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The Beginning was a miracle of rare design.

GODTEL Ministries, under God’s leadership and directed by Brother June Gentry, has slowly grown and changed from a one-man ministry in an antiquated, four-bedroom house in the country (with no running water – just a well!) to a multifaceted ministry now operating in three, East Texas counties.
GODTEL Ministries had its beginnings in the personal ministry of Brother June and Nancy Gentry. As early as 1974, the Gentry’s were holding Bible Studies at their home in North Redlands, a small, black community about ten miles north of Nacogdoches. They also taught Sunday School in a black church and conducted Vacation Bible Schools with the help of Christian friends.

By June of 1975, God led Brother June into extensive research of various cultic religions here in the United States. Our Heavenly Father even provided the necessary materials to be studied! As God opened the doors to various churches, Brother June began to teach a series on the cults, explaining how to effectively witness to their members. The Gentry family moved to Appleby in September of 1975. Brother June began an intensive study program of God’s Word and His ways, meanwhile Nancy went to work in the laboratory at Nacogdoches Memorial Center. A Vision Becomes Reality during the summer of 1976, two college students (who had come to be summer missionaries) lived with the Gentry’s in their mobile home. These missionaries – Paul Jagoe and David Bryan – shared in the work of street witnessing and teaching in various Vacation Bible Schools around the county. The living quarters were cramped because, in addition to Paul, David, June, and Nancy, there were also the Gentry’s three children.

One evening during the summer of 1976, Brother June and Paul sat on the front steps and talked about how great it would be to have a large building in which to house and feed homeless people. They discussed how providing food and shelter would be a great way to draw people in, giving them an opportunity to be presented with the Gospel.The thought also came to mind that some new Christians needed a place to go where they could get grounded in the Word, away from their sinful environment and friends. Then after a period of time, they could return to their homes, equipped to do battle with the world, the flesh, and the devil. Little did Brother June and Paul know that this conversation would prove to be the seed of a vision planted by God.Summer ended, Paul and David returned to college and the Gentry’s continued to work and study. One day in November 1976, Brother June received a call from David Bryan who was excited about a building that he had seen for sale for only $23,000 – a very reasonable price. He thought it would be ideal to house and feed many people, just as they had dreamed about the previous summer. As they talked, the vision burst into bloom, and Brother June began to seriously seek a way to make this vision a reality as God gently urged him on.They learned a great deal from their disappointment when the contract fell through on the first building! They knew that God had moved them in that direction, so they could not understand why they were unable to complete the purchase. At that time they were simply unaware that God had said “no” then, so He could say “yes” in a more exciting way later.As it turned out, God had another building in mind – one that would require an even greater step of faith.

The Gentry’s were made aware that the old (1907) Redland Hotel at 330 East Main in downtown Nacogdoches was for sale. With only $20 in the bank, the Gentry’s had to trust God for the $45,000 purchase price. One bank president refused to loan anything to Brother June, he laughed at his vision and his trust in what God had told him to do. Despite this, God raised up support from precious, Christian friends and local, Christian businessmen to pay the down-payment and meet immediate expenses. A Christian building contractor co-signed the note, and the final papers were signed on January 25, 1977.God provided at that time the supply of people (both transients and church members) to do the renovation work and the funds to pay the note on time. The ministry sprang up immediately, and God worked in the lives of the Christians, teaching them how to obey Christ in a practical way, and in the lives of the transients, showing them how Christians live. For more information, see the history of the Nacogdoches mission on page 3.

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