Life Abundant, Inc. was established in 1978 in order to help facilitate a positive change in the life view of inmates and ex-offenders and to raise their hopes of escaping the vicious cycle of crime and recidivism. Since its inception, Life Abundant staff and volunteers have assisted countless inmates, ex-offenders and their families develop sound principles in their social, economic and spiritual lives (you can read some of their stories here).
We primarily seek to break the cycle of repeated imprisonment by introducing inmates, ex-offenders and their families to Jesus Christ. Through God’s love and grace, inmates are able to overcome addictions and the debilitating issues that were the root causes of repeated incarceration. As inmates, ex-offenders and their families develop Christian principles in their lives, they can become productive members of society.
Life Abundant, Inc. is one of the most recognized prison ministries in Bucks County, Pennsylvania and has been a positive force at the Bucks County Correctional Facility and the Bucks County Community Corrections Center since they opened in 1985 and 1991, respectively.
Herbert W. Rose (1986-2017)
As a young man, Herb was consistently led by a passage from the book of Proverbs: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding, acknowledge Him with all your heart, and He shall direct thy steps.” Herb believes that God used that Bible verse to direct him throughout the interview process and throughout his 31-year tenure as the Executive Director of Life Abundant.
“Christ said He came to seek and to save that which was lost. Before God saved me, by his grace, I knew I was a sinner and that I was lost. My lifestyle was like many of those in prison…I just never got caught. I felt the “lostness” that many of the men in prison feel. God used that in my life to have true compassion for men and women caught up in sin, living without hope and feeling lost.
When I became the Executive Director of Life Abundant, Matthew 28:18-19, i.e. The Great Commission, became very important to me. God said (ALL AUTHORITY) is given to Him in heaven and earth. He has all power and might in the lives of men and women, including those impacted by incarceration. As people of faith we must remain faithful and let God do the calling and the saving. As believers, we plant and water the seeds, but God gives the increase.
To all those involved in Prison Ministry never forget, it is God’s ministry. We don’t save anyone, God does that; He is faithful to His Word and to Himself. We as believers rejoice in what God is doing in calling out His church from inside jails and prisons. May God richly bless all those who serve in prison ministry.”
Mel Swanson (1978-1985), Founder
Returning home after serving for nineteen years as a missionary in Southern Africa, Reverend Mel Swanson discovered a mission field in his own backyard, namely the Bucks County Jail. Area churches were conducting services at the prison on weekends, during which many prisoners made confessions of faith in Jesus. However, during his weekly visits to the prison, Reverend Swanson was distressed to discover that there was very little follow through in terms of discipling prisoners. With encouragement from Reverend Tsianiklides, the prison chaplain, a meeting was arranged with representatives from interested local churches. Out of that meeting, Life Abundant was born. Life Abundant was subsequently incorporated as a non-profit organization, administered by a Board of Directors, in 1978.
“From its inception, Life Abundant has accepted the mandate to befriend, instruct and guide those men and women who respond to the Christian message and indicate a desire to improve their lives by following the example and teachings of Jesus Christ.” Board of Directors