Good News Jail and Prison Ministry

The information in this column was provided to MinistryWatch by the ministry itself. It was last updated 10/22/2021. To update the information in this column, please email:


Good News Jail & Prison Ministry is the largest independent supplier of chaplains for jails and prisons worldwide, serving in 22 states, 1 American territory and 25 countries. Your gifts help Good News bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ to prisoners. We thank you for helping us reach those others have forgotten. Good News has developed several practical, life-giving programs that introduce inmates and staff to Christ and help them grow in their knowledge of Him and His Word. Here are a few of the programs we use to do this:

Contact information

Mailing address:
Good News Jail and Prison Ministry
P.O. Box 9760
Henrico, VA 23228-0760


Phone: (804) 553-4090


Organization details

EIN: 540703077

CEO/President: Mr. Jon Evans

Chairman: Mr. Don Patterson Jr.

Board size: 12

Founder: Dr. William L. Simmer

Ruling year: 1961

Tax deductible: Yes

Fiscal year end: 06/30

Member of ECFA: Yes

Member of ECFA since: 1981


We believe the most effective tool for ministering to the needs of inmates and staff is the daily presence of a chaplain. The chaplain serves as pastor, counselor, mentor and friend to those who are incarcerated and the staff who guard and protect them.

Our Goals:

Impact on Incarceration Rates - Transformed individuals are able to leave jail and prison with a new lease on life

Impact on Recidivism Rates - Transformed individuals who discover new hope are less likely to reoffend and return

Impact on Families - Transformed individuals are able to renew relationships with loved ones and become a positive influence

Impact on Communities - When a life is changed, families and communities can be changed

Mission statement

To place Christian chaplains in jails and prisons to minister to the spiritual needs of inmates and staff.

Statement of faith

The following is Good News Jail & Prison Ministry's Statement of Faith:

The Scriptures: We believe that "all Scripture is given by inspiration of God," by which we understand that the whole Bible is inspired in that holy men of God were "moved by the Holy Spirit" to write the very words of God. We believe that this divine inspiration extends equally to all parts of the writings as they appeared in the original manuscripts.

The Godhead: We believe that the Godhead eternally exists in three persons - The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit - and that these three are one God; co-equal and co-existent.

Man: We believe that man was originally created in innocency and that he fell through sin and, as a consequence of his sin, lost his spiritual life, become dead in trespass and sins.

Christ's Advent: We believe that the eternal Son of God came into this world that he might manifest God to men, fulfill prophecy, and become the Redeemer of a lost world. He was born of a virgin, conceived by the Holy Spirit, received human body, and a sinless human nature.

Salvation: We believe that, owing to death through sin, no one can enter the Kingdom of God unless born again. This redemption has been accomplished solely by the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who was made to be sin, dying in our stead, and that He was bodily and physically raised from the dead for our justification. We believe that the new birth of the believer is an act of God the Spirit and comes only through individual faith in Christ.

The Holy Spirit: We believe that the Holy Spirit, the Third Person of the blessed Trinity, though omnipresent from all eternity, indwells every believer since the day of Pentecost, and by His baptism unites all of Christ's own into one body. He is the source of all power and all acceptable worship and service.

The Church: We believe that God has ordained that through the local church the Gospel of Jesus Christ is to be spread and that it is the duty of everyone who is born again to seek out a local fellowship for the furtherance of the Gospel and his own edification.

We believe in the literal resurrection of the body, the everlasting blessedness of the saved and the everlasting punishment of the lost. We believe that the supreme mission of God's people in this age is to preach the Gospel to every creature, and we believe in the second coming of Christ according to the Scriptures.

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Financial efficiency ratings

Sector: Christian Growth

CategoryRatingOverall rankSector rank
Overall efficiency rating64 of 10226 of 74
Fund acquisition rating391 of 102427 of 74
Resource allocation rating149 of 102416 of 74
Asset utilization rating10 of 10222 of 74

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Balance sheet
Receivables, inventories, prepaids$190,549$181,494$88,370$107,652$136,847
Short-term investments$0$30,804$0$0$0
Other current assets$5,297$5,297$5,297$90,754$85,363
Total current assets$574,688$461,609$521,921$665,342$889,019
Long-term investments$55,576$3,397$3,973$3,397$3,397
Fixed assets$7,929$7,401$4,144$7,807$12,948
Other long-term assets$0$0$0$0$0
Total long-term assets$63,505$10,798$8,117$11,204$16,345
Total assets$638,193$472,407$530,038$676,546$905,364
Payables and accrued expenses$149,307$162,167$144,917$367,996$489,193
Other current liabilities$0$20,417$7,417$11,667$26,800
Total current liabilities$149,307$182,584$152,334$379,663$515,993
Due to (from) affiliates$0$0$0$0$0
Other long-term liabilities$247,500$285,000$375,000$412,500$510,000
Total long-term liabilities$247,500$285,000$375,000$412,500$510,000
Total liabilities$396,807$467,584$527,334$792,163$1,025,993
Net assets20192018201720162015
Without donor restrictions$184,363($522,509)($523,091)($568,029)($542,599)
With donor restrictions$57,023$527,332$525,795$452,412$421,970
Net assets$241,386$4,823$2,704($115,617)($120,629)
Revenues and expenses
Total contributions$8,074,216$7,971,079$7,438,898$7,302,830$7,096,576
Program service revenue$0$0$0$0$0
Membership dues$0$0$0$0$0
Investment income($6,801)$0$0$0$45
Other revenue$51,380$8,527$1,719$3,045$71,687
Total other revenue$44,579$8,527$1,719$3,045$71,732
Total revenue$8,118,795$7,979,606$7,440,617$7,305,875$7,168,308
Program services$6,815,937$6,904,606$6,295,307$6,139,263$5,590,051
Management and general$717,084$762,613$730,645$771,495$791,518
Total expenses$7,889,033$7,977,487$7,322,296$7,300,863$6,661,642
Change in net assets20192018201720162015
Surplus (deficit)$229,762$2,119$118,321$5,012$506,666
Other changes in net assets$0$0$0$0$0
Total change in net assets$229,762$2,119$118,321$5,012$506,666


Compensation data for this ministry has not been collected.

Response from ministry

No response has been provided by this ministry.

The information below was provided to MinistryWatch by the ministry itself. It was last updated 10/22/2021. To update the information below, please email:


In the early 60's, correctional chaplaincy was a function of the federal and state prison systems. Local jails might have area pastors ministering to them occasionally on Sundays, but on-site chaplains were non-existent.

Everything changed in 1961 when a young Bible college student in Washington, DC named Bill Simmer discovered that no one preached the Bible to inmates at the local county jail. At this moment, Dr. Simmer's vision of placing evangelical, Christian chaplains in local jails to minister to inmates was born. This vision came to fruition with the founding of Good News Mission (now Good News Jail & Prison Ministry). It also led to the placement of the ministry's first chaplain in the Fairfax County, Virginia jail.

In 1983, Dr. Simmer passed the leadership mantle to Harry Greene, whom he affectionately referred to as his "son in the faith." Ironically, in 1964, Harry had trusted Christ in the Arlington County, VA jail under the ministry of Dr. Simmer. When released from prison, Harry became a highly successful businessman while staying deeply involved with Dr. Simmer and Good News. During Harry's tenure as President, the ministry grew dramatically, from 30 chaplains then, to over 370 worldwide today. Harry continued in the position of President until his retirement in June 2012.

In September 2013, Jon Evans became the 3rd President of Good News Jail & Prison Ministry. Jon came to Good News after serving as a volunteer in Anne Arundel County, MD as well as 6 years as a member of the Good News Jail & Prison Ministry Board of Directors. With an M. Div and Th.M. from Capital Bible Seminary as well as 16 years of executive leadership in the Defense industry, Jon returned to his roots in ministry with Good News.

Program accomplishments

Good News Jail & Prison Ministry has reported the following accomplishments:

  • Good News now has more than 400 Chaplains serving in jails and prisons in the United States and overseas.
  • They currently support Chaplains in Bolivia, Burendi, Egypt, El Salvador, Estonia, Ghana, India, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lebanon, Lithuania, Malawi, Mexico, Nigeria, Philippines, Russia-Krasnoyarsk, Russia-Tyumen, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Tanzania, Ukraine, Venezuela, Zambia, and America Samoa - with other nations requesting their immediate assistance.
  • Requests for Good News Chaplains are currently at an all-time high, with their Ministry Development staff working on numerous opportunities to place Chaplains in institutions throughout the United States.
  • The Good News web site,, provides regular updates on Chaplains, along with current news on how Good News Jail & Prison Ministry is expanding its vision both at home and abroad.