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We are a volunteer organization seeking to minister to those in jail and prison through spiritual and practical means.

Our founder, Tommy L. Dean, Jr., was an army veteran of WWII. He was awarded a purple heart for his action in Germany. At 6’2” and 350 lbs., Tommy worked as a bar bouncer in Las Vegas, NV and later as a security officer at the state ports in Wilmington, NC. He served as a personal bodyguard to Jim and Tammy Faye Baker and their family at PLT, USA for five years. He came to know Jesus on April 25, 1969. On his 14th spiritual birthday on April 25, 1983, Tommy worked the jail from 1:30 – 4:30 p.m. Thirty-seven men came to the Lord that day.

Tommy also worked the jail in Charlotte and prisons in North and South Carolina, as well as Georgia, Kentucky and Ohio. He worked with Chaplain Ray, Morris Cerello, Richard Marpoe, COPE and Prison Fellowship for many years before starting the New Life Prison Ministries, Inc. with his wife Hazel on January 29, 1987. Tommy and Hazel had no children of their own so the residents of the jail on Wilmington and the prisons in New Hanover and Pender Counties where like their children. Tommy and Hazel loved prison ministry and devoted their lives to this work. Hazel Dean died in November 1997.

I met Tommy Dean in August 1998 as I was leading a Bible study at the local prison. I started helping Tommy with the Yoke Fellow service and then started working with him during the church services he held at New Hanover Correctional Center on the first and third Thursdays of each month. We worked together at the jail and he helped me get involved in the jail ministry. He also got me into the North Carolina Sheriff Chaplains Association as a Chaplain in April 1999. The New Hanover County Sheriff’s Department has kept me in training with the Chaplain Association since Sheriffs Joe McQueen, Sonny Lanier, and now Sid Causey.

I have worked very long and hard for the NC Sheriff Chaplain’s Assc. We have two training seminars each year; one in April and another in October, always in a different county. We hosted the April training in 2002. Tommy’s favorite saying was “I’m packed up, bagged up and ready to go. Are you?”

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Chaplain Tommy Dean

Chaplain Atwell Brookshire

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