After a teaching career of more than thirty years, having taught across all grade levels and a broad range of subject areas, Friendship and Fellowship in the Local Church: a 21st Century Perspective is a product of an encompassing ministry experience in the local church for both Spanish-speaking and English-speaking congregations as a teacher, deacon, and pianist--a research-based study with a pragmatic and practical view on the needs of one of the most unrecognized and misunderstood populations: those of the inmate believers.The Gospel message is clear, and the members of the body of Christ have a responsibility to "encourage one another and build each other up" (1 Thessalonians 5:11 NIV). The message of our Lord Jesus Christ is as real today as it was centuries ago: "I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest (John 4:35 NIV).Believer inmates are members of the body of Christ; their conversions are real, their transformations are evident, and their faith is strong. Yet they, too, need the support of other members of the body of Christ, for the Holy Spirit works through each member, as he or she is gifted in order to address and attend to the unique needs of the incarcerated believer inmates. Hear their silent cries as they are revealed in the Friendship and Fellowship in the Local Church: a 21st Century Perspective.The Gospel of John states the reason Jesus visited Samaria: "Now he had to go through Samaria" (John 4:4 NIV). And in NKJV, it states, "He needed to go through Samaria." For Jesus, it was a need.Jesus knew the importance of reaching out to those who were marginalized, who were ostracized, and who were highly criticized and judged. They had been abandoned, but Jesus had other plans.Later he met the Samaritan woman, and through her, her village and her town received the Good News about the Messiah: "Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman's testimony" (John 4:39 NIV).His own disciples were blind to this need; they were subject to the day's misconceptions and misinterpretations and biases. Later, Jesus pronounces one of the most significant statements of the Gospel message: "I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest" (John 4:35 NIV).Friendship and Fellowship in the Local Church: a 21st Century Perspective is a call to reach a group of people that have been abandoned and rejected: to address their needs--spiritual, social, emotional, and psychological. It is like Jesus said, "A field ripe for the harvest." It is an eye-opener--a pioneer research study addressing the needs of one of the most deserted and neglected populations, considering it covers a topic difficult to discuss and is of much controversy.Paul said, "Remember my chains" (Colossians 4:18 NIV). When Jesus was accused of associating with those that were outcasts, his reply was, "For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners" (Matthew 9:13 NIV).