With support, a new start

Church helps man after release from prison

Brian Campbell knew he’d need a clean break from his old life when he got out of federal prison, so he wrote to 10 churches in hopes of making some kind of connection.

He had lived in Indiana at one time, and “felt led to look in the Fort Wayne area” when he sent his letters from the low-security correctional institution in Minnesota. He had less than a year left to serve on a two-year sentence for methamphetamine possession.

Pine Hills Church on Carroll Road, Fort Wayne, was the only one to respond. “A man who had been a jail chaplain contacted me and said Pine Hills could help,” Brian said.

People from Pine Hills helped Brian, 52, find a place to live and a job with a house construction company. One congregational member even donated a car. The church helped Brian with various expenses related to starting a new life, with an assist from an Everence Sharing Fund grant.

In the early stages of his incarceration, Brian broke down and said, “’I need you, Lord, in my life.’ I was angry and bitter about all the things that had been happening.”

Someone directed him to the Rick Warren book, The Purpose Driven Life, which he said “became a life-changing tool. The joy of the Lord just came into my life and changed every aspect of my life.”

Now, Brian feels strongly that his experiences can benefit others. “God has brought me through what he’s brought me through to help other people. I’ve always believed God has something in store for me.”

He enjoys going to Pine Hills Church and hopes to get more involved in supporting and encouraging others as his work schedule becomes more balanced. “Pine Hills is like no other church I’ve ever been to,” he said. “There are a lot of people with open arms.”

You can support the fund

The Everence Sharing Fund makes a difference in the lives of thousands of people every year. The fund matches financial donations that congregations make to help people in need.

Everence supports the fund through a corporate tithe, and many of our members and employees donate to the fund.

If you would like to donate, please send your contribution to Everence, Attn: Sharing Fund, PO Box 483, Goshen, IN 46527 or donate online at everence.com/donate.