A Chaplain listens, cares and responds to the needs of all inmates. They pray with prisoners, conduct baptisms, funerals, attend to the sick, provide counseling, ministry, and prepares a person to accept their hour of death. Chaplain Smallwood is the only female State Chaplain. There are approximately 900 women at Tutwiler, which includes a death row population.

Chaplain Smallwood functions in an environment that is frequently changing and one that has many belief systems, to include atheists and agnostics, and is culturally diverse. There is much a Chaplain does, but you get the idea of, what kind of person it takes to perform this duty at a maximum security prison, with a death row population.

The Chaplain sees these inmates as daughters, sisters, wives, and mothers, children of God. This is who Jesus died for. He died for sinners like you, me and these women.

I just finished my second training/certification class, which enables me to minister at Tutwiler. Chaplain provides this training. It is evident, in the hours I am there, just how much she cares about these women. She has a mindset to do the best she can to change their hearts and ways. She knows these women, they know her. Many a tear has been cried on this Chaplain’s shoulders. She is trying to teach others that, these prisoners need to be helped, not further torn down. She doesn’t have to, but she does, ensure the inmates are taught about etiquette, hygiene, how to carry themselves, and prepare them for the outside world. Some have been incarcerated many years and do not know the outside world as it is now. Some don’t know about cell phones, computers, barcodes, scanners, many things we take for granted.

Chaplain Smallwood, through her loving presence, offers hope, healing and strength to those who strive to understand their lives through a faith filled perspective. It is part of their healing, for the inmates to be empowered, to find their own spiritual way, and it takes a Chaplains heart, to accomplish that. Chaplain Smallwood definitely has a Chaplain’s heart.

Chaplain tells the women on death row “We will all die for our sins”. The difference is in how we die. These women are in lock up 23 hours a day. Chaplain tells them, “We are all on death row… everyone has to die”. The Chaplain is these inmates only outreach. With the Chaplain’s weekly bible study and ministry, she gives these women as much of a lifeline as she can.

Christ lives in prison just as He lives in our churches. Thanks to Chaplain Smallwood, I’m sure many souls have been saved from those gates of hell. Because of Chaplain’s efforts, I’m sure many have accepted Jesus as Lord, and left the prison never to return.

Chaplain has great compassion for these women. There are many other ways to minister, but she chose to help these women, that are so in need of God’s Word. In her service to these women of Tutwiler, she is being used as a vessel of Christ’s compassion. She is one of God’s weapons against the forces of evil.

This type of ministry forces you to see, what satan is doing, as he is going to and fro in the earth, walking up and down in it, searching for those he may attack. It is eye opening to the depths of evil in this world. Satan is serious and these women of Tutwiler are his target. He wanted to kill them but the Lord’s mercy has them in a place where they can hear about Jesus and eternal life.

Chaplain helps those who will let her. For those that allow her to penetrate their hard hearts, with God’s Word, she has been instrumental in many of these women never having the need for further incarceration. She is instrumental in helping these inmates to right wrongs, to pray, and obtain forgiveness, through Jesus Christ.

Thank you Chaplain Smallwood, for all your heart felt efforts for these women. Thank you for all the thankless days you have. I know these women are the “forgotten ones”, but you didn’t forget. They are “without hope”, but you give them hope through your ministering to them. Thank you for praying with them, and studying the Bible with them. Jesus sees what you are doing for these lost souls, and He blesses you.

God Bless. Heal the broken-hearted, bind up all their wounds.