Former FBI ‘Most Wanted’ to speak at SNU

Prison Fellowship will host a state-wide Angel Tree Rally featuring founder Mary Kay (Beard) Mahaffey, Friday, August 20, in Cantrell Hall on the campus of Southern Nazarene University, located just north of 39th and Peniel. (The Prison Fellowship banner will be posted in the parking lot with directional arrows pointing the way to Cantrell Hall.) The rally begins at 7:00 p.m. and concludes at 8:30 p.m.

Some of the forgotten victims of crime are the little children of inmates who are left without a father or mother, through no fault of their own. Angel Tree, a ministry of Prison Fellowship, strives to help break this potential cycle of children following in their parent’s footsteps in many ways, but the initial start is by sharing unconditional love with them at Christmas.

Each year in early fall, incarcerated dads and moms can sign up to have church volunteers deliver gifts, with consent of the guardians, to their children at Christmas. The Christmas gifts are presented as being from the mom or dad in prison, assuring the children that they haven’t been forgotten.

This all started when Mary Kay (Mahaffey) Beard robbed a bank and ultimately became one of the FBI’s “Most Wanted.” After her capture, Mary Kay made a Christian commitment while in prison. During her incarceration, Mary Kay watched inmates wrap small tubes of toothpaste, bars of soap, and bottles of shampoo to give to their children for Christmas presents.

Mary Kay states, “You see, children don’t care about things if they know they are first of all loved.” From this experience, Angel Tree was started, and in 2003 nearly 600,000 children received gifts with the total number of children reaching 6 million since Angel Tree was founded in 1982.

For more information, contact Prison Fellowship Field Director Don Duncan at 405.752.8029. For more information about Angel Tree, visit www.angeltree.org.