- (Photo: Facebook/Chuck Colson)
Chuck Colson, the Prison Fellowship founder and evangelical Christian who died on April 21 after struggling with an intracerebral hemorrhage, will be buried privately with full military honors at Quantico National Cemetery in Virginia.
The 80-year-old Southern Baptist, who served as an aide to former President Richard Nixon and was convicted for his role in the Watergate scandal in 1974, will also be remembered at a later service at Washington National Cathedral, RNS reported. During his military career, Colson served as captain in the Marines.
"There will be a public memorial service at the National Cathedral, pending working out some scheduling," noted Michelle Farmer, a spokeswoman for Prison Fellowship. "We anticipate that that will be in the coming weeks but no dates have been set in stone at this point."
Colson's family was gathered at his bedside last week when it became apparent his condition was worsening, before he passed away on Saturday.
The former Nixon aide converted to Christianity while in prison, and ever since, has been known for his defense of the sanctity of life, his traditional stance on marriage and support of religious freedom.
Colson founded the Prison Fellowship in 1976. The ministry, which provides prisoners with an opportunity to hear the Gospel and be ministered to, operates across 300 correctional facilities in all 50 states and in over 110 countries worldwide.
"Whatever good I may have done is because God saw fit to reach into the depths of Watergate and convert a broken sinner," Colson said in a 2008 statement in response to receiving the Presidential Citizens Medal from former President George W. Bush. "Everything that has been accomplished these past 35 years has been by God's grace and sovereign design."
Colson is remembered by many in the Christian community for his dedicated work in ministering to and transforming the lives of prisoners.
"For nearly four decades, Chuck Colson has been used greatly by God to advance the Gospel, comfort prisoners and show compassion to their families, and stand for truth in the public arena," said Rob Schwarzwalder, Senior Vice President for the Family Research Council. "Few Christian leaders have built a ministry with the reach and effectiveness of Prison Fellowship, Breakpoint, the Centurion program and many other initiatives."