Supervising Chaplain William B. “Bill” Twine
Bill Twine served as both the chaplain at St. Bride’s Correctional Center and also as our statewide Supervising Chaplain until the summer of 2017 when he retired from St. Bride’s – having served with this ministry longer than any other employee (since the late 1980’s). He is also the founder and Executive Director of Onesimus Ministries in Norfolk, VA (a halfway house program for former offenders), and he has also served on the Board of Virginia CURE and on various committees for the Commonwealth of Virginia, helping to advocate for the rights of offenders and their families, as well as serving as a nationally known content expert on successful offender reentry.
A beloved grandpa, Chaplain Twine has the bragging rights of being GraceInside’s most experienced chaplain. It is clear prison ministry has been his calling. Working with the incarcerated since 1980, Chaplain Twine is also a founder and the Executive Director of Onesimus House – a six month transitional housing program taking men from prison helping them into community by way of food, shelter, clothing, transportation, job referral, opportunities for networking, working with church and community volunteers! Through contact with someone in jail in the early 80s, who went to the state penitentiary in Richmond (as it was known years ago), Chaplain Twine first encountered GraceInside.
Chaplain Twine is a man full of stories from his many years of service to GraceInside…stories he has lived and shared. “Brad’s” story with Chaplain Twine began when Brad was tried as an adult at 15 and served time at St. Brides. During Brad’s time in prison, he wanted two things. First, Brad wanted recovery. Second, he wanted to get into the military – which, with a felony conviction, is all but impossible.
While in prison, Chaplain Twine worked with brad, baptized Brad and was able to assist Brad to a therapeutic recovery program at Lawrenceville Correctional Center (Virginia’s private prison) where he received help for his addiction. When he graduated from the Therapeutic Community (TC), the veteran’s group at the prison took Brad under their wing. Upon release, Brad returned to Richmond and applied to every military branch he could. After five years of trying, he found a position with the National Guard. He served in Iraq, two enlistments, before being discharged as an E5 for injuries received in Iraq. While stationed in Alaska, seeking employment as his discharge was processed, he actually applied for (and got!) a job as a Corrections Officer run by the very same private prison corporation that housed him years before. At 33, Brad recently came to visit Chaplain Twine with his wife and baby daughter.
These kinds of stories keep Chaplain Twine engaged and invested in helping guys who’ve made bad choices become good people. “I get letters from the guys telling me that because of me, they have a job, wife, a new life!” Because of the Jesus they see in and through Chaplain Twine, lives are transformed. “I try to help people become more than the worst thing they’ve ever done.”
In the rare moments Chaplain Twine is not assisting men in prison and out, he loves playing with his puppy. He also has a kayak that has been patiently waiting on Chaplain Twine to find a chance to slip down to the water and enjoy some time together. A personal highlight is his annual family vacation to the beach where he cooks, goes to the beach, and just “hangs out.”