Second Chances: Transforming Lives with JUMPSTART's Prison Ministry
Updated: Jul 20
Greetings, I am Tim Murray, blessed to serve as the Inside Program Director for JUMPSTART.
I was born in 1970 to a single mother and was raised in the warm embrace of my grandparents. My grandfather was a beacon of wisdom in my life, teaching me the importance of honoring others. This is a principle deeply rooted in the Bible where it says, "Give everyone what you owe him... if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor."
My grandfather and I spent countless days fishing in South Carolina's lakes and rivers. These moments reminded me of the biblical lessons about patience and persistence, reinforcing that those who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength.
Like many young men, I dreamed of a future in professional football. However, an injury and a few missteps in my youth redirected my journey, much like how trials were used in the Bible to shape and guide individuals towards God's plan.
In the absence of my grandfather, I sought a sense of belonging and identity, eventually falling into the grips of substance abuse. This experience mirrored the story of the prodigal son who squandered his inheritance only to find himself lost and yearning for home.
My decisions led me to prison, a consequence that was never in my plans.
Yet, in the solitude of the Greenville County Detention Center in 2003, I had a life-changing encounter. A visiting ministry team, the Weekend of Champions, became the catalyst for my personal transformation. Curiosity led me to attend their service, and it was there that I realized that I lacked a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Just as Jesus said, "Today salvation has come to this house," I, too, found salvation on April 11th, 2003.
Prison, though a place of tribulation, became a place of transformation for me. It was there that I discovered my divine purpose and learned to live a life of value, guided by the teachings of JUMPSTART. As the Bible teaches us to entrust the things we have heard to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others, JUMPSTART taught me the importance of accountability, responsibility, and stewardship.
Since my release, I've experienced the abundant grace of God in my life. I found love, reconnected with my family, explored the vastness of our country, and most importantly, returned to the prison, not as an inmate, but as a guide, a helper, a disciple of Christ, reaching out to those seeking a better path.
And so, I invite you. We need volunteers with hearts full of compassion and a readiness to serve and love our fellow men and women. If your heart echoes the sentiments of David in the Psalms, "a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise," then we need your help.
Join us at JUMPSTART. Let's heed the call of the Great Commission together, to go and make disciples of all nations. Remember, as it is said in the Scriptures, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." Together, we can open doors of hope and transformation, one life at a time.
We have active programming in 19 of South Carolina's prisons. Below is a map of the locations where our prison ministry is active. You can apply to volunteer by clicking here.