Carl Carlson: A Man of Valor
Carl Carlson, Founder and Director of Men of Valor - Nashville, TN, taped the above video on September 11, 2014, just 32 days before his peaceful passing in his sleep on October 14, 2014.
The hole Carl leaves in our organization and our lives brings great sorrow, but knowing he is now in the arms of the Creator he so loved also brings us great joy. We can only imagine Carl was greeted with the words, "Well done, good and faithful servant!"
Carl was an honorably discharged Vietnam Veteran who turned an abusive childhood and prison sentence into the founding of Men of Valor, an innovative program that has helped thousands of men in prison and their families.
Begun as a "one-man-show" in 1997, today Men of Valor has a staff of 18, over 100 volunteers, and a board of top business leaders. 100% of the $1.5 million budget is raised from donors, most who have given mainly due to Carl's advocacy and persistence.
The program's results have been remarkable. Nationally, 70% of men released on probation or parole return to prison. However, men who complete and graduate the MOV program have a recidivism rate of only 6%.
For his accomplishments, Carl was recently named "CEO of the Year" at the 2014 Center for Nonprofit Management's Salute to Excellence.
His most current dream was to build a Men of Valor campus, which would allow our ministry to provide residential support and one year of Aftercare to far more program graduates, and to also provide more consistent and varied services to their families.
We will continue his work in his memory to make sure his dream becomes a reality.
In First Samuel, David gathers "the discontented, the rebels, the outlaws" together into the Army of God. These men were trained and encouraged to become mighty soldiers – great “men of valor.” By working with prisoners in the CCA Prison and the Charles Bass Correctional Complex, the MOV ministry teaches men how to make real changes so they can begin new lives once they are released.
Nationally, 70% of men released from prison will return. However, through biblically-based programming, aftercare/re-entry services and the involvement of committed volunteers, Men of Valor’s success rate beats both national and statewide statistics. In fact, Men who complete MOV's Phase I Six month Aftercare/Re-entry program, the recidivism rate is below 15%.
Our Mission Statement
Men of Valor is committed to winning men in prison to Jesus Christ and discipling them. Our purpose is to equip them to re-enter society as men of integrity — becoming givers to the community rather than takers.