Chaplain Curtis Wall
Curtis Wall served as a chaplain for the U.S. Air Force Auxiliary and also as a Rehabilitation Counselor with the Virginia Department of Corrections before coming on board as a Chaplain at Greensville Correctional Center S3 (where he served for years) and now Lunenburg and Baskerville Correctional Centers. He earned his Master of Divinity Degree at Virginia Union University, his B.A. Degree from Cheyney University and completed his Internship in Clinical Pastoral Care at the University of Virginia Medical Center. His combination of education and experience make him a valuable member of the GraceInside family.
After 15 years as a counselor with Greensville Correctional Center (and 23 years with the state through the Department of Juvenile Justice and the Department of Corrections), Chaplain Wall retired in 2012. Phew. But the men at Greensville were in his heart. After his retirement, Chaplain Wall began his service with GraceInside. Assigned to Greensville’s S3 as well as segregation (special housing) where men are housed in isolation, usually as punishment, his hands were full. But then, so committed to this ministry, he is now serving TWO facilities – Lunenburg and Baskerville.
“I had always wanted to be a chaplain.” Formerly a chaplain with the Air Force Auxiliary for 13 years, when the opportunity with GraceInside arose, “it occurred to me to be the best thing to do.” A few years of chaplaincy later he says, “I enjoy what I do. I thoroughly enjoy what I do. It’s ministry and lives are being a changed. A couple months ago, I happened to run into an offender who had been in segregation and he really thanked me for coming by and ministering to him. He thanked me for what I did for him and what I did for others there.” It’s wonderful to be recognized as having made a difference.
Chaplain Wall shares that he really enjoys his relationships with the men and getting to talk with them. Perhaps the favorite part of his job includes “the rounds, my pastoral rounds, throughout the institution. Having the opportunity to talk to them and just meeting them where they are – and to help them as much as possible, listening to them when there is a death in the family, responding when they ask for prayer for themselves and their family.”
As the spiritual leader for his incarcerated flock, Chaplain Wall enjoys sermon preparation for his Sunday to preach. Many chaplains extend the invitation to outside groups to come in to share in worship. Chaplain Wall is no exception. However, the chaplains often like to have the opportunity to share as pastor, too. “I often enjoy preaching each first Sunday during the evening service…and I serve the communion as well.”
What does Chaplain Wall do in his downtime? He likes to read and to walk, he says. Mostly, “I like to be with my wife!!” He also enjoys movies – one in particular. “I can relate to the movie “Rudy” in that I have had to persevere throughout my life and I have had to overcome a lot of obstacles through my determination and with the help of others.” Rudy tells the story of Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger, a young man who dreamed of playing football for the University of Notre Dame despite significant repeated challenges. If you haven’t seen the movie, he highly recommends it!