Christmas is closer than you think!

It’s not too soon to make your list. Plan now to attend the annual Prodigal Ministries Christmas in September. The event will be held on Thursday, September 7, 2017 at the historic Seelbach Hotel.

Imagine you have just been released from prison with nowhere to turn. You have no home to go to, no job waiting for you, and no family willing to offer shelter and support. You can turn to Prodigal Ministries. Prodigal offers four transitional living homes in the Louisville area – three for men (two on Oak Street in Old Louisville and one in Buckner) and one for women (in Crestwood). These facilities offer hope and a chance to start over. Staff and volunteers provide stability and support to former prisoners, helping them develop community living skills and accountability they need to redirect their lives and become productive citizens. Not only does reducing the rate of former inmates returning to prison save the Commonwealth of Kentucky money, but it restores these individuals to a place in society.

The main annual fund-raiser to make all of this possible is Christmas in September (CIS). The proceeds raised from the evening accounts for over 25% of the annual Prodigal Ministries budget.  The program for the evening includes appetizers and a silent auction, dinner and a speaker, and the live auction Sponsor a Client.

If you are interested in sponsoring the event, or purchasing a table of 10 or individual tickets, please contact Steve Skaggs, program chair, at  (502) 777-6433.


Tickets Available Now for Annual Christmas in September Dinner

The  9th Annual Christmas in September Fashion Event & Dinner will be held Thursday, September 8, 2016, at the Seelbach Hilton Louisville, beginning at 5:30 pm.

Sponsored by Stock Yards Bank & Trust, the annual event is held to raise funds for Prodigal Ministries, Inc., a Louisville agency that serves men and women inmates upon their release, helping them to avoid prison return.

“Prodigal Ministries gives hope to newly-released men & women, providing critical support such as housing, job training, and counseling that significantly increase their chances of not returning to prison,” said Jennifer Partin, Executive Director of Prodigal Ministries.

“The first 90 days are crucial. With no housing, no job prospects and no income source, many of these men & women are simply overwhelmed and fall back into old patterns that result in a return to prison. Of those that return to prison, a majority – nearly 85% – will reoffend within 30 days of release,” explained Partin.

The support services the organization provides have helped Prodigal Ministries to achieve a significantly reduced return-to-prison rate for its clients, compared to state and national rates.

The event will be held Thursday, September 8, at the Seelbach Hilton Louisville in downtown Louisville. Tickets are $175 each, with tables of 10 at $1,750.  Holiday attire is suggested.

For tickets, please send an email with your contact information to, or call 502-386-1473.

11th Annual Golf Scramble – June 13th

It must be spring when sign-ups begin for Prodigal Ministries’ annual golf event.

The 11th Annual Robinson S. Brown, Jr. Memorial Golf Scramble will be held Monday, June 13, 2016, at Audubon Country Club. Registration begins at 11:00 a.m. with a light lunch, followed by a shotgun start at 12:30 p.m.  An awards ceremony and dinner will be held at 4:30 p.m.

This memorial fundraising event is sponsored by Brown-Forman Corporation and Stock Yards Bank & Trust for the benefit of Prodigal Ministries and its clients.

Additional sponsor opportunities are available, including hole sponsorships at $200.

The fee is $1,000 per team of four, or $250 per person. Click here for a registration form to download. Completed forms should be returned to:

Prodigal Ministries, Inc.
c/o June Golf
P.O. Box 1484
Crestwood, KY  40014


Sign up and come out for a fun and relaxing day of golf! We’ll see you on the 13th.

A little Goodwill goes a long way

We have all seen the public service announcements on television or heard the spots on the radio. “Donate your used car to Goodwill – it can help someone who needs transportation.” Most of us probably did not give it much thought, not realizing the kind of impact transportation can make for a person who really needs it.

Jamie Hacker Kemper, a resident of Prodigal Minstries’ McCauley House in Crestwood, was one such person. Most Prodigal clients do not have transportation when they re-enter society. Being able to afford a reliable car is on the agenda for many of them.

Jamie is the first Prodigal recipient of a car through the Goodwill Cars to Work program. So just what is the program? An individual donates a vehicle to Goodwill, and they have a mechanic thoroughly inspect the vehicle and repair anything wrong with it. Once a vehicle is ready, Goodwill works with referring agencies to find a candidate for the available vehicle. Pat Blandford, program director for Prodigal Ministries, worked with Jamie to prepare the application and budget statement that Goodwill reviews. Once the determination is made to approve the applicant, a 24-month payment plan is developed, with a monthly payment in the range of $150-275 per month. Interest paid during the 2-year life of the “loan” is re-paid to the new vehicle owner if payments are made on time. In addition, there is a roadside warranty on the vehicle while the payments are being made.

As you can see from the picture, Jamie is as proud of her new ride as we are of her. Hopefully this will not be the only time Prodigal and Goodwill can work together on this program. So if you have a reliable used car you do not want to just give away to a car dealership in trade, please consider supporting the Cars to Work initiative.

Jamie Hacker Kemper in her new car

Inaugural Season for Prodigal Sons Softball Team, sponsored by New Century Plumbing

The hot, humid summer evening envelops the Oldham County Parks and Recreation Field.  The field is ready, and the teams have warmed up when the umpire says “Play ball!”  Over the fence in left centerfield you see another fence in the distance – a fence with barbed wire on top and a guard tower and you realize this is not a normal game.  This game matches a team of inmates from the Roederer Correctional Complex (RCC) with a team called Prodigal Sons.  Some of the Prodigal Sons had once played for the other team, and the closeness is not lost on them.  They want to win this game versus their former team.

This year marks the inaugural season for the Prodigal Sons team. Team members include Prodigal Ministries clients from the Wright House and the Oak Street East House. Other team members are from New Century Plumbing of LaGrange, which sponsors the team this season.    Gloves and bats are provided to team members by Wilson (formerly Louisville Slugger).  Reflex Graphics, owned and operated by one of the Tuesday night Bible study volunteers at the Oak Street house, provided the hats and shirts.  These generous sponsors allow for the Prodigal residents to interact in a positive environment with community members – participating in a team setting lets them enjoy the camaraderie that goes along with a sports team.

Though not successful on the scoreboard for Prodigal Sons this evening, this is a game with much more meaning than the outcome on the field.  Some of the Roederer team members are participating in The Bridge program, which is a typical experience many Prodigal residents have prior to their release from prison.  One of the players from the RCC team will soon be released and become a resident at Prodigal, and his skills on the field would be a welcome addition to the Prodigal Sons team.  All of the players from both teams join hands in the infield following the game for a prayer.  There really are no losers in this game, as everyone comes together as the body of Christ – free and incarcerated, white and black, young and not so young, it makes no difference.  The sun shines brightly on both teams and for that hour the game lasts they are all free to enjoy the game.

Following the game, some of the Prodigal Ministries board members in attendance meet with the team and provide some well-earned Gatorade.  As they talk, the other team loads onto their bus for the short journey to the fence beyond left field, to their current home at RCC. With God’s guidance, hopefully these men will become players for Prodigal Sons in the near future.

Shopping at Kroger can benefit Prodigal!

If you shop at Kroger and you have a Kroger Plus Card, please take a few minutes and select Prodigal Ministries as your Community Rewards Program. After you follow the few simple steps below, Kroger will make quarterly donations to Prodigal and you will help us raise money. It’s that simple!


  • Have your Kroger Plus Card handy
  • Go to
  • Most people are new online customers, so they must click on SIGN UP TODAY
  • Create your account, then check your email to confirm the new account
  • Click Sign in and use your email address and password to proceed to the next step
  • Click on Edit Kroger Community Rewards information and input your Kroger Plus card number [Do you use your phone number at the register?  Call 800-576-4377, select option 4 to get your Kroger Plus card number.]
  • Update and confirm your information, then search for Prodigal Ministries
  • To verify you are enrolled correctly, you will see your organization’s name on the right side of your information page

Remember to swipe your card or enter your phone number each time you shop so your purchase will count towards the community rewards program to benefit Prodigal. Thank you for your time and your donation!

Beechland Baptist Partners with Prodigal Minitries

Since mid-2002, Beechland Baptist Church has been associated with Prodigal Ministries.  In those early days, a small group of volunteers provided dinner once a month and attended a Bible study at Prodigal’s only house for men at the time, located on 18th Street in downtown Louisville.

That initial involvement faded after a short period, but the spark never died.  On occasion, some of Prodigal’s clients would still go out to southwest Jefferson County to attend services at Beechland.  It was one such resident who rekindled the fire.

Darin Ashley was a resident of Prodigal House and found a church home at Beechland.  He volunteered on committees, joined a blossoming Sunday School class, and eventually was elected to the church’s Deacon Board.  During one of the monthly Deacon Board meetings, Darin challenged those in attendance to engage with Prodigal House once again – to provide dinner once a month and participate in the weekly Bible study.  The challenge was accepted, and for the last five years Beechland men have been active at Prodigal West.

Once each month, Beechland provides dinner for the 12-15 regular attendees at the Tuesday night Bible study.  The church provides each new resident a $50 Wal-Mart gift card.  In addition, two of the Beechland Sunday School classes assist with donations.  The Agape class provides a new backpack for each resident filled with toiletries, work gloves, and a new Bible.  The Grace class provides paper products for the house.

Perhaps the most meaningful way Beechland is involved is through the time the volunteers spend interacting with the residents.  Several men from the church attend every week for the study and visit with/talk to the residents throughout the week.  The Beechland volunteers help lead the Bible study and often attend Christian concert, ball games, and other outside activities with the men who live in Prodigal West.

“The love and support that Beechland members bring to Prodigal is so important to our clients,” said Jennifer Partin, executive director. “The faith and friendship extended to our residents reminds them how valuable they are to God, to their families, and to the community. We are called to extend the grace of Christ to ex-offenders and these volunteers are doing just that.”

What We Do, Matters – A Client Testimonial

Success of programs like Prodigal often are measured in numbers: how many clients served; what percent of those clients have not returned to prison, etc.  But perhaps the best indicators of our success are found in the personal stories of transformation and hope of each person whose lives we impact.


“I am so thankful to Prodigal Ministries for many reasons.  I had moved into my own home and had custody of my son over a year ago after being at Prodigal’s Wright House for several months after prison.  Life was going well – I was self employed, had my son living with me and everything was going good until I had an accident and was prescribed pain medication.  I entered a rehabilitation program and Prodigal let me return after I completed the 12 step program.  They have helped me put my life back together again and supported me in my recovery.  Once again I am living with my son in a house in the country that a staff member helped me locate.  My son is with me and loves the country.  He is going to high school this year.

“I have my own licensed business and am hoping to work with Prodigal Ministries to give other men a chance to work with me.  I will support them in their recovery, in their spiritual life, and show them that God can restore our families and how to be a good father.  I am giving back to the program that gave so much to me. ”

Rick, age 44

David Walker and Shakespeare Behind Bars are 2014 Spirit of Prodigal Recipients

2014 Spirit of Prodigal Award logoDavid Walker, a volunteer leader of recovery classes for inmates, and Shakespeare Behind Bars, a program dedicated to helping inmates develop life skills essential for recovery and reintegration, were the recipients of the 2014 Spirit of Prodigal Award. The awards were presented at Prodigal Ministries’ annual Christmas in September Fashion Event & Dinner on September 4th.

The Spirit of Prodigal Award was established in 2012 to recognize individuals and organizations whose mission aligns with that of Prodigal Ministries. There is a common spirit among the people who walk side-by-side with ex-offenders on their journey to successfully reenter society, who take an active role in helping men and women start anew and avoid a return to prison.

About David Walker:
David has been in recovery for 28 years, and has developed a passion for helping others achieve their goals for sobriety, whether their agent is drugs or alcohol.

Several years ago, David volunteered to lead Celebrate Recovery classes at Roederer Correctional Complex, through The Bridge to Success program. While leading the classes, David is honest and forthright with the men about his struggles and what it has taken for him to overcome his addiction. He has worked the steps with many of the men, and has sponsored more than one upon release.

A frequent visitor at the Wright House and Prodigal West, David asks clients about their attendance at meetings and their progress with the step they are working. He also encourages them in their walk with the Lord, as his faith has been an important part of his recovery.

About Shakespeare Behind Bars:
In recognition of the commitment by a private organization in the community to serving former current and former inmates, Prodigal Ministries presents the 2014 Spirit of Prodigal Award to Shakespeare Behind Bars, Inc.

The mission of Shakespeare Behind Bars is to offer meaning-filled theatrical encounters to the incarcerated and post-incarcerated, allowing each offender to grapple with issues which will assist in the development of essential life skills required to facilitate their successful reintegration into society.

The program uses the healing power of the arts to transform offenders from who they were when they committed their crimes, to who they are in the present moment, to who they wish to become. Shakespeare Behind Bars offers participants the ability to hope and the courage to act despite their fear and the odds stacked against them.

Now in its 19th year, Shakespeare Behind Bars is the oldest program of its kind in North America. Currently, Shakespeare Behind Bars has eight programs in Kentucky and four programs in Michigan.  The flagship program at the Luther Luckett Correctional Complex in LaGrange, Kentucky, has a recidivism rate of less than 6% over nineteen years of continuous operation.

2014 Spirit of Prodigal Award – Honorable Mentions:

Also nominated for the 2014 Spirit of Prodigal Award and receiving Honorable Mention were Mission Crestwood and Restorative Justice Louisville.

Mission Crestwood, a ministry of Crestwood Baptist Church, includes a clothes closet and food pantry, plus an outreach program for men from the Kentucky State Reformatory upon their release as they transition back into the community.

Restorative Justice Louisville (RJL) was founded in February 2011 and is the first nonprofit in Kentucky to provide an alternative to the traditional criminal justice system. With more than 1,000 similar programs in North America, restorative justice programs facilitate joint and voluntary participation by victims and offenders to discuss the harm that was done and do what must be done to repair the harm, enabling creative solutions not used within the traditional justice system.

2015 Award Nominations:

Nominations for the 2015 Spirit of Prodigal Award will be accepted after the first of the year.  If you know of an individual or organization worthy of consideration, please contact Prodigal Ministries now to ensure you receive a nomination form.




Prodigal Adds Eight to Board of Directors

Since June 1st, Prodigal Ministries has added eight new members to the board of directors. Continuing on the growth path set out in a 2012 Strategic Plan, the board is growing to lead expansion in the areas of programming, staff development, volunteer development, facility management, fundraising and communications.

“It is exciting to watch the board grow to better serve our clients,” said Mary Ellen Stottmann, board chair. “The diverse skills and experience of our newest board members bring a needed depth to ensure we meet the goals of our Strategic Plan.”

New Board Members:

Brendan Bergin – Account Manager, Winroc/SPI
Matt Blandford – Wealth Management Advisor, Northwestern Mutual
Lisa Britton – MCI, Finance
Gregg Callas – Risk Eliminator, A Plus Paper Shredding
John Chilton – Partner, Mountjoy Chilton Medley (co-founder of Prodigal, returning to Board)
Brandon Cooper – Independent Business Owner & Umpire
Robert Gregor – UPS Air
Steve Skaggs – Project Engineer, US Army Corps of Engineers
Win Walker Jr. – President, Win Walker Real Estate

They join the following existing board members.

Executive Committee:
Mary Ellen Stottmann – Chair
Jack Shea, Sr. – Vice Chair
Tony Ford – Secretary
Dan Lawson – Treasurer
Jennifer Partin – Executive Director

Linda Baker
Cheryl Carl
John Chilton
Valerie Combs
John Dotson
Nathaniel Green
Eric Isaacson
Ken Lanham, Jr.