Chuck Colson is chairman of the board of Prison Fellowship Ministries, an outreach to prisoners, ex-prisoners, victims of crime, and their families. Chuck served as special counsel to President Richard Nixon from 1969 to 1973. In 1974, he pleaded guilty to charges related to Watergate and served seven months in prison. God used that prison experience to lead Chuck to found Prison Fellowship in 1976. Today, more than 225 Prison Fellowship employees and 50,000 volunteers are used to transform lives across the country. Prison Fellowship International links prison ministry groups in 88 countries around the world. In 1993 Chuck was the recipient of the Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion.
He is a highly respected author, speakerand columnist and his daily radio commentary, BreakPoint with Chuck Colson can be heard across the country on 436 radio stations and 1,036 broadcast outlets. Among his many best-selling books areThe Body, Loving God, Kingdoms in Conflict, and Born Again, which details his experiences as President Nixon’s assistant, his conversion in the midst of Watergate, and his ordeal in prison. Chuck’s legacy book, How Now Shall We Live?equips Christians to articulate the truth of the gospel, live it accordingly, and give a defense of the truth to unbelievers. The Templeton Prize, and all speaking fees and book royalties are donated back to the ministry of Prison Fellowship.
Twenty-eight years ago, Charles W. Colson was not thinking about reaching out to prison inmates or reforming the U.S. penal system. In fact, this aide to Richard Nixon was “incapable of humanitarian thoughts,” according to the media of the mid-seventies. Colson was known as the White House “hatchet man,” a man feared by even the most powerful politicos during his four years of service to President Nixon. When news of Colson’s conversion to Christianity leaked to the press in 1973, the Boston Globe reported, “If Mr. Colson can repent of his sins, there just has to be hope for everybody.” Colson would agree. He admits he was guilty of political “dirty tricks” and willing to do almost anything for the cause of his president and his party.
In 1974 Colson entered a plea of guilty on Watergate-related charges; although not implicated in the Watergate burglary, he voluntarily pleaded obstruction of justice, a felony, based on his general participation in White House “dirty tricks.” He entered Alabama’s Maxwell Prison in 1974 as a new Christian and as the first member of the Nixon administration to be incarcerated for Watergate-related charges. He served seven months of a one- to three-year sentence. Soon after his release in 1975, Colson and three friends launched Prison Fellowship in a small, rented Washington, D.C., office. Today, Colson serves as chairman of the Board of Prison Fellowship, one of the largest volunteer organizations in the world.
In the last 25 years, Colson has visited more than 600 prisons in 40 countries and, with the help of nearly 50,000 volunteers, has built Prison Fellowship into the world’s largest prison outreach, serving the spiritual and practical needs of prisoners in 93 countries including the U.S. Colson’s vision has grown to include ministering to the families of prisoners, to ex-prisoners, to victims of crime, and reforming the criminal justice system.
In recognition of his work, Colson received the prestigious Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion (in 1993). The $1 million prize, which Colson accepted on behalf of Prison Fellowship, was added to Prison Fellowship’s Endowment Fund.
Chuck Colson is considered one of America’s leading authorities on the causes of and responses to crime. He has addressed nearly half the state legislatures in America and has met with a majority of governors. He is a syndicated columnist and has contributed articles to magazines and newspapers such as the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, the Washington Post and the Chicago Tribune. Colson provides a daily radio commentary to a weekly listening audience of five million people and is a sought-after speaker.