Testimonials

Many families benefit from the wide range of services that Abe Brown Ministries provides. Below are a few examples of how the Ministry gives hope.

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A Story of Redemption

Floyd LaFountain wasn’t the shooter, but he was sentenced to life in prison without parole as a teen for his involvement in a home invasion and robbery that turned deadly.

Over two decades after the attack, the Supreme Court said it was unconstitutional to sentence juveniles to life without parole. Soon after, a Hillsborough circuit judge set him free. Floyd was 39 years old.

Abe Brown Ministries assisted Floyd with housing, job training and comprehensive reentry support to help him get back on his feet and back into society.

Floyd is currently employed as a mechanic in Tampa Bay,
Abe Brown Ministries Services Participant

“Abe Brown Ministries gives me the opportunity to speak to my husband, and to get past what has happened, and to enable forgiveness.”

The visits help me to get closure on his crime and look forward to being able to get a better picture of what the future will hold for us.

My son is 9 and he has not seen his Dad since he was 4, but he is able to speak with him. There is so much of his growing up years that his father missed…riding his bicycle, playing on the football team.

Through this situation, I have lost a lot, and am trying to keep a roof over our heads. The ability to travel to see him gives me peace that a portion of our lives are being restored.

Grace Bennet Jackson,
Family Reunification Participant

“I have come a long way from where I was to where I am now. It has been a very long journey, but I have been truly blessed by God.”

At the age of 16, Talmedge Hayes was given multiple life sentences and spent 27 years in prison for his role in several robberies.

The Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) began representing Talmedge in 2010, after the United States Supreme Court recognized that children should not be sentenced like adults and declared life without parole in non-homicide cases like his to be unconstitutional.

Upon his release on April 1, 2016, he enrolled into Abe Brown Ministries’ Ready4Work-Hillsborough program and is currently employed as a printing press operator in South Florida.

Talmedge Hayes,
Ready4Work-Hillsborough Graduate

“Abe Brown Ministries is a great service for me and my
grandchildren to visit with their mother.”

It is a wonderful opportunity for those who have incarcerated family. They help you reconnect with them through Video Visitation, take us to the prison and provide a meal that day; we have a lovely time! Anything that is needed, Abe Brown Ministries will do its best to help. They go the extra mile for you to help with your needs for your family.

The program has helped my grandchildren tremendously. It has given them a chance to see, visit and talk with their mother. At first, they were very quiet, but now they look forward to their visits. They have a good time! I am waiting on the next trip. It is an excellent gift from the Ministry.

They are doing a wonderful job – can’t get any better! I will continue in the program until my daughter is released, and that won’t be any time soon. I have been telling people about their services.

Rosalinda Davis, Family Reunification Participant
Grandmother and Caregiver

Sentenced to life at age 16. Released from prison at age 57.

I was sentenced to life in prison at the age of 16. After serving 40 years on that sentence before being released, my greatest fear is not being here to raise my daughter, Genesis.

She is my new beginning in life.

Clinton Gholson, Former Inmate 063756
Served 40 years, 1 month, 3 weeks = 14,667 days

“Thank God for Abe Brown Ministries; I am so grateful.”

Abe Brown Ministries enabled me and my granddaughter to have the opportunity to not just see my daughter but to talk with her. If it wasn’t for the [Reunification] Program I would not be able to speak with her and see her on Mondays.

I think this is a great program, and I hope it continues to grow with more and more people who are not aware of this program that need this opportunity for their grandchildren or the caregivers to participate in this program.

Bonnie Smitterman, Family Reunification Participant
Grandmother and Caregiver

“This ministry is extremely essential to the community, and to me!”

It has given a refuge and a place to dash!

At the age of 90, I am not certain just how full of life I would be without having this place, that is full of life and love, and a pleasure to come to.

For over 25 years, I have seen many situations and circumstances, and God has given them the wherewithal to supply many needs and redirect many lives.

The Late Mr. Richard F. Fuller, 25-Year Volunteer
Retired Principal

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