About Us

Mercy’s Edge Ministries is a 501 c3 nonprofit organization that offers services to inmates in the Southern Indiana Community during incarceration and after release. Mercy’s Edge Ministries provides classes addressing the obstacles that are blocking them from the full exposure of God’s love with biblical principles, resources for the inmate that will provide a smoother transition into their community, and a mentoring program that will allow application and a new way to live their lives. Mercy’s Edge Ministries believes that in order for the inmate to be successful in their walk with Jesus Christ, he/she will have to create a new normal in their lives.

Our Team

President Mercys Edge Ministries

Darren E. Pavey

Vice President, since 2012

He graduated from New Albany High School in 1988 and he attend Evansville University on a football scholarship until his career was cut short by an injury.

He was 15 years old when he gave his first sermon. The Pastor told him afterwards, “God has Big Plans for your life someday”. Which scared him to death and started a chain of events that kept him running from God for over 23 years.

Once Darren turned back to God, he has experienced a whirlwind of opportunities to serve God. From becoming an Associate Pastor, serving as an Interim Pastor, to being the former Board President of Power Ministries (A Disability Ministry) and attends Bethany Christian Church.

Darren’s passion and ministry is in the local county Jails or Prisons. He is active in DaySpring Emmaus Community and the REC (Residents Encounter Christ) ministry. He is a pastor, a mentor and business owner, but Darren’s ministry and life changed forever when he started mentoring men in jail & prison. Not only did it become personal over the years, but it has challenged Darren to keep it real and to always have a passion for those who are searching for a “New Normal in life”.

Darren is married to Dee; he is a father to four children and grandfather to two grandsons. Darren approaches his ministry much like he does his business, “every day is training day; what can I teach or share with someone today, that will make them a better person or help them along in their Christian walk.”

President Mercys Edge Ministries

Daryll Walters

President, since 2012

He graduated from New Albany High School in 1965 and later attended Indiana State University for three years where he studied to become a teacher/coach. After school, Daryll enlisted in the US Army Reserve where he served for 5 years.

In 1970, he entered the insurance business and later became co-owner of an Independent Insurance Agency in which he managed for over 28 years.

Daryll is married with 4 children and 13 grandchildren and has been very active in his Church and other Christian organizations. He has served on many committees over the years, including his service as board President of the DaySpring Emmaus Community of Southern Indiana.

It was through the Emmaus Community that Daryll was introduced to a jail/prison ministry called Residence Encounter Christ. His first team involvement was the week of 9/11/2001 in Madison, Indiana. Since that time, he has served and played a leadership role on many REC weekends.

In 2008, he became a mentor to an inmate at Branchville Correction Facility that has forever changed his life. Daryll believes with all his heart that Mercy’s Edge Ministries will “create a new normal” in the lives of men and women throughout Southern Indiana, when God is introduced into their lives.

Board Member Mercys Edge Ministries

Mickey Utz

Executive Director, since 2012

Mickey accepted Christ on his knees on the concrete floor while incarcerated in an Indiana State Penitentiary. Since that Saturday night in October 2009, Mickey received a strong calling to ministry. Most of his involvement has been through the REC (Residents Encounter Christ) Jail/Prison Ministries. He has had the privilege of assuming the responsibilities as Lay Director of two REC weekends, one of them being at the Clark County Jail in Indiana and the other at the very prison in which he served 8 1/2 years, Branchville Correctional Facility. Mickey has served in the Emmaus DaySpring Emmaus Community as an Assistant Lay Director and Vice President on the Board of Directors with Power Ministries. He and his wife, Penny, have become a permanent fixture in jail/prison ministry in the Southern Indiana area. They have one wonderful 3 year old son and dedicate their parenthood to showing him the face of God. Along with his family, he attends The Crossing Christian Church in New Albany, Indiana and participates in several mentoring programs. Through Mercy’s Edge Ministries, Mickey has related his experience behind bars, his management experience in his secular career, and his new life through Christ in showing the broken that there is truly a different way to live, this is the way of Jesus Christ.

Board Member Mercys Edge Ministries

Leland Harbeson

Board Member, since 2012

A Deacon at his home church, Hillview Christian Church, Leland’s main area of ministry is in jail and prison ministry. His calling is to those who are broken and most in need of the saving grace of Jesus. As a Promise Keeper, he is active in the DaySpring Emmaus Community and its REC (Residents Encounter Christ) ministry, and mentors residents at Harrison County Jail and Branchville Corrections. Harbeson is a native of Harrison County, IN and is married to Christine; he is father to three grown children and grandfather to four grandchildren.

Leland’s tie to the Mercy’s Edge Board of Directors is in its plans to assist men and women post incarceration to fullness in Christ, including jobs and careers that allow them to provide for themselves and rebuild their lives.

President Mercys Edge Ministries

Dr. Jerry Smart

Spiritual Director, since 2016

Dr. Smart is currently the senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Jeffersonville, IN. Previously, he served as pastor of churches in the Indianapolis region and Salem, IN.

He is a graduate of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY, with a Masters in Divinity and Ph. D. He has been in full time ministry for over 35 years. He is an active member of the Dayspring Emmaus Community, as well as, Residents Encounter Christ (REC) jail and prison ministry.

Jerry is happily married to his wife of 38 years and together they have 3 grown children and 1 grandchild. He is happy, excited and scared to death to become a member of Mercy’s Edge board. But he is looking forward to leading this ministry spiritually as we seek to "create a New Normal in peoples lives!"

President Mercys Edge Ministries

William (Billy) Townsend Jr.

Board Member, since 2016

He graduated from Floyd Central High School in 1988. After graduation, he enlisted into active duty in the United States Army. He served for 22 years and retired in 2010. In 2011, he began working as a civilian trainer for the Federal Government, training and equipping our Military Personnel on specialized weapon systems. Throughout his Military and Civilian career, Billy had numerous deployments in combat regions of Afghanistan, Iraq & Kuwait.

Billy was born and raised in Floyds Knobx, IN and was brought up in the Catholic Church, but it wasn’t until 2014, when he surrendered his life to Christ, did he begin know and hear the Lord. Billy’s passion to serve the Lord has brought him to Prison ministry. He never envisioned himself ever going into a jail or prison, but he is 100% confident this is his calling today. Billy has served on numerous Residents Encountering Christ (REC), and Emmaus Walks. Billy accepted the calling to serve on the Mercy’s Edge Board in October 2016, and is excited about where God will guide him next.

Billy is married to his soul mate Angie, they have (3) Beautiful children. Angie is also very active in the jail and prison ministry, serving on several RECs’. They both attend and serve together at Northside Christian Church in New Albany, Indiana.

Billy has a deep desire to become an advocate for fellow veterans, who are incarcerated and/or homeless. He has a burning passion to let them know there is a better life than the life they are leading today and that life is with Jesus Christ as their Lord & Savior.

President Mercys Edge Ministries

Michael Franklin

Board Member, since 2016
Secretary Member Mercys Edge Ministries

Wiese Carlisle

Secretary & Gift/Donations Administer, since 2012

Eloise (Wiese) Carlisle has served as President of the DaySpring Emmaus Community; is active in the DaySpring Residents Encounter Christ (REC) prison ministry throughout Southern Indiana; and was as a Co-Lay Director with her husband, Jerry Van, for two handi-camps hosted by Power Ministries, a faith-based organization serving those with physical and mental disabilities. As a legal assistant in a large law firm in Louisville, Kentucky, she lends her legal and administrative skills to Mercy’s Edge Ministries, Inc. in a variety of ways. Wiese and her husband are members of Northside Christian Church in New Albany, Indiana, and they have two adult children. In 2012, Wiese was asked to return to her small hometown and share the Good News with those incarcerated there. That’s when reaching out to those deemed unlovable by society became very personal to her, and that intense passion continues to this day.