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Director of Early Release Programs: Tammy Porter

My Purpose

I have a "call" to be a Spiritual Mother, but am called to the title of Client Representative. I have been an employee of The Lovelady Center for eight years, and feel that I have the most important position - having been given the responsibility of overseeing the Alabama Department of Correction's Supervised Re-entry Program. This means that the women are still Alabama State Inmates though they are housed in our facility and in our program. They have less than 18 months left of their state sentence. I also have the priviledge of supervising parolees and court-ordered clients as well. Most of these ladies come through the door with a brown paper sack of minimal personal belongings and look to me for guidance and support


I am a Spiritual Mother for many women who have grown up with little or no Christian values. This is a brand new concept for so many of them. Often times, new believers have never experienced the joy of a healthy family, nor have they interacted with a loving mother. Some have been abused or abandoned by one or both of their parents, or have been the forgotten child of an addict. Many have broken hearts, having been passed on to relatives to live out their childhood, or sent through the foster care system.

I feel that my purpose is to give them the tools that they need to be successful in today's society. It is a priviledge to be able to have long-lasting friendships with these courageous ladies, even after they have long been gone from under my care.

Department Head Highlight: Joseph MeGahee

This summer at The Lovelady Center, I had the amazing privilege to work with our kids. We had over 100 school-aged children join us for "Freedom Rain Summer Program." Being with these kids day in and day out has given me new eyes for them. Throughout the summer, we have heard many different stories of where our kids have come from and the trauma many have experienced. We have been able to see many of the kids grow, laugh, learn, and experience the love of Christ throughout the summer.

We were blessed with the opportunity to take our kids to experience many different things, from Alabama Splash Adventure, Summer Blast at Church of the Highlands, The Birmingham Art Museum, and much more. Along with this, we were also able to lead a three-day camp for our children at Camp Chula Vista in Pell City. We had around 60 kids and 15 volunteers. The kids were able to swim, ride horses, learn archery, do crafts, learn songs, build relationships with peers, and most importantly, learn more about Jesus. Many of our volunteers and teachers worked so hard this summer to create opportunities for these children to experience Gods love. It has been an honor to serve alongside of them.

Overall, this summer program experience has been extremely rewarding for both the kids and myself. Each day comes with its own unique set of circumstances, but each day we are able to show love to these children and impact their lives in a positive way. It is not always easy, but it is always worth it. I, myself, have learned so much and grown tremendously. It has been an honor to help mentor these children throughout the summer and it excites me to see the work God does in their lives in the years to come.

Department Head Highlight: Connie Farrell

My name is Connie Farrell and I am the Director of Education. This is the most rewarding work I have ever done. I have the priviledge of seeing ladies come in from all walks of life. Some come in with extensive educational backgrounds, and some with very little. I see the light that begins to shine in someone who realizes for the first time that they really can earn their GED, or in the lady that never thought a college education was possible.

So many come in with the mindset that they cannot achieve their goals. With a little encouragement and a lot of prayer they quickly learn that “all things are possible through Christ.” I have witnessed a broken young lady come in with only a 9th grade education, but after working hard and earning her GED, she enrolled in college. 

I have seen women realize that they can become so much more than the mistakes that they have made in the past. I am fortunate to walk with these women as they grow, both in their educational future and in their spiritual lives. In fact, working in the Education Department is not work at all. It is a mission, and I am so happy that God has led me down this path.

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