A 501 (c)(3) Non-Profit Organization
Mailing Address: American Correctional Chaplains Association
2034 West 38th St., Pine Bluff, AR 71603
Telephone: (870) 413-3698
Email: Go to ‘Questions or Inquiries’ Section
FACEBOOK PAGE: ACCA American Correctional Chaplains Association
Rev. Norma Gillom
President, American Correctional Chaplains Association
Be sure to click on the link to read The President’s Messages
The American Correctional Chaplains Associations
The President, officers, and members of The American Correctional Chaplains Association wish to extend our deepest condolences on the homegoing of Chaplain Alva Don Yancey.
To: his wife Brenda, daughter, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. and the Yancey Family
Whereas, John Donne, a priest in the Church of England, wrote words that still resonate with us today. He said: “for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee.”
You have heard these words before. They speak to us of life and death—but there’s a central theme of our brotherhood and sisterhood—our connectedness, our interdependence, the strength that we gain from each other—and the loss that we sustain when one of us dies. When he talks about the tolling of the bells, he is referring to a custom of that day. When there was a funeral in a village church, they would ring the church bell—once for each year of the person’s life. People would stop and listen. If the bells rang many times, they would say, “He had good innings.” There was something satisfying about that—something right about a life that had run its course.
Whereas, Chaplain Yancey’s life ran its course. He attended Williams Baptist College at Walnut Ridge, Arkansas, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Ministry and Sociology. He received a Master of Arts in Ministry and Counseling from Luther Rice Seminary in Atlanta, Georgia. Don received an Honorary Doctor of Divinity from the School of Chaplains, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, in Ministry and Counseling. Don served as pastor in Mississippi, Tennessee, and Arkansas for over forty years.
Whereas, in 1965 he married Brenda Wolfe. To that union were born two children, six grandchildren, and two great grandchildren.
Whereas, he started in the Arkansas Department of Correction (now Division) as a religious volunteer in 1984 at the East Arkansas Unit. He used to tell the story that after applying and interviewing nine times for a professional chaplain’s position, in 1992 he was hired as staff chaplain at the Cummins Unit. He served the East Arkansas Unit from 1997-1999. While at East Arkansas he organized a group of volunteers and inmate laborers to build a chapel. The chapel at East Arkansas was built at a cost of $125,000.00. When it was finished it was debt free and paid in full. It was then dedicated and presented to the State of Arkansas and The Arkansas Department of Correction (now the Arkansas Division of Corrections). In 1997 he was promoted to Administrator of Religious Services after Chaplain Holly retired.
Whereas, Love called and Chaplain Yancey stepped down as administrator to help raise his two granddaughters after the passing of their mother. Chaplain Yancey’s love for prison ministry led him to continue in chaplaincy as senior chaplain at the North Central Unit at Calico Rock.
He was then promoted to senior chaplain of the Newport Prison Complex, consisting of McPherson and Grime Units.
Whereas, Chaplain Yancey helped to revive the South-Central Region of ACCA. The South-Central Region comprises the States of Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Texas, and New Mexico.
Whereas, Serving as regional manager he developed training for correctional chaplains. He organized and taught annual conferences for correctional chaplains. He stepped down as regional manager in 2008 after nine yeas of service.
In 2003 during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Chaplain Yancey encouraged all Arkansas State chaplains and volunteers to volunteer at refugee centers for victims of Katrina in Arkansas.
Whereas, the State of Texas laid off many of their chaplains, Chaplain Yancey encouraged the members of ACCA South-Central Region to support Texas Department of Criminal Justice chaplains by going to the capital and delivering bags of cookies to Texas legislators. Inside the bag was a message on the need for correctional chaplains.
This ministry led to the establishment of an American Correctional Association (ACA) Committee on Restorative Justice. This committee is still functioning.
Don was a member of the American Correctional Chaplains Association (ACCA), the American Protestant Correctional Chaplains Association (APCCA), the United States Chaplains Association, the Church of God of Prophecy Chaplains Commission, and the American Correctional Association (ACA).
Therefore, Be It Resolved: The Bell rang many times for Rev. Dr. Alva Don Yancey. It rang to say: A life well lived.
Rev. Norma J. Gillom, President, American Correctional Chaplains Association
Rev. Leo Brown, Regional Manager, South-Central Region, American Correctional Chaplains Association
Dear ACCA Correctional Chaplains,
My name is John Byrne. I am the director of student programming at Crossroads Prison Ministries. We currently have over 20,000 students in correctional facilities in every state in the U.S. We provide, at no cost to students, correspondence Bible Studies, a volunteer mentor who reviews each returned lesson and writes back a letter of encouragement to the student with their returned lesson, and free Bibles to any student that requests one at a facility that will allow them to receive a Bible.
We have a new booklet called “Doing Time” that gives advice and wisdom to men and women in prison on using their time effectively, avoiding some of the common traps of getting involved with the wrong people and activities in their facility, and setting goals for their future. In October, we will be sending 20 copies to chaplains to review and use at their facilities, with information on how to receive additional copies if they want.
We have about 200 facility chaplains on our mailing list. They also receive a monthly electronic newsletter updating them on new free resources available from Crossroads.
We want to make these resources available to more facilities. Take a look at our website to learn more about Crossroads if you are not familiar with us … Crossroads Prison Ministries – Reaching God’s People in Prison (cpministries.org)