Chaplain Edmond Mensah
We welcome Chaplain Edmond Mensah to the chaplaincy of St. Brides Correctional Center. He assumes the helm from recently retired Chaplain Bill Twine – who remains with GraceInside as our Chaplain Supervisor.
Office: 757-296-3199 Institution: 757-421-6600 Edmond.Mensah@vadoc.virginia.gov
Chaplain Mensah is a graduate of Regent University where he earned his Master of Divinity in 2014. The proud son of immigrants from Ghana, West Africa who immigrated to the United States in 1972 (dad) and 1983(mom), their determination and sacrifice for him has been put to good use.
Prior to assuming this role within prison ministry, Chaplain Mensah pursued CPE units as a chaplain extern in Bon Secours and then in the New Hanover Regional Medical Center in Wilmington as a resident chaplain for a full year. He returned to the Tidewater area where he married his bride, Amma Kankam-Mensah in 2015. He continues to serve Bon Secours in Norfolk, part time. It is there he made friends with a colleague who volunteers at St. Brides Correctional Center. It was she who encouraged him to apply. “By the grace of God, I am now here serving as the chaplain of St. Brides Correctional Center.”
Chaplain Mensah shares, “It is very different from working in the hospital setting. But all the same, those that are in the prison setting need a sense of hope, a sense of stability, someone or something to help you cope during the grueling days of incarceration.” Chaplain Mensah sees clearly how serving as a chaplain helps the men through this. “With prayer and fasting, I decided to give it a shot and to see what the Lord can do through me in this capacity. I have loved it so far. I’ve come to see exactly what I thought I would see – these men here in this facility, many of whom are seeking that hope, have been blessings to me. It is a blessing to be here.”
What surprises Chaplain Mensah regarding prison ministry? “If we were not in this predicament, I would be expecting some of these men to be mounting pulpits on the street. I have been pleasantly surprised. The knowledge these men have of the Word has been unfathomable. To be in this capacity and to hear it from these men (who obviously did wrong and were caught for it) reminds me that we have all done wrong. It is because of grace that we all have a second and third chance to get it right. It is amazing to see what the Lord is doing through these men.”
“I take the many inmate letters to my office and answer them. I take time to go visit people in their dormitory. We share our thoughts, we pray together and I also get to lead a lot of religious programs where people share their prayers, music and thoughts with one another. I prepare reports, set time for special visits from outside ministers and ensure the religious needs are met.”
“Just coming into this place, and I have to be honest, I had a preconceived thought about who I was going to be dealing with in regards to the offenders. Meeting some of them changed me. J. S. is my Chaplain’s Aide here at the prison. He is something I totally did not expect. I work alongside this offender. It has been very humbling. This man has taught me a whole array of institutional knowledge and guided me into a smooth rotation here in the prison. He has been a God-send. He was here helping the previous chaplain for the better part of 4 years and continues helping me. F.W. is another who we call “The Pastor.” I did some training with the previous chaplain, and he introduced me to this great person to work with. His knowledge and application of the Word is impeccable. These two men inspire me.”
When not at St. Brides, Chaplain Mensah is more than busy. Bon Secours Hospital takes up a lot of his time – doing on-call work as well as 20 hours each week visiting patients and families. He also serves as an Elder in the Church of Pentecost in Norfolk as the Local Secretary and also both the Local and District (Richmond, Hampton, Norfolk) Youth and College Ministry Leader. His bride works for the Veterans’ Administration Hospital as a nurse. With all of this making good use of his tremendous skill and compassion, it is his newborn son, Emmanuel, who has completely captured his heart. “He is a miracle unto us.”
We are thrilled that you have chosen to join the GraceInside family, Chaplain Mensah! Your servant’s heart is welcome here – and will be put to excellent use!