NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - GODTEL Ministries has been in its downtown Nacogdoches location for 39 years.
However, the homeless shelter's days in the former 1909 Redland Hotel are numbered. A contract is pending on its sale and a new shelter is under construction.
GODTEL Ministries is a temporary shelter for the homeless, but for years Nancy Gentry called it her family's home.
"We moved in January of 1977, and it's been a wonderful place to live and raise our six kids," said Nancy Gentry, one of GODTEL's co-sellers. "They went up and down the stairs and up and down the stairs."
The stair case is worn from so many others before and behind the children who tromped up those stairs.
"I don't even know," said June Gentry, a GODTEL co-seller. "I know our whole total ministry has had over a million people and the majority of them have been through downtown."
June Gentry is often found, for the most part, at GODTEL's future location on Douglass Road.
"When we finish the men's dorm, we're moving down here," June Gentry said. "And we'll put the women behind me for now. That's the staff apartment until we get the women's dorm up."
All that will be more possible if a pending sale on the downtown location can be closed.
"The man under contract now did offer what we're asking, $400,000, and we don't know," Nancy Gentry said.
"The guy's that's offered to buy it so far has got another week or so on his feasibility study, and if he decides he wants it, we'll close next month sometime," June Gentry said.
The Gentrys expect the building's buyer will have a kinder welcoming than what they first received.
"When we first came, they didn't want a homeless shelter downtown," June Gentry said. "I don't blame them for that."
Strict rules were enacted and remain in place to this day. Downtown became more tolerant of helping the unfortunate.
"We tried to be good neighbors," Nancy Gentry said.
The transition will be bittersweet, yet the Gentrys look forward to the future. Like the song that came up on GODTEL's radio, the Gentrys can also say, 'No, we're never gonna stop until the whole world knows who you are.'"
"I'm not doing this because it was fun or exciting or it had a big paycheck," June Gentry said. "We did this because we felt like it was what the Lord wanted us to do. Otherwise, we wouldn't have stayed for 40 years."
For contractual reasons, the name of the potential buyer would not be released, nor confirmed.
But should the transaction fall through, the Gentrys and their realtor say there are at least two other serious parties waiting in the wings.
GODTEL has locations in Nacogdoches, Lufkin and Livingston.