The late Abe Knepp and his wife Viola.

Back in the early 70’s, God birthed a vision in Brother Abe Knepp’s heart for a Jail ministry, as well as for a Discipleship Center for men. These visions were realized when he began volunteering at our county jail in 1979 (where he later became Chaplain), as well as with the founding of the Fresh Start Training Center (FSTC) in 1985.


Abe at the jail in 1979.

Our Facility Today

First Fresh Start property in 1985.

Expansion in 1987.

We began operations in a small house in Washington, IN. By 1987, expansion was needed to adequately facilitate the various aspects of the program. Land was purchased, and the facility, out of which we still operate today, was constructed.

Originally FSTC began by working with offenders through our court systems, however, this soon transitioned into providing a foundational discipleship level of counseling to many people from a wide variety of backgrounds. Those backgrounds include offenders (after jail/prison terms are served), as well as referrals from both the secular & Christian settings, with the largest percentage of our clients coming from some form of Anabaptist setting.


Fresh Start is an intense Christian Discipleship center designed to assist and strengthen the church by providing biblical training to people in need. Our desire is to help congregations foster a relational atmosphere whereby home churches can actively disciple their own people.

We believe that all of life is lived from the heart. We will focus on developing a heart that is free from sin and any weight that could hinder you from the highest achievement possible– to love the Lord

Our two primary goals are that we would have a greater love for the Lord Jesus Christ and that we would have a greater love for the people He has placed in our life.