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March 05, 2018 10:03 PM

A Unique Journey To Becoming A Chaplain

Rapid City, SD

Jail chaplains spend their time helping those behind bars. In Pennington County, one chaplain became inspired while serving time himself.  

Quincy Good Star has spent his fair share of time at the Pennington County Jail, lately as a chaplain.

"I usually go there when somebody requests, requests some council, they will email me and let me know somebody is asking for me and then I will go," Pennington County Jail Chaplain and Pastor at the Miracle Center, Quincy Good Star said.

However, he wasn't always spending his time on this side of the jail.

"I was in the Pennington County jail back then multiple times, and 6 months here, a few days here, a few days there, couple weeks there, a week there," Good Star said.

Good Star has since turned his life around, serving not only as a chaplain, but also a pastor at the Miracle Center in Rapid City. Good Star credits the help from a chaplain he met during his time behind bars.

"I was in jail at that time facing a few felonies and he came up to me and I had some stitches in my lip, and he said to me, if you put some Vaseline on that, it would heal faster. As he walked away, I wondered why does he even care, why did he care to talk to me or even give me that advice," Good Star said. 

A small gesture of care that meant a lot to Good Star.

"The next time he came into the cell block, I went and talked to him. We kept in contact while I was in prison, I got out, became active in his church and became one of the ordained elders in his church," Good Star said

Now Good Star spends his time helping others.

"I know what it feels like to be on the other side and just to be able to play a small role and lending another hand, like somebody lent to me, it's a blessed privilege," Good Star said.

"Sometimes people don't want to talk to a correctional officer the same way they want to talk to a person of faith or someone they're able to connect with. Having people in our community that have more knowledge and a better way of understanding at a different level," Pennington County jail Support Sergeant Casey Munsch said.

Good Star also appreciates the work of the jail staff.

"Hats off to the jail staff because they genuinely do not want people to return and are doing everything they can to get people to not return," Good Star said.

"The more people that can stay out and be a productive part of our community, the better, that's our goal, to make sure people leave here better than they came," Munsch said.

 As for the future, Good Star hopes to serve as an example, not only as a pastor but also as a chaplain.

"My hope is that maybe someone that I reach and that I talk to at the jail, maybe things will come full circle again and one day they will be a chaplain at the jail," Good Star said.

Good Star also brings in a DVD of his sermon each week for inmates to watch at the Pennington County Jail.

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