In the ancient world, a keryx, or “herald” was someone sent by his master to proclaim in public the master’s message. He dared not change the announcement because it was not his own. His responsibility was only to proclaim it accurately.
The candidates (male inmates) participate in a weekend retreat (Thursday evening to Sunday afternoon) inside the facility. They then attend weekly reunion meetings on Friday evenings to continue to grow in their faith.
Two weekends a year (fall and spring) are held at Gowanda Correctional Facility. Each weekend includes 42 candidates, 10 to 12 stewards (helpers who made a previous weekend), and about 25 male volunteer team members who spend all day in the prison but leave at night. The team also includes over a dozen volunteers (men and women) back at the nearby church who serve in a support role: praying for the candidates, preparing notes and gifts for the candidates, and preparing some of the meals for the inside team.