published Thursday, January 2nd, 2014

Prison ministry leader named Baptist of the Year

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Baptist Center for Ethics' website has named the leader of a Nashville-based prison ministry its "Baptist of the Year" for 2013.

Linda Leathers is the CEO of The Next Door. The nonprofit provides programs to help formerly incarcerated women start over. They include job training, mental health and substance abuse treatment, and parenting classes.

The Next Door has helped more than 1,500 women over the past decade. The group now has residential transition centers in Nashville, Knoxville and Chattanooga. executive editor Robert Parham said in a news release that "Leathers represents the best of the goodwill Baptist tradition" because she is "rooted in the Bible with a commitment to social justice and mercy ministries."

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