Chaplain Calvin R. Corbitt
A graduate of Liberty University and of Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary, Calvin Corbitt has served as the chaplain at Indian Crrek Correctional Center for 13 years, as well as serving as the pastor of Hickory Ridge Community Church (also in Chesapeake, VA). A husband to Sherry since 1989 and a dad to five great kids, Calvin’s passion is sharing the Gospel with all people (or, as Calvin puts it, “the hope that lives within me”).
Chaplain Calvin Corbitt believes passionately in community outreach. Pastor of Hickory Ridge Community Church, he shares, “Prison ministry is a vital part of what we are doing to reach the community with the Gospel.” Back in 2001, he was invited to do a Bible Study at Indian Creek Correctional Center one Thursday evening. Soon after, Chaplain Corbitt was hired as the chaplain!
“The lives that are changed by the Gospel…that’s really the main thing that keeps me going back. Really, not just with the offenders but also with the staff…because we have the opportunity to minister to them, too. I have done several funerals for staff, several weddings for staff as well. Two weeks ago, I did a wedding for two correctional officers who wanted to get married. I did their pre-marital counseling and then performed the wedding.”
Simply put, “I try to bring Jesus to men who have got into some trouble and they need some hope. I go in there and offer them hope. Not only do I have the ability to be a blessing to them while incarcerated but also when they get out. I do keep in touch with them and have a few that attend my church. I am involved with Celebrate Recovery Inside, which is tailored to the offender population – same 12 steps but a little different books on the inside. [Celebrate Recovery] gives me the opportunity to have volunteers to come in. It gives us a lot of connection points to be involved with the local church and community”.
And it changes lives. One former inmate, Joe, was incarcerated at St. Brides and Indian Creek and Chaplain Corbitt’s assistant. When he was released, he went to Onesimus House and graduated from that program. He joined my church. Now he is involved in actually leading Celebrate Recovery.” Joe takes his recovery seriously – and the advice he has gotten from Chaplain Corbitt. “For example, he has met a wonderful woman who loves the Lord. They want to get married. I advise everyone to wait a year after release. He is doing pre-marital counseling.” Joe is involved in small group ministry and in church every Sunday. “Joe is a prime example of this ministry and an example of what Christ can do in a man who will surrender to him.”
Chaplain Corbitt and his wife, Sherry, started Hickory Ridge Community Church in 1997. Their commitment to community is seen through their outreach beyond the prisons, too. The church holds Celebrate Recovery, participates in Stephen Ministry and just recently opened a small school with before and aftercare. With 30 students, Sherry is a teacher and school administrator. The school focuses on highly gifted students – and special needs students. “Our youngest son is very autistic and has a seizure disorder. We do a lot of advocacy helping parents with special needs children.”
When not engaged in ministry, Chaplain Corbitt is into fun. He loves sports. “I play them, watch them…nothing very competitive, though because of my age. I enjoy playing on the church on softball team. We are all about fellowship and fun.” The father to five children, aged 15-23, Chaplain Corbitt is also big into family fun. “I love going to the beach. I’m blessed to be 45 minutes from the Outer Banks and 45 minutes from Virginia Beach. I really love going off season.”
“I’m really excited to be a part of what God is doing through our church and through GraceInside.” We are excited Chaplain Corbitt is a part of what God is doing through GraceInside, too!