The Presbyterian Immigrant Ministry was created to serve immigrants who are in prison awaiting deportation, and to provide spiritual support for prisoners’ families. The seeds of this ministry were sown nearly five years ago when Rev. Gerson Annunciaçao began visiting Brazilian immigrants who were in this condition. With the increasing number of imprisoned Brazilian immigrants, such visits became more urgent and thus more frequent. It was necessary then, instead of individual visits, to hold collective meetings that could accommodate many inmates. With such a format, the opportunity came to conduct Bible studies in the Plymouth County Correctional Facility initially serving several Brazilian prisoners. Gradually, Portuguese, Cape Verdeans, and people from Spanish speaking countries started to go. A year later, Rev. Gerson also led a similar Bible study in the Bristol County Sheriff’s Office jails.
Today’s Bible studies have developed into 6 weekly meetings. There are three groups at the Plymouth County Facilities and 3 at the Bristol County’s.
Feeling God’s call to expand this program to other prisons, Rev. Gerson shared his vision with friends, and among these, Rev. Dana Lindsley, who was then the Executive of the Presbytery of Southern New England. Rev Dana adopted the vision and guided the creation of a Steering Committee and an Advisory Committee, bringing people who share this vision to bring comfort and hope to imprisoned immigrants through the Gospel of Christ.
PIM is a validated ministry of the Presbytery Southern New England and recognized as one of the PC(USA) 1001 New Worshiping Communities. At the core of this ministry are Bible study groups among immigrants in prison facing deportation. These are led weekly by the Rev. Gerson Annunciacao among male prisoners in three prisons in Massachusetts and by-weekly by Ms. Katia da Cunha among women at the Suffolk County Prison in Boston. Bible studies have been conducted in Portuguese, English and now Spanish.
The Rev. Gerson will report to the Steering Committee, which will also be in charge of raising and managing funds under the aegis of the Presbytery of Southern New England.
Rev. Gerson Annunciacao (picture above)
P.O. Box 9713 – Fall River, MA – 02720 – USA
firstname.lastname@example.org (508) 813-5638
Rev. John Webster, Elder Penny Webster, Rev. Jeffrey Wood, Rev.Jovelino Ramos, Ms. Joan Ramos, Ms. Kátia Cunha, Rev. Paulo de Tarso Ribeiro
Rev. Dana Lindsley, Rev. Dr. José Pezini, Rev. Wayne Parish, Rev. Dr. Mário Silva, Rev. Jefferson Ritchie, Rev. David Watermulder, Rev. Cláudio Carvalhaes