By: Tony McCray
The Pensacola Pastors of Power II gospel musical performance provided a great example of the type of the tremendously strong community and faith-based support network that Another Chance Transitional Services or ACTS has in the Pensacola community. ACTS strives to provide comprehensive, coordinated, and necessary services essential to re-integrating ex-offenders back into our community and simultaneously raise funds for their proposed Dream Again Center. The Pensacola Pastors of Power II exceeded the expectations of its founder and executive director, Leon Rankins, as Englewood Baptist Church had standing room only available soon after the start of the event.
For example the level of the faith-based community’s support can be also measured by the pastors that performed: Pastor Larry Watson, Jr., Englewood Baptist Church; Dr. James Miller, First Baptist of Warrington; Pastor Charles Thomas, St. James Baptist Church; Apostle Jerome Kidd, El Bethel Word of Truth; Pastor Robert Lewis, Emmanuel Baptist Church; Apostle Bruce Gulley, Powerhouse Assembly of God; Pastor David Johnson, New Tabernacle Baptist Church; Bishop E.L. Locke, Pleasant Hill Baptist Church; Pastor Anthony Smiley, City of David Church; Pastor John Smith, Ebenezer Church; Pastor Ronald Sanders, Rhema Church of the Living God; Bishop Jeffery Bolden, City of Refuge Bible Center; and the program’s host, Bishop Leon Rankins III.
The ultimate goal of the ACTS Program is to assist re-integrating ex-offenders with their efforts to rebuild their lives. The program, also, provides comprehensive and coordinated services strategic to the reintegration of former incarcerated individuals. They strive to insure that all convicted felons have the necessary support they need in order to begin a successful and productive life after their release from jail or prison.
ACTS provides the following services: 1.) Employment Assistance: ACTS has an employment network composed of businesses willing to hire convicted felons! Once the former offender completes the intake process at the ACTS Life Center, he or she is placed into the ACTS Employment Database along with their work history and other work related skills. 2.) ACTS Support Groups: The ACTS Support Group meets every Tuesday at 6pm at the ACTS Life Center. Additionally, ACTS holds monthly seminars and training sessions focused on: job readiness, interviewing, personal appearance, family dynamics, social integration, communication skills, and entrepreneurship.
However, it is the capital campaign to raise a minimum of $500,000 for the construction of the ACTS Dream Again Center that is also the focus of Bishop Rankins at this time. Bishop Rankins stated in an interview with the Gulf Coast Voice that, “This center will meet the needs of the many men and women who are reintegrating back into society facing the desire to become productive citizens after being released from incarceration. The community support for this center will strengthen our ongoing efforts to transform the lives of these individuals and will enable them to have a bright future. We can make a difference in our community together”! Another Chance Transitional Services (ACTS) was founded in the fall of 2012. Its doors opened officially in the Spring of 2013 at 2725 North E Street in Pensacola, Florida. The offices are now located at 2101 N. Pace Blvd. and for more information or to make a donation you may contact Bishop Rankins at (850) 437-9900.