Local News

Duke Divinity Student Preaches, Listens To Keep Others Out Of Trouble

Posted February 28, 2006

— Preaching to prisoners, counseling people on the brink of death and keeping kids out of trouble are all heavy topics and tough tasks. Landon Adams is an ordinary man making extraordinary efforts in each of those areas.

Adams is a Duke University Divinity student who volunteers at the federal prison in Butner. Sometimes he preaches, sometimes he just listens. He recently finished a stint counseling prisoners who are terminally ill and dying.

"I got to really hear people's stories. People could share things with me in ways they didn't normally get to because people just didn't have time to sit with them for hours on end," Adams said.

Adams also volunteers with Hospice.

"It's heavy, but also it's sort of the philosophy of Hospice that it's not about death. It's about life," Adams said. "When you're able to confront the realities of death, you're able to live life as long as you can."

Adams said some of his most important public service is with the Lost Generation Task Force. It is working on prison reform and keeping young black men on the straight and narrow.

"It's interesting to have been on the one side a chaplain, intern in the prison system and now fighting to keep people out of prison," Adams said.

"When I think of Landon, I think of energy, youth, commitment, passion for people, especially for young people," said the Rev. David Forbes Sr. of the Lost Generation Task Force.

"I think that's part of the calling God has given me -- that if you're willing and faithful to do the work God will give you the strength and guidance needed," Adams said.

The Butner prison named Adams its Volunteer of the Year for 2005. He is also a chaplain in his fraternity serving on the local, regional and state levels.

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