A Light in the Darkest Place

Very seldom does a ministry come along that captures my heart like Mt. Nebo Prison Ministry. With all the groups in our world that label themselves “Christian,” Mt. Nebo is a breath of fresh air. The difference? A clear, non-compromising commitment to God’s Word. That’s what sets Mt. Nebo Prison Ministry apart. This ministry drives prisoners into the Word of God, and that’s something that is very dear to my heart. I have spent most of my life in a relentless pursuit of knowing what the Bible says. And for over fifty years I have dedicated myself to preaching the Bible and nothing else. So Mt. Nebo’s loyalty to the truth is something that has thrilled my heart from the first moment I met Chuck Holmes.”

—John MacArthur

Chuck Holmes
Founder/Director, Mt Nebo Prison Ministry

I experienced a radical change in July of 1989 that took me from decades of bondage to drugs, alcohol, racism, violence, and numerous prison sentences, to being a lover of Jesus. In 1990, I was converted on a jailhouse floor in Goodyear, Arizona. The vision for Mt. Nebo Prison Ministry (MNPM) began to take shape in that cell at Perryville Prison. The next year, Mt. Nebo was adopted into the mission program of Redemption Church (formerly East Valley Bible Church) in Gilbert, Arizona. Through the ministry, books and Bibles were sent to prisoners throughout the country and supplemented with one-on-one correspondence with the inmates who received them. Then we started receiving requests from out of state—New Mexico and then Texas—and from other states as the word spread.

Today, Mt. Nebo offers any inmate who completes the thirteen-chapter Fundamentals of the Faith workbook a new MacArthur Study Bible. As a result, thousands of study Bibles are sent to state and federal prisoners each year, and MNPM has become the largest distributor of the English MacArthur Study Bible in the world. Further still, Transformados, the joint venture of Grace Church and Mt. Nebo Prison Ministry, provides materials for the large Spanish-speaking inmate population. Transformados seeks to reach Spanish-speaking inmates by providing both Fundamentals of the Faith and, upon completion of FOF, a MacArthur Study Bible, in Spanish.

The effects of this distribution reach not only the world, but Grace Church’s own congregation. I discipled one man for over 25 years through books and letters. This man, Manny Flores, led over one thousand men through the Fundamentals of the Faith workbook. One of these men that he mentored was Jose Rosales, who now works in Facilities here at Grace and is active in the Foundation Bible study and their outreach efforts. This disciple-making work is the heart of Mt. Nebo, enabled through the efforts of Grace Church and Grace to You.

Though the ministry has seen changes over the past thirty-three years, its purpose remains the same: to be a resource used by God with a clear, uncompromising stand for Scripture and the gospel. As Pastor MacArthur writes in a letter posted on the Mt. Nebo website, “The prisons are a tremendous mission field. My hope is that you will be gripped by the potential that prisons offer for the spread of the gospel and the building up of the saints. . . .Mt. Nebo gives prisoners what they need most—the truth that is found only in God’s Word.”

For more information about Mt. Nebo Prison Ministry, visit mnpm.org; for more information about Transformados, visit gracechurch.org/transformados; for more information about Chuck Holmes, visit gty.org/chuckstestimony