Gerald and Deloras Mendenhall, pastors of Oasis Church in Dodge City, shared an article with us this week that was published in the December 2016 Dodge City Daily Paper. Excerpts of the article are included here:
Fred Utter Jr. is a relatively new resident of Dodge City and he’s happy despite the challenges he’s had in the past.
“After my last stint in jail, I came to Dodge City with nothing but the clothes on my back,” he said. “However, I got involved with a local church and some groups have helped me out and I have this job” (as a bell ringer for the Salvation Army).
“I enjoy every day ringing the bell. I’m free, clean and sober, the sun is out, people are friendly and I get to listen to holiday music. I enjoy every second of it.”
Oasis Church Pastor Gerald Mendenhall met and befriended Utter in 2013 – before he went back to jail – and was the first person Utter called upon arriving in Dodge City.
“The church and the Salvation Army are my family now,” Utter said. “I had a choice when I left jail as to where to go. I could’ve returned to Joplin, Missouri where I have some family, but they are still using, so that was a no. So, I figured I had a decent foundation in Dodge City and the people are nice, so I came here with nothing. Best thing I ever did.”
– Adapted from article originally published here: http://www.dodgeglobe.