Jalyn Powell squeals with delight when he opens a toy truck on Dec. 21, 2013, for Christmas from New Vision Baptist Church at the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office in Murfreesboro, Tenn. (Photo submitted)
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- Bishop Allen P. Powell said he appreciated the Christmas presents his grandson, Jalyn, received Saturday at Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office.
Jalyn was one of 38 children who visit their parents in jail and received Christmas presents and a meal Saturday, thanks to New Vision Baptist Church and the Rutherford County Adult Detention Center.
The church also distributed Christmas cards to inmates.
Detention Center visitation employee Shellie Dye, identified the children and gave their names to New Vision church members who purchased large bags of presents for each child.
“He is so excited about coming down here,” Powell said.
While Jalyn’s father serves time in jail, he is cared for by his mother and grandparents.
“We do what we can,” Powell said. “This was a great help for the family.”
Sheriff Robert Arnold said it is tough for the families when their loved ones are incarcerated, especially during the holidays.
“It’s the power of prayer that can get you through this season,” Arnold said.
Republican state Rep. Mike Sparks, of Smyrna, said Americans must turn the culture of incarceration around by starting with the children.
“The power of prayer is real,” Sparks said. “I’ve seen miracles happen.”
New Vision church member John Spurgeon, who is assistant jail chaplain, said God allowed the inmates to be put in jail so they could “spend time with God.”
He urged the families to have “faith their loved ones will come out of (the Adult Detention Center) transformed.”