Interview with Wayne Hicks

A Prison Fellowship volunteer now prison chaplain

Wayne is one of Prison Fellowship’s pearls of great price. What God has done in him and is now doing through him gives me a great deal of hope for prison ministry possibilities in Western Australia.  Wayne had a rough background himself and was a wild child growing up in South Africa. Through his ministry with Prison Fellowship, Wayne has been forged into a brave, dedicated, committed and compassionate minister to many prisoners across four prisons, and has now become a prison chaplain. He has played a pivotal role in helping establish the Transition 24 (post-release) program in WA.

The other day Wayne delivered a released prisoner to my house while he sought accommodation. As Wayne was leaving, we had a group hug and he led a passionate prayer for the man who had recently found God again. I thought, “This is the template of how prison chaplains and Prison Fellowship can work together; setting captives free one life at a time!” Despite setbacks, such as the pandemic, I am a “Prisoner of Hope” (Zechariah 9:12) not only because of the resurrection of our Lord but also because I can see God at work through people like Wayne. 

– Steve McKinnon, WA State Manager

How did you come to get involved in Prison Fellowship?

I was at a crossroads in my life, and was unsure about what God wanted for me. Sue from Prison Fellowship spoke at my church and I felt God say, “This is where I want you.” So I signed up.

What was the most significant experience you had had while at Prison Fellowship?

I saw God working without me doing very much at all. I just presented the gospel material and we actually saw God actively working and changing prisoners’ lives in front of our eyes. God was already at work bringing wholeness, healing and restoration even before we came.

What excites you about Prison Fellowship?

I see God not only working in prison with prisoners but there is an overflow into families and children and churches. Through Angel Tree, Camp for Kids, and when volunteers go back to church and report on what God is doing on the frontline, this renews the church. The scope of the ministry is way bigger than I had expected.

How has Prison Ministry changed and shaped you?

Prison ministry has given me a specific role and task. It has helped me become who I was intended to be. God has used my gifts and refined me. I am now more loving, compassionate, and understanding, I hope! Though you should probably ask my wife if she agrees!

How has God used Prison Fellowship in your journey now?

Prison Fellowship launched me into becoming a chaplain in prison. I am now a chaplain at a maximum-security prison, a remand centre, pre-release prison farm and a juvenile detention centre. I felt like I should work with youth 14 years ago and try to break the repetitive patterns and cycles at an earlier age. I want to open prison doors for Prison Fellowship volunteers and programs to share God’s love with prisoners and their families. I am honoured to be part of God’s ministry to help set captives free.