Chaplain Cliff Cauthorne
Chaplain Clifton Cauthorne, another GraceInside repeat chaplain, is back for a second tour of duty with Red Onion State Prison. He enjoys sharing the truth with inmates and being a pastor and father.
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Chaplain Clifton Cauthorne is another “repeat offender” with GraceInside’s chaplaincy. “About five years ago, [then President] Cecil McFarland called and asked if I would be willing to assist Chaplain Jimmy Mitchell with his work at Red Onion for 10 hours a week. I prayed about it, and in obedience to Matthew 25, I thought it would be good opportunity.” At that time, the monetary support for his position at Red Onion didn’t last, but Chaplain Cauthorne is now back and working as the sole chaplain at Red Onion State Prison.
“Some years ago, I worked with young people in Kentucky, mainly unchurched and from assorted backgrounds…broken families. I saw a lot of the backgrounds that lead to incarceration. So, I have an idea of where many of the inmates come from.” Chaplain Cauthorne shares, “It’s a blessing to see inmates asking spiritual questions and being able to, either thorough the prison mail system or sharing one-on-one, help them sort through the questions they may have. I feel like, as their chaplain, if I can aid them on their spiritual journey, then I have been able to help them.”
“Primarily, my responsibility is to share the truth of the Lord Jesus Christ, trying to set them free, even though society has put them in bonds…and to accomplish this, we are trying to meet their spiritual needs. Jesus says in the Bible, ‘Know ye the truth and the truth will set you free.’ He also says, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh to the Father except by me.’ Therefore, when I introduce them to the One who died for them and rose from the dead, they can receive his Spirit, and they can be free even though they are locked up in prison. Christ, through his Spirit, not only sets them free, but he begins to change them so they can come back into society and remain a free individual.”
“We are mainly a segregation facility. I thoroughly enjoy going cell to cell and talking with the inmates about spiritual matters. I enjoy being available to discuss whatever they may be struggling with on a day to day basis. It surprises me how few people are willing to volunteer from the outside and minister behind bars. It may be out of ignorance or out of fear, but it surprises me how few outsiders are willing to come in to bring the Gospel to the inmates.”
When not inside Red Onion serving the Lord by working with the men, Chaplain Cauthorne is a pastor, a father of six, and a town councilman for Pound, Virginia! A graduate of Bob Jones University, since 2007, he has pastored Calvary Baptist Church. He enjoys coaching soccer. “I enjoy coaching the Under 8 age category. Less skill and more energy – more opportunities for encouraging the kids!” His love for soccer began in middle school where he says he was more of a cheerer than a player, but he loves it nonetheless.
“It’s a blessing for the prison to be so close to where I live in case someone needs to call me in. It is a real blessing to have this opportunity, and I pray that God will use me to impact people’s lives in a real way.”
We, at GraceInside, are blessed to have you on board!