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In Memory of Chuck Colson

1931-2012

Prison Fellowship organizations all over the world are mourning the death of Charles W. “Chuck” Colson, founder of Prison Fellowship in the US, who died on Saturday, 21 April, from complications resulting from a brain hemorrhage. Colson was 80.

Chuck Colson founded Prison Fellowship in the United States in 1976 following his release from prison after serving a sentence for a "Watergate" related crime. Prior to his imprisonment, he served as chief counsel for President Richard Nixon. During his imprisonment, Chuck had seen and experienced the difference that faith in Jesus Christ makes in the lives of people and he became convinced that the real solution to crime is found through spiritual renewal.

Three years after the formation of Prison Fellowship in the United States, representatives from similar organisations in England, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the Bahamas met to form Prison Fellowship International as an association of national Prison Fellowship organisations. Now, there are 124 national, independent PF organisations throughout the world.

 

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Read Prison Fellowship International's President and CEO Ron Nikkel's Conversatio Morum which reflects on Chuck's life and legacy here.

 

PF INTERNATIONAL ORGANISATIONS REMEMBER CHUCK COLSON:

 
Having served on the PFI Board for a number of years during Chuck’s period as Chairman, I admired his strong leadership style combined with a growing Christ-like gentleness and humility, as well as his wise counsel, breadth of vision, passion for restorative justice; and a widening breadth of fellowship with those from other orthodox Christian traditions.  Angus Creighton, Board Member PF SCOTLAND
 
 

We are very sorry for the passing away of Chuck.  We regret his departure.  But we Christians live in the hope of resurrection of the saints.  Chuck can be counted among them.  Our prayer are for consolation and strength for Patty, children, grandchildren and relatives. We cry out to God"..goor and faithful servant,  you were faithful in the little, I will put you on the high. Come into the joy of your Lord."  Amen

Dr.Carlos Lopez. PF PUERTO RICO

 

In the name of all members of Prison Fellowship Israel I would like to express our sympathy to the decease of the founder of PF and our brother Chuck Colson. We are sure that he will be well received, after a life of service and devotion. May his soul rest in peace.

We pray to the Holy Spirit, that He may console his family and all the sisters and brothers.   God bless you   Agnes Shehade, PF ISRAEL

 

We learnt of the passing of Chuck with shock. We shall remember a man who demonstrated to the world his passion, love and service to people in prison as taught by Christ and invited the whole world to share in this inspired mission.

May His Soul Rest In Peace.
  Rodrick Zalimba, PF MALAWI


IanEarnestClick here to read a letter from the Most Revd Ian Ernest, Bishop of Mauritius and Archbishop of the Province of the Indian Ocean




In the Pacific island cultures there is a saying when a great person dies, that…. a mighty tree of the forest has fallen.

Chuck’s faith in Christ in whom his hope was so deeply vested takes that lovely cultural picture a step further and enables us to say that …..the mighty tree will stand again !!!

We like so many have been blessed and inspired not only in prison ministry in our countries, but also in our personal commitments to Christ, by the utter majesty of Chuck’s testimony of God’s grace spoken into the entire world over 3 decades, and we are profoundly thankful to God for  Chuck’s strength and leadership.

Our prayers continue to be with Mrs Colson and the family at this time.

--The Pacific Regional Leadership Team on behalf of  PF Australia, PF CNMI Saipan, PF Fiji, PF Guam, PF New Zealand, PF Palau, PF Papua New Guinea, PF Solomon Islands, PF Tonga 


The members of Prison Fellowship Belize were saddened to learn of the death of Charles ("Chuck") Colson.  We send our deepest condolences to the family, and friends and we promise to keep them all in our prayers.  --Prison Fellowship Belize
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Medellín Colombia

Avatar Posted by Lacides Hernandez Alvarez at Apr 23, 2012 09:47 PM
Desde que escuché hablar de Chuck Colson me interesé en conocerle personalmente. Nadie que lo haya conocido de cerca pudo huir de la sensación de encontrarse frente a un hombre diferente. Eso era Charles Colson, un hombre distinto a los demás, creo sin temor a equivocarme que fue uno de los intelectuales que más vidas impactó. Se nos fue un hombre ejemplar que supo ganar la batalla de la fe y mantenerse en ella. Nuestro corazón está arrugado por su partida inesperada, pero alegre porque ha llegado a la meta con éxito. Ahora amo más que nunca a Prison Fellowship y quiero seguir el ejemplo que nos dio Chuck de vida cristiana.

Lácides Hernández
Presidente PF Colombia

camilito

Avatar Posted by German Roldan at Apr 24, 2012 01:32 PM
Se fue la persona a la cual muchas personas le debemos las gracias ya que a travez de su organizacion pudimos encontrar a DIOS a travez de sus obreros y transformar nuestras vidas y servirle ahora, que privilegio formar parte de Prison Fellowship y cada dia levantar en alto la bandera que el dejo amar al recluso.

German Roldan
Santa Marta - Colombia

In Memory of Chuck Colson

Avatar Posted by John Craik at Apr 24, 2012 01:32 PM
It was a privilege to know Chuck and to share in the early formation of Prison Fellowship in Australia. Chuck was a dear friend , a man of God with a vision from Heaven, and the willingness to follow the call of Jesus into the Prisons of the world.
An inspirational leader and a wonderful example of God's saving grace.
We thank God for Chuck' life , witness and service to the Lord Jesus he so dearly loved. Our sincere smypathy , love and prayers are extended to Patti and the family
John Craik

La partida de un hombre bueno

Avatar Posted by Rev. Luis Eliú Mussiett G. at Apr 24, 2012 05:50 PM
Ha partido un gran hombre..un varon que supo ganarle a la vida, a la adversidad, con humildad y tezon, logro ser redimido por Dios Padre a travez de la sangre de su Hijo Jesucristo y crear por amor un gran Ministerio Internacional en el que me enorgullezco de participar desde hace 26 años...pero tambien nos dejo otro gran hombre para continuar la senda y llevarnos a predicar el perdon que un dia recibimos a los presos del mundo, me refiero al Dr. Ronn Nikkel...Gracias a Dios por la vida del fundador y del heredero.

Condolences

Avatar Posted by Irenes Sanchez at Apr 24, 2012 08:33 PM
Since last Saturday there is a new star shinning in the sky. I am sure Jesus came to take Mr. Colson to the house he has prepared for angels like him. I have mixed feeling. On one side I am sad for his departure, but on the other side I know in FAITH that he is enjoying the great company of "Daddy God". I am asking for comfort for her beloved wife and children.
I keep the memories of having the happiness of meeting him and seeing satisfaction in his eyes when he visited the Callao Prison. My prayers will be with his family, and I will ask the "guys" to continue to pray.
Irene Sanchez, PF Peru

Remembering Chuck Colson

Avatar Posted by Lawrence Temfwe at Apr 24, 2012 09:31 PM
Chuck Colson’s courage and boldness has shaped my life as a follower of Christ. For many years I have followed his writings and his speeches. His message and the story of his life have continually pointed to the justice, compassion, mercy and transforming power of Christ. When international media remembers him for his role in “Watergate” they are not belittling what God has done in his life. They simply cannot comprehend why a person of such achievement and intellect would spend the second half of their life proclaiming the life, death and resurrection of Christ and the redemption available to all who trust Him as Savior and Lord. For those who don’t know Christ this kind of stewardship defies logic. But Colson understood that God, “chose the lowly things of world and the despised things-and the things that are not to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him.” (1 Cor1:28-29). He is the “foolish” person who simply accepted Christ’s offer of forgiveness. As a result of that decision he will spend eternity with God! May his family and the staff at Prison Fellowship USA, and around the world, know God’s peace as we celebrate the man God gave to us as a gift for the last 35 years.
Lawrence Temfwe Zambia

Condolences

Avatar Posted by 'MASEEISO ELIZABETH MATELA at Apr 25, 2012 01:11 PM
Ilearnt about the passing away of our father and beloved friend Mr. Charles Colson. I thank God for his life, I am now a better person because of Prison Fellowship. May God be with his family and all the Prison Fellowship family all over the world.

Maseeiso E. Matela - PF Lesotho

Precious memories

Avatar Posted by Ashley Crampton at Apr 25, 2012 01:12 PM
My memory of Charles [Chuck] Colson are precious - His influence with those in the prisons, people from all walks of life, and the world leaders has been a testimony and witness of his strong faith Chuck had in his Living Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. I remember the privilege of meeting him on several occasions and the inspiration and encouragement he shared with me will never be forgotten. My prayers and thoughts are with Patty and family - including the PFI family and friends - praying for God's comfort and strength to assist them through each day. Chuck is at peace with his Lord whom he faithfully loved and served.

Praying for you ALL.

Avatar Posted by Samuel Kawilila at Apr 25, 2012 01:12 PM
Our prayers are with the PFI & Chuck Colson's family at the passing of our dear brother and leader.
May the Lord be close to ALL.
sAMUEL

Our Condolonces

Avatar Posted by Rev. Richard Mbindawina at Sep 03, 2013 01:08 PM
IT IS INDEED SAD TO LEARN A BOUT THE PASSING ON OF OUR HERO AND THE MAN WHO HAS UNITED THE WORLD IN COMING TO GETHER AND SERVE GOD THROUGH PRISON FELLOWSHIP WE WILL MISS HIM. PF ZAMBIA

Precious memories

Avatar Posted by Ashley Crampton at Apr 25, 2012 01:13 PM
My memory of Charles [Chuck] Colson are precious - His influence with those in the prisons, people from all walks of life, and the world leaders has been a testimony and witness of his strong faith Chuck had in his Living Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. I remember the privilege of meeting him on several occasions and the inspiration and encouragement he shared with me will never be forgotten. My prayers and thoughts are with Patty and family - including the PFI family and friends - praying for God's comfort and strength to assist them through each day. Chuck is at peace with his Lord whom he faithfully loved and served.
New Zealand-Fiji Islands

When a great servant passed away

Avatar Posted by Rev. Willem-Henri den Hartog at Apr 25, 2012 04:18 PM
Charles Colson was the ultimate sign how our Lord God can moves in mysterious ways. That out of something bad comesm, through forgiveness byJesus Christus, something good. By Gods grace prison fellowship was founded! All sort of christians from all around the world shows what it means if classic christianity is put in pratice. May Chuck's legacy last till Christ comes back and may his lagecy and the Holy Spirit comfort the family.
Rev. Willem-Henri den Hartog, chairman Prison Fellowship Namibia

Un véritable leader s'en est allé

Avatar Posted by Samuel N'tcho at Apr 26, 2012 01:27 PM
La première fois que j'ai rencontré Chuck Colson, c'était aux Philippines pendant un Conseil Général de la FIP. Cette année 1997 là, il passait le témoin à celui qui l'a remplacé à la Présidence du Conseil d'Administration International de la FIP.
Le fondateur laissait sa place à quelqu'un d'autre, à un autre leader, de son vivant. Pour quelqu'un qui vient d'un continent où la transition de leadership est presque toujours un problème, j'ai toujours été marqué par cette ouverture d'esprit et l'humilité qui se dégage de la vie de Monsieur Colson. Chuck s'en est allé vers le Père laissant derrière lui un ministère vivant avec des membres travaillant dans le monde entier en faveur des plus nécessiteux de ce monde. Grâce à son caractère, son oeuvre lui survivra et le suivra.
Puisse le Seigneur de grâce consoler sa famille et tous ceux pour qui ce départ crée un vide difficile à combler.
Samuel et Stéphanie N'tcho, Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire.

CONDOLECIAS PARA LA FAMILIA COLSON

Avatar Posted by ERASMO RAMIREZ GUEVARA at Apr 26, 2012 01:27 PM
EL SENOR COLSON VIVE Y VIVIRA POR SIEMPRE A TRAVEZ DE SU MINISTERIO. LA CONFRATERNIDAD CARCELARIA DE HONDURAS CCH PATENTIZA A SU ESPOSA, HIJOS, NIETOS Y DEMAS FAMILIA LAS MUESTRAS DE PROFUNDO SENTIMIENTO DE PESAR POR SU DESAPARICION FISICA Y QUERESMOS EXPRESALES LO SIGUIENTS:

LA HISTORIA SE ESCRIBE DE RECUERDOS
RECUERDOS DE HECHOS RELEVANTES
SI HAY HUELLAS QUE FIJEN SU MEMORIA
NO PASAN AL ARCHIVO DEL OLVIDO.

CHARLES COLSON YA VIVE EN LA MEMORIA
DE AQUELLOS QUE SERVIMOS AL PRIVADO
SU NOMBRE EN LA HISTORIA SE AGIGANTE
SU HUELLA SE FIJA PARA SIEMPRE.

ERASMO RAMIREZ GUEVARA
PRESIDENTE CCHONDURAS

 

Condolecias

Avatar Posted by Gabriela Gómez Siles at Apr 27, 2012 07:31 PM
Tuve el honor de poder saludarle al Señor Colson en la convocatoria de la Confraternidad el año 2007 realizado en Canada; mi corazón latia de mucha emosión por que pude conocer a un Hijo de Dios que nos enseño hacer obedientes al llamado y poder llevar las buenas nuevas a las carceles.
                  ......Dios lo tenga en su Gloria....Amén

Gabriela Gómez Siles
Voluntaria CC Oruro- Bolivia

Chuck Colson - inspired and inspiring christian leader

Avatar Posted by Jean-Luc Rioult at Apr 30, 2012 02:12 PM
At the foundation meeting of PF Switzerland, in 1990, I had the honor to be placed for the dinner at Chuck Colson’s table. He than asked me, a young attorney-at-law in Zurich, to join the board of PF Switzerland. As I was then active with the IVCG (the Swiss branch of CBMC, a movement for christian business men), I declined. He replied: “Well, I have the feeling that we will meet again at Prison Fellowship”. A few years later, he was right - and Chuck Colson has always been for PF Switzerland and for me an inspiring example of a christian leader and personality.

May I express to Chuck Colson's family, so as to the staff and "family" of PFI, our condolences.

Jean-Luc Rioult, Zurich
(Past Chairman of PF Switzerland, International Delegate)

Condolências à familia de Chuck e PFI

Avatar Posted by Silvio Marques Neto at Apr 30, 2012 03:52 PM
Durante meus seis anos no Caucus de PFI,tive muita alegria de conviver com Chuck, com o qual muito aprendi. O espírito cristão desse nosso lider e fundador, até hoje serve como um farol guiando meus pensamentos rumo à evangelização dos presos.
A perda é imensa, mas tenho certeza de que agora estará ainda mais presente, espiritualmente, em nossas atividades. No próximo Congresso da APAC em julho, tenho certeza de que será reverenciado merecidamente.
Minhas preces à família, amigos e nossos dirigentes.
Silvio Marques Neto

Remembering Chuck Colson.

Avatar Posted by Benson N Iwuagwu at Apr 30, 2012 05:36 PM
When I read Ron's mail conveying Chuck's death,who I first met in Nairobi in 1986 during the 2nd PFI Convocation "The Unshakeable Kingdom";I reached for my copy of "Born Again" and read it through.That book was his annunciation and now the consummation has come,he has transited to glory.Striking parallels with Apostle Paul,when working for the establishment,he threw in every thing single mindedly and when the floods of Watergate changed the tide to working for the God of compassion,who cared for the voiceless,he was as resolute! Chuck has run a good race,he has kept the faith.Like the garments evidence of believers in Joppa to convince Peter of Tabitha's worth and work;124 national prison ministries,tells Chucks kingdom worth and work.
 Rest in Peace gallant Pilgrim of Zion, till the Resurrection morning.

A Great Source of Inspiration

Avatar Posted by Jacob Tsado at May 07, 2012 04:41 PM

One of the founding members of Prison Fellowship Nigeria became a committed Christian after reading Chuck Colson’s first book, Born Again. Colson’s radical conversion and his effervescent commitment to Jesus fired the imagination of the members of Prison Fellowship Nigeria right from inception. Around the prisons and palaces of Nigeria, the story of Chuck Colson’s imprisonment and transformation has been told over and over again, each time with the same wondrous theme: Christ’s power and grace to transform sinners to saints, water to wine, criminals to godly citizens. For us in Nigeria, the name Colson crystallizes all that Prison Fellowship stands for: compassion for prisoners and the down-trodden; wholeness and healing for individuals and relationships through Jesus; transformation and renewal of communities through restorative justice.

The Board and members of Prison Fellowship Nigeria deeply honour this icon of the faith, and pray for grace for his family at this hour of need. His memory leaves us even more inspired to “fight the good fight of the faith; to finish the race, and to keep the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7).

Jacob Tsado
Secretary General, Prison Fellowship Nigeria

CONDOLENCES ON BEHALF OF PF ANGLOPHONE AFRICA

Avatar Posted by Ethel Nhleko at May 07, 2012 06:00 PM
Chuck has completed his mission on planet honorably. He has crossed the finishing line in victory. His message and story touched so many lives. We have been impressed by his intellectual abilities and are proud to be associated with the organisation that bears his name as a founder. Our prayers continue to be with his wife Patty, family and friends especially those who worked closely with him. May God grant you all the fortitude to bear this irreplaceable loss.

MAY HIS SOUL REST IN PEACE.

Heartfelt Condolences

Avatar Posted by Ethel Nhleko at May 10, 2012 01:31 PM
The members of the Prison Fellowship Swaziland (PFS)Board and volunteers are at a lost for words over the passing away of our dear Chuck. We continue to pray for his family and all those who worked closely with him. Chuck has fought the good fight of faith. He finished the race in victory and has completed his mission on planet earth honorably. His legacy gives us courage to soldier on!!! Chuck will be greatly missed.

May his soul rest in peace.

Sent on behalf of PFS Board members and volunteers.
Prison fellowship Swaziland
P.O Box 5949
Mbabane

CHUCK COLSON STILL SPEAKS!

Avatar Posted by WAYNE RAJARAM at May 15, 2012 07:03 PM
We at Prison Fellowship Trinidad and Tobago are deeply saddened by the passing of Mr. Chuck Colson. We thank God for his faithful service to the "rejected" of this world. He has left an incredible legacy for all of us to emulate. And like Abel, Mr. Colson still speaks. Our prayers are with his family at this time.

Sent on behalf of the Board Members and Volunteers of PF Trinidad/Tobago
PO BAG 638
TUNAPUNA
TRINIDAD

Dr. Chuck Colson

Avatar Posted by Jayantha Senapatiratne at May 23, 2012 02:09 PM
I got to know about Dr. Chuck in 1980 when I started full time ministry and I got his book 'Born again' in a Salvation Army book shop in USA. I started to write to him and then met him at Amsterdam '83. He invited me to the 1st International Convocation in Belfast soon after the conference in Amsterdam. He visited Sri Lanka in 1985 and was able to see first hand the work done here. he visited one main prison and an open prison camp accompanied by the Commissioner of Prison Mr. Priya Delgoda. He also spoke the Senior prison officers. He had a public meeting to challenge them to get involved in prison ministry. In 1986 I was awarded the 1st trophy for 'excellence' which was handed at the convocation held in Nairobi, Kenya. Since then I met him many time at International Convocations and also in New Delhi.
I saw him as person who understood the hard work people do and also the difficulties people face doing prison ministry. I saw him as a humble servant of the Lord many times with plate standing in line for meals at conferences. I saw him as a person who had knowledge about the Word of God and also the current activities and situation in the world. He was a person who loved human beings both rich and poor, good and bad alike.
We will miss you.

tributes

Avatar Posted by MPK Kutty at Jul 23, 2012 01:10 PM
 I had the previlege of meeting him when he visited Delhi. Found him a committed Christian, a Bible scholar with a saintly nature and with an abundant fund of love for fellow human beings...

  He is widely read and his life and writings have touched people all over the world . When he came to Delhi he happened to take with him many copies of his cherished books and I had the previlege of having a few of them . Each of them, a blessing to the soul. His writings will live on influencing the world for Christ and His cross.

Chuck's life.

Avatar Posted by Dinesh Neupane at Sep 26, 2012 01:32 PM
Chuck was a great man of Prison Fellowship Ministry. His life impacted by many christian leaders. He is still alive in the memory of many people around the world, specially with Christan community. I honor him his life and legacy.

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Avatar Posted by CBEBPAWwSYk at Mar 04, 2013 07:38 PM
Thank you, John. That was inspirational. I've long known about & flweolod Dietrich Bonhoeffer's life and works, but this was new to me about Niemoller. I fear the days we are in right now in this country and in this world may soon give way to days such as those Bonhoeffer & Niemoller faced.Lord Jesus, come quickly!Dee

Condolências à familia de Chuck e PFI

Avatar Posted by Silvio Marques Neto at Sep 03, 2013 01:08 PM
Durante meus seis anos no Caucus de PFI,tive muita alegria de conviver com Chuck, com o qual muito aprendi. O espírito cristão desse nosso lider e fundador, até hoje serve como um farol guiando meus pensamentos rumo à evangelização dos presos.
A perda é imensa, mas tenho certeza de que agora estará ainda mais presente, espiritualmente, em nossas atividades. No próximo Congresso da APAC em julho, tenho certeza de que será reverenciado merecidamente.
Minhas preces à família, amigos e nossos dirigentes.
Silvio Marques Neto - Brasil

CONDOLENCES ON BEHALF OF PF ANGLOPHONE AFRICA

Avatar Posted by Ethel Nhleko at Sep 03, 2013 01:08 PM
Chuck has completed his mission on planet honorably. He has crossed the finishing line in victory. His message and story touched so many lives. We have been impressed by his intellectual abilities and are proud to be associated with the organisation that bears his name as a founder. Our prayers continue to be with his wife Patty, family and friends especially those who worked closely with him. May God grant you all the fortitude to bear this irreplaceable loss.

MAY HIS SOUL REST IN PEACE.

Dr. Chuck Colson

Avatar Posted by Jayantha Senapatiratne at Sep 03, 2013 01:08 PM
I got to know about Dr. Chuck in 1980 when I started full time ministry and I got his book 'Born again' in a Salvation Army book shop in USA. I started to write to him and then met him at Amsterdam '83. He invited me to the 1st International Convocation in Belfast soon after the conference in Amsterdam. He visited Sri Lanka in 1985 and was able to see first hand the work done here. he visited one main prison and an open prison camp accompanied by the Commissioner of Prison Mr. Priya Delgoda. He also spoke the Senior prison officers. He had a public meeting to challenge them to get involved in prison ministry. In 1986 I was awarded the 1st trophy for 'excellence' which was handed at the convocation held in Nairobi, Kenya. Since then I met him many time at International Convocations and also in New Delhi.
I saw him as person who understood the hard work people do and also the difficulties people face doing prison ministry. I saw him as a humble servant of the Lord many times with plate standing in line for meals at conferences. I saw him as a person who had knowledge about the Word of God and also the current activities and situation in the world. He was a person who loved human beings both rich and poor, good and bad alike.
We will miss you.

Dr. Chuck Colson

Avatar Posted by Jayantha Senapatiratne at Sep 03, 2013 01:09 PM
I got to know about Dr. Chuck in 1980 when I started full time ministry and I got his book 'Born again' in a Salvation Army book shop in USA. I started to write to him and then met him at Amsterdam '83. He invited me to the 1st International Convocation in Belfast soon after the conference in Amsterdam. He visited Sri Lanka in 1985 and was able to see first hand the work done here. he visited one main prison and an open prison camp accompanied by the Commissioner of Prison Mr. Priya Delgoda. He also spoke the Senior prison officers. He had a public meeting to challenge them to get involved in prison ministry. In 1986 I was awarded the 1st trophy for 'excellence' which was handed at the convocation held in Nairobi, Kenya. Since then I met him many time at International Convocations and also in New Delhi.
I saw him as person who understood the hard work people do and also the difficulties people face doing prison ministry. I saw him as a humble servant of the Lord many times with plate standing in line for meals at conferences. I saw him as a person who had knowledge about the Word of God and also the current activities and situation in the world. He was a person who loved human beings both rich and poor, good and bad alike.
We will miss you.

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Chuck Colson Photos