The Orthodox Christian Prison Ministry of Minnesota (OCPM-MN) is a Pan-Orthodox Ministry dedicated to serving prisoners in Minnesota through the action of clergy and laity. OCPM-MN was founded in 2003 under the auspices and the blessing of His Eminence Metropolitan Iakovos and Bishop Demetrios of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago and with the endorsement of the Minnesota Eastern Orthodox Christian Clergy Association.
After a year of planning and volunteer recruitment the ministry began in February of 2005 by providing fellowship and a Bible study to prisoners at the minimal security facility at the Lino Lakes Minnesota Correctional Minimal Facility for men. In February of 2007, a second Bible Study was established at the Shakopee Minnesota Correctional Facility for women. During the same year, we were asked to consider providing a Sunday service four times a year to the men at the Medium security facility at the Lino Lakes Minnesota Correctional Facility for men. We were blessed to have the first Orthodox Typica service on July 29, 2007 at the Lino Lakes Minnesota Correctional Minimum Facility for men. These services are generally held on the fifth Sunday of each month. OCPM-MN has also attempted to meet the needs of prisoners as they re-enter society. In 2010, the ministry took steps to meet this very important need by providing a Reunion Fellowship Dinner for former prisoners and volunteers on a bi-monthly basis. In addition, a book mailing ministry was established in 2008 to fulfill requests from prisoners for Christian Books and Bibles.
The ministry has been blessed with enthusiastic and dedicated volunteers, growing from initially 6 volunteers to currently 19 volunteers. The volunteers and supporters of OCPM-MN come from every walk of life and from each of the Orthodox Jurisdictions in Minnesota. In addition, OCPM-MN has been fortunate to be the recipient of financial support from individuals, as well as parishes from each of the Orthodox jurisdictions.
OCPM-MN continues to look for opportunities provided by God to serve prisoners, former prisoners, as well at the families of prisoners and former prisoners. For example, the ministry actively supports the Angel Tree Ministry outreach to the children of prisoners. OCPM-MN is affiliated and fully supports the national Orthodox Christian Ministry (OCPM), which is the official prison ministry of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America.
OCPM-MN is a ministry under His Eminence Metropolitan Iakovos and Bishop Demetrios of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago. Fr. Demetrios (Rick) Andrews (GOA) has been appointed as the OCPM-MN Chaplain by His Grace and is responsible for overseeing the ministry in Minnesota. Carston (Rick) Wagner (OCA), currently, serves as the Director and Sandra Anderson (GOA) as Assistant Director. Each of the individual sub-ministries of OCPM-MN has an appointed Team Leader.