Mary Berry

Chaplain Mary LaMark Berry is a native Houstonian, born April 24th, 1946. She attended Phyllis Wheatley Senior High School and later pursued her study in Business Administration at Houston Community College. In 1967, she married Mr. James Breaux. The dysfunctional marriage worsened and resulted in divorce.

Chaplain Berry’s mother had previously lost her life due to a bad marriage. After the death of her mother in 1973, she felt the abandonment of her father’s family and friends. The strain of living from day to day and the uncertainty about the health of her two younger sisters, who were also injured in the gunfire rampage of her father, caused her to seek God.

In 1974, Chaplain Berry experienced the new birth of Christ. In 1975, after a great deal of heart-searching and theological conscience, she was called by the Lord into evangelistic ministry, she began to teach and preach God’s message under the direction of New Day Deliverance Church, Inc. She was later ordained and licensed as a minister of the Gospel.

Chaplain Berry served as Editor-In-Chief for New Day Dawn Press, Counselor and full-time evangelist pastor in the New Day Deliverance Fellowship of Church Ministries for eight years. She also served five years with Gulf Coast Ministries, working with the disabled and senior citizens in food services, transportation, and counseling.

In April of 1984, Chaplain Berry was employed with the Metropolitan Transit Authority, Houston, Texas, in the position of city bus operator. Here she met and married Bennie Berry in 1987 until she was separated by his death in 2006. She retired from Metropolitan Transit Authority after 24 years of service to go into full-time ministry with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice as a prison Chaplain.

In 1993, she founded the ASCORAP MISSION MINISTRIES, INC., located at 7117 North Shepherd in the northern section of Houston. The ministry opened its doors to battered women and children, ex-offenders, and the homeless. After much counseling from her spiritual mentor, Dr. R. R. Taylor, to meet the spiritual needs of these people she opened the Mission Church. On August 19th, 1994, she received her Ordination of Minister’s License and became the pastor of the Church at the Mission. The work extended into prison ministries. Being the Pastor and Founder of ASCORAP MISSION MINISTRIES, INC., she is dedicated to reaching ex-offenders and their families.

In the later part of 1994, Chaplain Berry met and joined forces with The Crossing Ministries, Inc., to focus on a treatment phase of the program for the ex-offenders. She became a member of the Chaplaincy Department of the Crossing Ministry Inc. She housed male ex-offenders for two years and then women for two years. Later that year, she met and began working with Jean Russell’s Prison Ministry. Feeling the call of God to close the Mission in 1998 due to the landlord being unable to bring the building up to code, she closed the Mission while looking for a new location. In 1996 God gave her favor with Chaplain Gary Pettigrew in Dayton, Texas at the Henley Unit where she was given the opportunity to twice a week help out. In 1997, Chaplain Pettigrew put her in the Intern Chaplaincy Program. Here she facilitated “Making Peace with Your Past” classes, Bible studies, clerical work, and substitute instructing as the main facilitator or preacher of the Saturday and Sunday night services.

In the fall if 1997, Chaplain Berry was given a scholarship to the College of Biblical Studies. There, she continued her theological training earning numerous training track certificates including the Bible Certificate. She also received her Certified Volunteer Chaplain’s Assistant certification. She has received training from the Therapon Institute where she completed qualifications for a Board Certified Therapon Belief Therapist in Counseling. She completed her Associate and Bachelor degrees of Biblical Studies at the College of Biblical Studies. She received two units of training from Taylor University in their American Chaplaincy Training Department. She also received three units of Clinical Pastoral Training from St. Joseph Hospital in Brenan College Station.

Chaplain Berry is a member of The New Day Deliverance Holiness Fellowship of Churches, Inc. with Dr. Richard R. Taylor. In October 2002, Chaplain Berry joined forces with the Florence LaMark Foundation and agreed to become their Director of Prison Ministry where she will be in charge of overseeing nearly 2,500 women a year.

In 2007, she met her dream of becoming a paid Chaplain for the TDCJ agency. She began working at the Hobby Unit in Marlin with over 1,500 women offenders for 17 months. During this time, she met a young woman offender who came into the system pregnant and drug addicted. After the infant was born, it had many serious health complications. Chaplain Berry acted with compassion for the mother as she worked in conjunction with legal and health professionals. The mother needed to sign a DNR order for the baby and was reluctant to do so. Chaplain Berry spoke with the mother and her baby. Ager a while, the mother agreed and signed the order for which the baby later died. On November 1, 2009, Chaplain Berry accepted a position with the Polunsky Unit serving 2,500 men in General Population and 500 men on Death Row. In 2012 she was able to relocate back to her home in Missouri City, Texas working with the InnerChange Program at the Carol Vance Unit. This program was founded by Chuck Colson which prepares the men in 18 months for reentry into society by working with them for job readiness. In 2014 she was promoted to a Regional Chaplain position working with the Regional III Director’s office at the Darrington office in Rosharon, Texas where she is the supervisor of 23 Prison Chaplains and 22 Prison Units.

On March 13, 2016, through the New Day Deliverance Holiness Church, she was consecrated as Bishop. She is the founder and CEO of Ascorap Ministry which holds services at many of the prisons in the state of Texas.