens again. Bear passed away after giving birth while on a ventilator. Lecrae posted a video message to his followers, educating them on the issue and encouraging them to take action. As a result, nearly 600 advocates sent over 2,000 letters to the President and their federal lawmakers urging them to include measures to prevent and respond to COVID-19 outbreaks in corrections facilities and to ensure those with a criminal record have access to reentry services.
Lecrae released his new album, Restoration, to prisons nationwide through J-Pay a week before it was available to the general public. He will also be distributing 5,000 Free copies of his forthcoming book, I Am Restored: How I Lost My Religion, But Gained My Faith, to people in the system. As part of his "Masks For The People" partnership with Live Free USA, Lecrae raised funds for over 70,000 masks to be distributed throughout the prison system, to essential workers, and correction officers. A quantity of the PPE has been set aside for families when visitation restrictions are lifted.