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The Livingston Mission

One of the long-range goals of GODTEL Ministries is to open other missions as God provides the resources to do so. Eventually, GODTEL missions may be found all over the state of Texas or, perhaps, even the whole country!

Another step in this direction was taken in mid-1988. A number of people in Livingston approached Brother June and shared with him the need for a mission in that city. The Board of Directors voted to proceed in that direction, and a committee of men from Livingston was assembled to conduct the necessary business.

A couple of young men on the Nacogdoches staff at that time undertook a door-to-door campaign to put literature in the hands of Livingston business people to inform them about GODTEL, and the attempt that was being made to establish a mission in their city.

The Gentry Family was able to minister to several Livingston churches to share the vision with local congregations, and the project began to move forward.

Even before property had been found, the Lord provided a staff family for the new mission. Brother Randy Sheppard, his wife Cindy, and their three children joined the GODTEL family in October 1988. Brother Randy is an ordained Southern Baptist minister and has pastored several churches throughout East Texas. A bargain-priced, used, mobile home was purchased for them to live in, and it was later moved from Nacogdoches to the Livingston property.

A 5,000+-sq. ft. building on a lot on South Washington Avenue was found a short time later. The metal building had no interior partitions except a small office area, making it ideal for “customizing” to meet the particular needs of a shelter for the homeless. An adjacent two-bedroom house and land was also available. This was to become the women’s dormitory and temporary kitchen and dining facility.

The owner of the metal building allowed the Sheppard’s to move onto the property and begin operating the mission in December. Everyone was sure that God was in this venture. Negotiations for the purchase of the two parcels of land and the building continued into the spring. Finally, the Lord put it all together and the papers were signed in late May 1989.
Plans were drawn up for the partitioning of the GODTEL/Livingston building. Many of the materials for the work were already available thanks to a generous donation from the Central Baptist Church of Livingston. The church gave an old house to GODTEL on the condition that it be torn down and the lot cleared off (they church needed the space for expansion). Employees from GODTEL were sent to disassemble the building in such a way that the materials could be easily recycled in the new mission’s construction.

The Sheppard family left GODTEL in September of 1990, but the ministry in Livingston goes on. Several single men and women help with the day to day operations at each of our missions. Brother June and Nancy serve as Mission Directors wherever there may be a vacancy.

In 1998, Brother June and Nancy moved themselves and the “main office” functions to Livingston full time. By this time, the house which had been the women’s dorm had been converted into the office, and the trailer that the Sheppard’s had occupied had been converted into the women’s dorm. God has seen to giving us the supplies to renovate when necessary. One project that stands out was the insulation of the ceiling in the main building here. When it would rain during Bible Study, it was so noisy that it was difficult to hear the preacher. But God has provided us the people with the skills, the funds to fix the ceiling, tile the concrete floor, build a good bathroom, and build a kitchen.

In 2001, God put it on Brother June’s heart to purchase some more land next door to the Livingston mission. All in all, it nearly doubled the amount of land we have, and gave us another building, which had been the meeting place for a local Alcoholics Anonymous chapter, and a house. The house we call the “Elisha House”, and it is used as needed for people (like visiting preachers) to stay in. The old Alcoholics Anonymous building was gutted, painted red, and converted into a Livingston Christian Help Center.

In 2002, God moved Brother June to do something that was a little bit different. On the new land that God moved GODTEL to buy, He moved Brother June to start a church with no denomination or name. For practicality’s sake, it is called the Mission on the Hill. To get us started, Central Baptist Church of Livingston “sold” us a mobile building which had previously been used as a church mission at Indian Springs. The purchase price was $1.00, which they decided not to collect. To cover the cost of moving the building into place, we were able to have the area it was going to reside in logged. God had the supply before we knew we had the need! The Mission on the Hill is still at that same location and in the same building to this day.

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