What is Kairos?

Hays Praise members are involved in Kairos primarily at two units in Gatesville, the women's Lane Murray Unit and the men's Hughes Unit. Some Hays Praise members have also served on Kairos teams at the Lockhart unit. Lane Murray and Hughes each have 2 Kairos weekends per year, one in the spring and one in the fall. New volunteers are always needed and welcomed. Read below to find out more!

If you are interested in getting involved in Kairos, contact the Hays Praise Kairos representative, Dave Sutherland, at 512-940-7244 or davees@aol.com

What is Kairos?

Kairos is a continuing prison ministry launched with the presentation of a 3-day short course in Christianity in a correctional institution. Beginning with a spiritual introduction on Thursday evening, the course runs from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

The short course is offered, in cooperation with the Chaplain, by an inter-denominational team of some 50-55 men (or women in a women’s institution) made up of both clergy and lay persons drawn from the area surrounding the institution. It is attended by 42 carefully selected leaders chosen by the Chaplain from the residents of the institution.

The purpose of Kairos is the building of strong Christian communities within the environment of correctional institutions. That is done through the impact of small, share and prayer groups of residents in the institutions. These groups meet weekly to share their lives on a very deep spiritual level and to pray for one and other and for the residents and the staff.

Usually all 42 residents attending a Kairos weekend will have a major conversion experience during the weekend. For some, its effect with last only a day or two, for some a week or two, for some a month or two. For most, however, it will prove to have a life-changing experience of permanent impact.

The primary continuing ministry of Kairos is from resident to resident and occurs in small share and prayer groups which meet weekly.

Team members who work a Kairos team make a commitment to return to that prison once a month for a reunion with the residents. It is a time of sharing, of instruction, of worship, of fellowship, of renewal and strengthening… for both outmates and inmates.

Kairos weekends, with their subsequent 2-day retreats, take place every six months once the ministry is launched in an institution. After these small groups have been meeting regularly and participating in the ongoing worship and activities of the institution’s chaplaincy program for about 12 months, members of the group suddenly find their peers in the “negative” subculture, in which they have been leaders, coming up to them and saying, “Man, I don’t know what it is you’ve got, but I want it!”… and they then introduce their friend to Christ and the Christian community work of Kairos.

Even though prison sentences in the United States are long in comparison with other countries, most inmates will return to society in less than three years. Ninety-six percent of them will eventually be walking the same streets which we walk.

For a variety of reasons, from 30 to 70 percent of those released will return to prison again. Continuing studies being carried out in South Carolina, Texas, Colorado and California indicate dramatic reductions in the recidivism rate among those residents who have experienced Kairos.

Brief History of Kairos
Kairos dates its history back to its first weekend in 1976 at UCI at Raiford, Florida. Kairos is now active in 25 states, England and Australia. The ministry is active in 165 prisons and has 11 Kairos Outside ministries for wives and mothers. More than 95,000 incarcerated men and women have been introduced to the Christian community that is Kairos and the current rate of introduction exceeds 10,000 per year. Kairos is widely recognized as the most effective program available to positively change basic attitudes of the incarcerated.

For additional information, see the Kairos Home Page at kairosprisonministry.org


The focus of Emmaus is God as known in Jesus Christ and how that finds expression in the local church. The objective of Emmaus is to inspire, challenge, and equip local church members for Christian action in their homes, churches, and places of work.