History

Berean Prison Ministries was started by brothers Paul and Ed Meister in 1996 by holding services at the Peoria County Jail in Peoria, IL. God has opened many doors of ministry opportunities for Berean Prison Ministries since that date.

Left, Ed Meister with his wife, Bernie. Right, Paul Meister with his wife, Rhoda.

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Currently, Berean Prison Ministries has volunteers in three countries. This includes approximately:

  • 250 volunteers in the United States
  • 50 volunteers in Romania
  • 10 volunteers in Russia.

Every month, Berean sends approximately 2,000 Bibles to requesting inmates and grades 20,000 Bible study courses completed by inmates.

Berean Prison Ministries’ volunteers hold regular church services and provide counseling to inmates in a number of jails and prisons in Illinois, Missouri, Florida, Romania and Russia.

God has blessed Berean with an exceptional volunteer base that meets these ministry needs. All of the work in the U.S. and Russia is performed without paid staff, and Berean pays monthly support to one full-time worker in Romania.

Berean offers two 50-lesson Bible studies that are provided to inmates to work on strengthening their faith and knowledge of God. The first two lessons are provided with each new Bible that is sent with a return envelope. When the inmate completes the first lessons and returns them, those lessons are graded by volunteers. Once graded, the inmate can then receive the next lessons in the series.

Our ministry also has a food, clothing and medicine program. We distribute many loads of these items to those less fortunate in other countries. For example, last year we sent 200 bicycles to Mexico. We distribute many loads of these items to those less fortunate in other countries.

At Berean Prison Ministries, our history has shaped the program into the wonderful chance for hope that it is today. Our purpose is to provide everyone with the opportunity to learn of God’s promise of their eternal salvation through His Word.