Criminal Justice Reform

Following a joint worship service in January of 2020, pastors and members from First Baptist Church of Ken-Gar and Warner Memorial Presbyterian joined together for a Roundtable Discussion on Criminal Justice Reform. We met again the following month to identify priority areas for our common witness. The group focused on problems in four areas: fairness and justice in society; equal sentencing; diseases of despair; and education as formation.

Our group coalesced around the ideas of debt forgiveness, new judicial guidelines to reduce racial disparity, job retraining after industry failure, and afterschool programs to build confidence. As an outgrowth of these discussions, a resource working group was formed to raise awareness of these issues, build coalitions, and add our voices collectively to the calls for change.

Now we urge the faith community to join together in proclaiming the urgency of criminal justice reform and to make that proclamation visible to the broader community.  To that end, we have prepared a cover letter along with an executive summary of the priority areas that our resource working group will be addressing with local leaders. We invite interested congregations to become signatories to the cover letter to make visible our common witness.

Both congregations and individuals are welcome to accompany us on this journey. To learn more or collaborate, contact the resource working group at