Steel Magnolias: 'One Day With God'

The Steel Magnolias traveled to Torres Prison in Hondo, to help children of inmates spend the day with their dads and to Paige, the next day to minister to a congregation that saw the devastation of the Bastrop Fire a few years ago. PHOTO COURTESY OF THE STEEL MAGNOLIAS

The Steel Magnolias of San Marcos, a gospel group that shares the love of Christ through music, headed to Torres Prison in Hondo, recently for an event called "One Day with God."

They all met at the St. Paul Lutheran Church, where caregivers remained behind while children of inmates were escorted to buses waiting to take them to the prison where they would spend the day with their dads. The children ran to the buses, climbing on board with great excitement to see their dads. Some of the children had written on their faces, "I Love My Daddy," and others were wearing T-shirts that expressed similar sentiments about their fathers.

This was an invitation for the Steel Magnolias to sing for these little ones and their dads. When the Steel Magnolias walked into the prison, seeing all the male inmates, with their children sitting at tables eating lunch, was a sight to behold. After the meal, they asked all the prisoners to sit on the floor in front of the stage area with their children. One by one across the entire front of the singing space, little ones were holding on to their loved one, little boys hugging their dads around the neck, young girls stayed close by their dads’ sides with their heads on their fathers’ shoulders. On Friday, the day before the Steel Magnolias came to the prison, there was a "Great Dads" camp for the prisoners, and 25 inmates accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior.

Forgiven Ministry travels all over the United States to prisons where inmates are allowed to spend the day with their children as part of this ministry's "One Day with God."

The founders, Jack and Scottie Barnes, aim to help reconcile relationships between the inmates and their children through these events.

The Steel Magnolias then traveled to Paige, Texas that Sunday to sing at Timberline Fellowship. As part of their program, they take time during the middle of the concert to ask church members, "What is your ministry?" At this concert, many stood to share the devastation of the Bastrop Fire a few years ago and how it deeply affected their lives. Some had a hard time sharing as tears of raw emotion purged as they shared their stories. The church had been completely surrounded by the fire that year, but only one wall was damaged – something Timberline Fellowship considered a miracle.

There was a young woman, about 14 years old, who accepted Jesus into her heart, and by the end of the program the Steel Magnolias said they were unusually spent by the emotions of the day at the prison and the expressions of ministry service – during a raging fire – the next.

“The fact remains that Jesus still reigns on high and he is the ultimate comforter and rebuilder of our lives, if we just give our hearts to him,” Debbie Daniels, organizer of the Steel Magnolias, said. “Whether in a prison or surrounded by a roaring fire, he will always take care of us.”

The Steel Magnolias were hot and exhausted, but joy abounded as they got in their cars and went home from two days of events.

San Marcos Daily Record

(512) 392-2458
P.O. Box 1109, San Marcos, TX 78666