Prostitutes, Drug Dealers, Ex Convicts - Odessa Church Is Ministering To Those Shunned By Society 10/21/12
CBS 7 News Reporter
October 21, 2012
ODESSA, TX – Singing songs of praise is just the beginning to the Agape Dream Center's church service. They say their mission field begins on the streets, shining light on those labeled as misfits in the community.
“Our whole focus has been for years around going to the streets and reaching the people that are hurting, whether it be the crack dealers, jails, where ever,” said Pastor of Agape Dream Center Jimmy Dennis.
The church’s program " Freedom House" provides men recently released from jail with a job, housing and a new start at life. It’s an opportunity church leaders say helps break the cycle of repeat offenders.
"They get $50 when they get out of jail or prison and then whenever they get to the patrol office they get another $50. With $50 you can't do anything but go back to the old life," said Dennis.
Now the Freedom House is expanding. The church is building a new home for 12 more men, which will break ground next week.
For Freedom House leader Jami Butts the ministry hits home, having been in and out of jail 3 times himself.
"Everybody finds that ‘jail house religion’ but then they get back out into the free world and they don't know how to walk the walk. So they come in with us and we help them learn how to do that," said Freedom House leader Jami Butts.
They say they're reaching out to those who need it most.
Once phase #1 of the new Freedom House is complete, the church plans to open a womens and teens freedom house in a separate location.