North Carolina Department of Correction news release

April 16, 1997

Correction Volunteer of the Year

Raleigh - Joseph Arnold Bryant, one of the founding fathers of the Caledonia volunteer movement has been named Volunteer of the Year by the Department of Correction.

"I commend Mr. Bryant for his unselfish support and tremendous dedication which spans three decades," said Correction Secretary Mack Jarvis at a Wednesday luncheon honoring prison volunteers.

Bryant, who teaches Sunday School and leads Bible study at Caledonia Correctional Institution in Tillery also volunteers at Odom Correctional Institution in Jackson. When an inmate raises a personal concern, Bryant listens and quickly finds the link between the inmate's concern and the scripture under discussion. He then shows the whole group their stake in that concern and skillfully brings the conversation back to the scripture lesson.

Bryant, from Roanoke Rapids, is a mentor for several rookie volunteers. His presence takes the edge off their initial concerns about being in a prison. "Bryant's guidance and assistance with new volunteers is like sowing seeds that will bear fruit for many years to come," said Henry Gregory, a chaplain at Caledonia.

Bryant was one of eighteen volunteers nominated for Volunteer of the Year in the Division of Prisons. Others recognized during the luncheon included Harvey Dunningham Barron, Foothills Correctional Institution; Virginia Wright Buchanan, Black Mountain Correctional Center for Women; Karen Campbell, NC Correctional Institution for Women; Daniel H. Cottrell, Haywood Correctional Center; Benny M. Church, Forsyth Correctional Center; Ernest Dansby, Craggy Correctional Center; Dexter Patrick Gibson, Sr., Southern Correctional Institution; Douglas W. Goforth, Iredell Correctional Center; Kenneth H. Griffith, Jr., Cabarrus Correctional Center; Simeon Khan Heninger, Orange Correctional Center; Maryella Ward Leigh, Currituck Correctional Center; Thomas E. Olliff, Jr., Alamance Correctional Center; Joyce A. Schaub, Goldsboro Correctional Center; Pannie Smith, Harnett Correctional Institution; Robert Edwin Smith, Morrison Youth Institution; Mack Junior Sowell, Johnston Correctional Center, Fran Sholar Wheeler, Columbus Correctional Institution.