About Us: Who We Are | Leadership
Jail Chaplains exists to provide quality, caring, effective and professional ministry
to Cass County Jail inmates and Cass County law enforcement personnel.
In 1979, Cass County Sheriff Don Rudnick appointed Pastor Curt Frankhauser as a volunteer chaplain for the department.
Chaplain Frankhauser’s first tasks included helping deputies make death notifications and providing ministry to Cass County Jail inmates.
View the Cass County Jail, home of Jail Chaplains ministry.
A board was established with the help of five men with various professional backgrounds to begin the organization called Peace Officer/Jail Chaplains Association. Today the organization is known simply as Jail Chaplains. In May of 2006, POJCA received non-profit status from the IRS to receive donations.
The prisoner population continued to grow with a daily population ranging from 150-250 inmates. The POJCA board saw the need to have a full-time chaplain providing a daily ministry presence to the inmates and their families.
In April of 2007, Mike Sonju was hired to provide a full-time chaplaincy program. Chaplain Mike, along with other part-time volunteers, provide a wide range of Christian faith-based programs for both men and women inmates. These programs include bible studies, individual counseling, faith-based chemical dependency programs, mentoring, volunteer training and introducing the ministry to churches.
The Jail Chaplains has a benevolence fund that is maintained to help program graduates transition into the community after completing their sentence. This benevolence fund assists with rent, transportation costs, clothing and specialized tools to aid with employment.
Pastor Curt Frankhauser retired after 33 years of service. His faithfulness left the ministry on a firm foundation. Gerri Leach because the first full time Executive Director in January 2013.
Chaplain Elizabeth Williams joined Jail Chaplains as the Assistant Chaplain in January 2014. She will be expanding our ministry to females and taking the lead to communication with our wonderful volunteers.
Over 7,000 inmates pass through the Cass County Jail each year. Some inmates move on to State or Federal institutions. Chaplains in those institutions have told us, “We like receiving inmates from Cass County because many of the inmates say they first received Jesus in jail."