Supervising Chaplain W. Eric Jackson (Central Region)

The Rev. Dr. W. Eric Jackson has served as the chaplain at the high security level Sussex I State Prison since 2002, including ministering to the men on Death Row. He earned his M.Div. degree from the Samuel Dewitt School of Theology at Virginia State University in Richmond, Virginia and went on to earn a Doctor of Ministry (D.Min) Degree in Church Growth and Strategic Planning from that same institution. As of March 1, 2018, Chaplain Jackson becomes the first Supervising Chaplain of the Central Region as GraceInside continues improve in order to advance Jesus’ mission behind bars.

804-834-9967   Ext. 41447


“I love God, I love the Lord and I love my family.”

Love is central to the life and ministry of Pastor, Reverend and Chaplain William Jackson. In 2001, out of his commitment to that love, he launched not only a new church but also the ministry to Virginia’s Sussex I State Prison, a level 5 security facility housing over 1100 men, including Virginia’s Death Row.

For fourteen years and counting Chaplain Jackson tries to show love to people whom some find it hard to love. He finds great worth in ensuring that these men have the opportunity to grow spiritually. He feels deeply for the men and wants them each to have the opportunity to come to grips with what they have done, and especially for the men on Death Row, to do so as they face the inevitability of their deaths. Baptisms, counseling and the gift of confession are some of the tools Chaplain Jackson uses as he works with men struggling to find their way.

Meeting the needs and expectation of all the different groups who intersect in Chaplain Jackson’s work is not easy. Inmates, religious volunteers, corrections administration and GraceInside intersect with Chaplain Jackson in order for the ministry to run smoothly. He works hard to ensure the spiritual needs of the offender are at the center of that intersection. So often unseen, a prison chaplain’s work is undervalued because the transformations taking place are hidden away behind fences, walls and barbed wire. But they are there. Required by law to provide religious care, chaplaincy is more than box to check. Chaplains provide opportunities for sincere redemption.