He takes them to church. He takes them to court. He even takes them to meet with their parole officers. And if he can help them stay out of jail, he might even give them a job.
The Rev. Booker T. Hines Sr., 56, is the pastor of Refreshing Rock Church of God in Christ in the heart of Anacostia. For nearly three years he has headed the congregation of predominantly low-income D.C. residents, many of whom are young adults and homeless.
But much of Hines' work takes him outside of his church. He maintains a daily routine of going to area prisons to counsel inmates, going to court to appear on behalf of young men who face jail terms, meeting with parole officers to assist with the rehabilitation of ex-convicts and intervening in personal disputes to help young people avoid conflict with the law.
"He's running for somebody else 70 percent of the time," said Transy Speight, a church member who has worked with Hines for the past year.
Savina Hines, 23, one of the pastor's four children, recalled that there were times when the family didn't understand his devoting so much time to others.
The pastor's wife, Cora Mae Hines, said that people often call her husband in the middle of the night. "I didn't like it, but I got closer to God; then I began to understand."
One of his church members said Hines will do all he can to help someone financially, even if it means giving up his last dollar.
"Reverend Hines is well-known in the Barry Farms area for how nice he is to people. He doesn't know the word no. He's all about Christ and takes the time to hear your problem no matter what he has to do," said Deran Thompson, another church member.
Thompson, who described himself as a former drug user and seller, said Hines helped him to go straight. "With the help of Reverend Hines, today I have a business in the Yellow Pages."
Church member Kevin Haggins said of Hines, "I first met him when he drove up and asked a couple of us who were just hanging out if we wanted to help do some work on a truck. We said yes and before you knew it, he just started talking to us about life and what we planned to do with our own."
Haggins, who was fatherless at 14, said, "Reverend Hines showed his concern for my life. He talked to me not just like a pastor but a father. I've certainly called him at 2 and 3 in the morning . . . .
"When I would talk about the big-time people I knew, Pastor Hines used to ask me if they could get me in to heaven. I never knew anything about baptism or caring until I met him."
Donald Hines, 27, the minister's youngest son, said it was a while before he got to know a lot of the people his father spent so much time helping, but he knew he never said no to anyone. Donald Hines said his father still had to help him and was harder on him than he was on other youngsters. Donald calls his father "Rev" because he is so accustomed to hearing others call him that.
"People always say to me, 'I wish I had a father like him.' When I was younger I didn't want to share him, but I learned. I remember when we were about to lose our home . . . he used to just say, 'Don't worry.' "
Until recently, Hines held down another job while carrying out his ministry. On July 18 he celebrated his retirement from 30 years of civil service at Andrews Air Force Base, where he was driver for guests who flew on Air Force One.
Hines said that enough people have been helped through his ministry to fill his church two times over. He said that not all of his work is done in the pulpit, explaining that part of his ministry involves going door-to-door in the community.
"I don't care who hates me or doesn't want me around or doesn't want me to knock on their doors. I'm going anyway, wherever the Lord leads me," Hines said. "I know my family didn't always understand, but when God gives you a mission -- you got to go. Sometimes, I wake my wife up at 4 in the morning to tell her about what the Lord wants me to do and I do the work that God gives me."