While Gospel Express Ministries has its roots on the East Coast, the national evangelistic ministry for prisoners continues to draw support from across the nation.

Scotland County will once again show its support for the ministry with the annual barbecue fundraiser and benefit auction, scheduled for Friday, March 29th.

The chicken barbecue will start at 5:30 p.m. under the tents in the parking lot of the Scotland County Livestock Auction on Highway 15. The free-will offering meal will feature all of the fixings.

Then at 7 p.m. the benefit auction will begin. Donations include livestock, tools, household items and much more.

All of the proceeds from this year’s auction will be used to place Bibles, Bible study courses and other discipleship materials into the hands of prisoners all across the country.

In the Bible, Matthew 25: 34-40 says: “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

It was with this belief that Gospel Express Ministries was born in 1984 in Lancaster, PA. The group later relocated to South Carolina in 2000, where it is headquartered today.

The primary focus of the group was prison ministry, as it remains today. Gospel Express performs two annual prison crusades in South Carolina and Florida, offering personal interaction with those incarcerated, offering them prayer, hope, and love.

Gospel Express has expanded to include community tent crusades, support chaplaincy programs, comprehensive Bible study correspondence courses, and a New Testament ministry to prisoners in the U.S. and Canada. Further facets of the ministry include a daily radio commentary, a recording ministry and in 1997 an international ministry to the African countries of Ghana, Uganda and Kenya.

A key component of the organization is its musical ministries. A number of groups support the ministry through concerts and sales of recordings.

One of those acts, the Mel Stoltzus Family, will be in Memphis on Thursday, March 28th for a concert at Ignite Ministries on the east side of the Memphis square. The performance will start at 7:15 p.m. No tickets are required. The concert is a free-will offering with the proceeds to also help further the prison ministries.