Hope for Healing Ministries, Inc., is an holistic movement to honor, remember and minister to the victims of violent crime in Texas and includes plans to establish a Victim Memorial and Ministry Center in Huntsville.

For centuries, victims of crime have been treated as incidental to the process of justice. Their unique needs and the resulting impact on their families and communities in which they live often have been overlooked as we have sought to address other areas of criminal justice. Yet, conservative estimates are that 86% of all Americans can expect to become the victims of crime in their lifetime. In Texas alone there are over 110,000 registered victims and their family members in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice victim database - and every 3.5 minutes there is a new victim of crime in Texas. Without a victim, technically there is no crime. However, we know well that there is no crime without at least one victim.

A Biblical approach to criminal justice must include the concept of restoration - for all involved. Restorative Justice ministries recognize that crime is not simply a violation of the laws of the state or society but that crime produces a rupture in lives and in relationships. Restorative Justice principles seek solutions which promote restitution, restoration and healing in lives where harm has occurred. beginning with the primary victim of the crime, and his/her family members also impacted. Ministry to victims of crime is at the heart and soul of restorative justice.

In 1986, Texas Baptists led out in ministry to prison inmates and their families by including the concept of hospitality houses and visitor centers in faith-based Restorative Justice ministries. Designed to minister to the needs of the families of inmates who often have to travel great distances to be able to visit with their loved ones in a Texas prison, there are now over 15 houses and visitor centers organized since the first hospitality house was built in Huntsville, Texas in 1988.

Then, in May, 2003, Texas Baptists stepped forward with a commitment to assist in the development of the first Texas "hospitality house" for victims as well.

There is currently no such facility for victims and their families. During the first six months of 2007, there were 18 executions in Texas, with victim witnesses coming to Huntsville for each one. Victims, when coming to Huntsville for business with TDCJ, stay in public facilities and are thus vulnerable to the media and public - especially during executions. It is time do for crime victims and their families what we have offered in ministry to the families of the offenders. It is time to provide an environment of safety and refuge for the victims.

Thus, in strategic alliance with the Restorative Justice ministries of the Baptist General Convention of Texas and other faith communities, Hope for Healing Ministries, Inc. seeks to establish the Victim Memorial Center in Huntsville, to provide hope for the healing journey, for victims of violent crime, because it is time.

Our Vision and Mission

The Victim Memorial Center will seek to provide Christ-like hope for the healing journey for victims of violent crime, in an environment through which physical, emotional and spiritual needs of crime victims and their families can be met.

The Victim Memorial Center will include:

The Victim Memorial Center will be an holistic environment, for ministry, resources, training, care and the honoring of memories. Hope for Healing Ministries, Inc., is led by the following core beliefs:

Current board members of Hope for Healing Ministries, Inc.

President: Dwayne Wheat (Pastor, Berea Baptist Church, Big Spring)
Vice President: Jim Brazzil (Victim Services, Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Huntsville);
Secretary/Treasurer: Jimmie Phagan (Attorney, Dallas);
At-Large: David Cooke (Minister of Education, FBC Devine); Jim Young (Community Justice Consultant, Dallas)
Director: Susan Edwards, Licensed Professional Counselor