NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - GODTEL is known region wide for serving the homeless. Today the founders June and Nancy Gentry recognize another answered prayer over the course of 35 years. GODTEL is opening its new staff quarters on Douglass Road property currently being developed for a new mission.
"Appreciate you sharing our joy with us. I just have to thank God most of all," Nancy Gentry said to a group attending the building's ribbon cutting.
"We're going to move some of our men out here. They're going to clearing the land and prepare for building fences and planting a garden so we can have fresh vegetables at the mission," explained Nancy.
It's the first of three buildings. A men's and women's dormitory come next when the money is raised. "The next building is going to cost about $468,000, give or take a penny or two," June Gentry shared.
The agency has received several donations upwards of $50,000. The smaller checks add up too.
Gentry's vision began on a mobile home back porch in 1975. The missionary said he heard the Lord telling him to provide the homeless physical and spiritual help.
Provisions came in 1977 when a downtown Nacogdoches hotel was sold at a discount by a prominent businessman wanting to help alcoholics. With no collateral, a generous builder co signed the note.
The leap of faith continues to amaze the gentry's. Missions in Nacogdoches, Lufkin and Livingston have housed around 3 million people. "I don't know how many meals we've served. It's in the millions," said June who admits he doesn't like computers or keeping up with data. Instead he focuses on the mission's spiritual service. "None of it would have been possible if God hadn't some how...I don't know how he does this, but some how he touches the person here, touches the person there and tells them to go do something because I get checks from people I've never heard of," June said.
Gentry calls it all a miracle.