Gregory Fake, assistant producer for the award-winning Lifetime television program, Balancing Act, shares his personal side through talking with Community Blog Online about prison ministries.
Community Blog Online: Thank you for joining us. Please tell our readers how you got involved with prison ministries.
Gregory Fake: I am a deacon at my church and prison ministry is a big part of our church mission.
Community Blog Online: Prison ministry must be difficult; can you describe a bit about your first impressions of the prison environment and the inmates?
Gregory Fake: Prison is a very different world. For anyone who has never been on the inside, it can be startling. The inmates were intimidating at first, but this changed as I became better at my counseling and better at understanding their needs.
Community Blog Online: What services do you and your partners provide to inmates?
Gregory Fake: Mainly, we do a lot of listening and reminding inmates that they are loved and there is hope.
Community Blog Online: Talk more about the counseling provided to inmates…
Gregory Fake: The people I meet in jail and prison have suffered tremendous hardships in their lives; I am there to help them deal with their demons, while creating a path to a brighter day through spiritual work.
Community Blog Online: What do you do for the families of inmates?
Gregory Fake: I am in the prison regularly and am available to families who might need advice and reassurance.
Community Blog Online: Is it difficult for prisoners to see the brighter side of life?
Gregory Fake: Of course. Some of these men are wracked with guilt for the pain they have caused in others and don’t believe they are worthy of forgiveness. I remind them that forgiveness is for everyone.
Community Blog Online: What have you learned about yourself since becoming involved with prison ministry?
Gregory Fake: The men I have met in jails and prisons are so honest and open about their challenges. They have taught me to face challenges in my own life with more honesty.
Community Blog Online: How does this ministry help inmates deal with their criminal past?
Gregory Fake: Forgiveness is a huge first step for inmates. Once they accept that they are forgiven, they begin to move forward.
Community Blog Online: Do inmates always continue on that path forward?
Gregory Fake: Unfortunately, no. I wish it were that easy. It is painful to watch someone who has come so far, someone I have come to know and care about, fall back into addiction or criminal behavior. But we are all human and setbacks are part of the plan, so I cannot let that deter me from my passion to serve the other inmates.
Gregory Fake lives with his wife and children in Florida. Prior to becoming a television producer, Gregory Fake worked as a business consultant for Fortune 500 companies and as a banking attorney.