Good Friday is a day for lament. Jeannie Alexander speaks to the sorrow of prison while at the same time speaks words of hope and restoration about the future. This conversation is tough, but it’s one of the best interviews I have ever had and my heart and mind are still wrestling with our conversation.
This interview with Jeannie Alexander was recorded in the 4th Story Theatre at West End UMC Wednesday night event called Current.
Jeannie Alexander served as the Head Chaplain at Riverbend Maximum Security Institution for three years until September 2014. Prior to that, she was the volunteer chaplain for two years. As chaplain, she facilitated the creation of an unprecedented number of programs for insiders, both in minimum security and on “death row.” Before this, she worked as an attorney, but left the practice of law to become a community organizer and to complete a graduate degree in theology and ethics. As an educator, she’s been a professor of philosophy, ethics, and religion. As a pastor, she’s served and developed interfaith communities in prison based on a model of liberation theology, as well as served as co-pastor to Mercy Community Church, a congregation where 85% of the members were experiencing homelessness. She is the co-founder of Amos House and Open Table Nashville and was a writer for and sat on the board of The Contributor for several years. Two of her essays are published in And The Criminals With Him, and she features significantly in the documentary Tent City, U.S.A., available on Netflix. She lectures and preaches frequently on the topics of mass incarceration as slavery, mandatory sentencing, and the death penalty. She understands the Gospel as a manifesto for radical liberation now on earth and an invitation to experience God through the living presence of others.To read the Scripture story of
The Gerasene Demoniac read Mark 5:1-17 and Luke 8:26-37
More about prison reform can be found at No Exceptions.