Ottawa County

ABOUT THE OTTAWA COUNTY JAIL MINISTRY

-More than 7000 inmates are booked into the Ottawa County Jail each year.

-The Ottawa County Jail can hold 450 inmates on any given day.

 

 

Chaplains

Matt Hansen

Matt Hansen

Phone: 616.786.4183

Email: ottawacounty@forgottenman.org

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Programs

FMM in Ottawa County provides evangelism and discipleship among inmates to acheive rehabilitation through Christ Jesus. We offer a variety of programs for inmates including:

-Bible Pod Program-a specialized set of classes designed to reduce recidivism by immersing men in biblically-based teaching and scripture 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. The response to this program has been tremendous.

-Bibles on request

-Library book carts 

-Self-study Bible courses and curriculum

-Weekly Church Services

-Group Bible studies lead by an FMM volunteer

-Substance abuse treatment classes

-Mom's in Prayer

-Inside/Outside Dads

-Prayer Groups

-One-on-one Biblical counseling

-Christmas inside the Jail

Volunteer Opportunities

Please pray for our ministry. Pray that we will continue to reach inmates for Jesus, for the safety, perseverance, and fruitfulness of our chaplain and volunteers, and for the Lord to open doors for us in Ottawa County and other jails across the state.

Volunteer. Contact Chaplain Matt at the above phone number and email for more information on volunteering in our worship services, Bible studies, or as a mentor. 

Represent FMM at your church. We are always looking for local partners to share the story of FMM in their church and help promote upcoming events and fundraisers.

Transformation Stories

Gene Anderson, Ottawa County

My first wife died at 45 and I never forgave God. I hated God and cursed Him while all the time drinking heavily. I was a nominal
Christian and an alcoholic. Later, I met another woman and she also had a drinking problem. We were sober when we first married, but down the road,
the drinking came back and our marriage started to fall apart. She...

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My first wife died at 45 and I never forgave God. I hated God and cursed Him while all the time drinking heavily. I was a nominal
Christian and an alcoholic. Later, I met another woman and she also had a drinking problem. We were sober when we first married, but down the road,
the drinking came back and our marriage started to fall apart. She grew closer to God through the scriptures and Bible studies, but I kept abusing alcohol.
After some time, she told me that Satan was tearing our marriage apart and she threatened to do something drastic if I didn’t stop drinking.
 
During a weekend when I was binge drinking, she left. I got in trouble with the county and went to court. They ordered that I wear an alcohol tether for three months. My lawyer told
me I would probably get 5-10 days in jail, probation and fines. Instead, I got the max...90 days! The guys in jail believed it was “that judge.” I say, it was God!
For a time, my wife and I spoke and she visited me in jail. Then she decided to stop coming. I wrote her a letter which she construed as threatening and sought a PPO
(Personal Protection Order). She blocked my calls and got a new phone number. While I was in the general population pod of the jail, I saw a poster for the Bible
Pod and applied. There I met (former Ottawa County Chaplain) Larry Norman and discovered we were the same age, both Vietnam Veterans.
 
Larry shared a bit of his life with me. I soon went to the Bible Pod and met Chaplain Matt (Hansen). After 4-5 weeks in the Pod, I felt like a seminary student: 5 hours a day of teaching, videos, and
homework. Every night I would lie on my bunk after lights out and reflect on my life and pray. One night, after several weeks in there, it was like the Holy Spirit came and
showed me a picture of my mother from 1993 (the year she died and also the beginning of my drinking and rebellion against God). God showed me a “slide show” of my sins for the next 20 years as tears rolled
down my cheeks. I couldn’t turn off the scene that was going through my mind. I finally cried out to Jesus, in a whisper, “Lord, take this heart out and give me Yours!”
 
There were about 10-11 guys in my Bible Pod and in my last few weeks in jail, we would gather at someone’s bunk and pray. We prayed for our families, loved ones, and each other. It was customary for
someone leaving to say a few words. When it was my turn, I could hardly speak. I cried and my voice cracked with emotion. I wasn’t like that in the beginning. I told the gang I would miss the Pod but I wasn’t
coming back! After I got out, I couldn’t talk to my wife because of the PPO. I couldn’t tell her what happened.
 
Leave it to God, because He found a way. I had a heart attack a few months later and my wife came to see me. I asked for her to forgive me, and she did. A few months later she moved back home. Today,
my wife mentors a young woman through FMM. My wife and I pray daily together in the morning and throughout the day. God has removed the desire for alcohol for more than 2 years now and replaced it
with His Spirit! In August, we will celebrate ten years of marriage and it is a celebration of God’s love and restoration to Himself and each other. Looking back, that 90 day sentence was the best
thing that happened to me. God had a plan and it was the Bible Pod. When I left jail, I was working on FMM advanced Bible courses and have continued those for 1-1/2 years. Even though I accepted Christ
more than 30 years ago, I am the strongest I have ever been in the Lord today, because of it all (Romans 8:28-29). In the Bible Pod, I made up my mind to pursue Christ
through prayer and the Bible lessons FMM offered. Now I am ready to do whatever He asks me to do. I added FMM to my financial support list. I know firsthand how God is working in the jail!

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Forgotten Man Ministries
3940 Fruit Ridge Ave. NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49544

Tel: (616) 784-4620

Email: office@forgottenman.org

Forgotten Man Ministries is a tax-deductible 501 (c) (3) charitable religious organization.
Each donation is receipted by mail.
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