Abe Brown worked in the Hillsborough County School System for 38 years with the first 23 of those years being spent as both teacher and coach. He taught and coached at several schools, winning the State Football Championship in 1969 as Tampa Bay’s Blake High School Head Football Coach.
After learning that one of his former football players was in jail for an alleged murder, Brown went to visit this young man. Convinced that he had taught young men how to play football, but neglected to teach them enough about how to live life, Abe Brown dedicated himself to intervention, inside and outside prison walls. He became the first black minister to lead services and evangelize in Florida's prisons. Today Abe Brown Ministries, Inc. (formerly Prison Crusade) is a viable prison ministry, chartered by the state of Florida, with access to all Florida prisons. The Ministry enables people, “the least of these,” in the community to achieve productive and spiritually fulfilling lives.
Abe Brown Ministries, Inc. is not a church and does not operate under the “umbrella” of a church. Abe Brown Ministries is an independent faith and community-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that was incorporated in the state of Florida in 1977. Our mission is to compassionately demonstrate the love of Jesus Christ by helping offenders and ex-offenders as well as their families to achieve productive and fulfilling lives.
Time: Perhaps you’d like to volunteer or become a life coach to help guide and direct those served by Abe Brown Ministries along their path to a meaningful life. Please visit our Volunteer page to learn of current volunteer opportunities.
Talent: Perhaps you, your business or people within your sphere of influence would like to share your gift on a Crusade into prison or speak to one of Abe Brown Ministry’s Ready4Work-Hillsborough classes about your path to success. Or maybe you know of a business owner in need of vetted and qualified drug-free candidates as employees. Please visit our Become a Business Partner page.
Treasure: Perhaps you have been blessed financially and would like to give a financial gift to support the ongoing work of Abe Brown Ministries. Please visit our Donate page.
Abe Brown Ministries travels to prisons throughout the state of Florida. In 1977, when Abe Brown Ministries was founded, there were only 24 correctional institutions (17,172 people incarcerated) in the state. Today, there are 135 correctional institutions (100,000+ incarcerated) in the state of Florida. On Crusades, our Ministry targets institutions located within a 120-mile radius of Tampa Bay, focusing on those with large numbers of incarcerated persons who were adjudicated out of Hillsborough County. Crusade schedules are available upon request and you must be approved by Florida Department of Corrections as a volunteer to travel with the Ministry on our Crusades. Family Reconciliation Trips extend beyond the 120-mile radius and concentrate on institutions with significant numbers of incarcerated persons who were adjudicated outside of Hillsborough County. If you would like to visit your incarcerated loved one, please see our Family Reunification page for a schedule and list of locations.
Abe Brown Ministries has a respected record of directly delivering services to offenders and their families. Post-release services to offenders include crisis counseling, a food pantry and supportive service referrals. Our Ministry is a partner of the C.H.I.P.S Collaborative (Children in Hillsborough with Incarcerated Parents) which addresses the needs of offenders’ children through supportive services and structured visitations with incarcerated parents.
In addition, our Ministry has replicated the nationally-recognized Ready4Work program designed to provide holistic workforce training and job placement services through case management, life and job skills training, life-coaching (mentoring), job placement assistance and data tracking. Abe Brown Ministries also operates the Transitional Living Program (TLP), a 12-month program that provides returning offenders with managed housing, case management, direct linkages to supportive services and employment placement assistance.