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Living For Jesus Rescues Former Prisoners

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Rev. Wayne Stafford, left, poses here with Joe Rogers and his bride, Heather. The couple was married recently after Rogers graduated from the House of Refuge program. Rogers has lived independently for six months, is employed full time, and met Heather at

It's a thrift store. It's a golf tournament. It's a ministry to men getting out of prison. It's a long drive straight down the fairway for Jesus.

Pilgrim's Pathway House Of Refuge will host another golf tournament October 24 at Cleghorn, but the ministry's most recent victory heard wedding bells.

Joe Rogers spent six months living in the House of Refuge. He got out and began attending Rev. Wayne Stafford's church, Pilgrim's Pathway Baptist Church in Green Hill. Stafford is also the director of the House of Refuge. Since living on his own and working full time for a local plumbing company, Rogers met one of the church members and married Heather just a few days ago.

"That's the kind of change Jesus can make in these men's lives," Stafford said last week as he also celebrated the hiring of a new night manager, Daniel Behney. The new manager has a background in prison ministry and looks forward to working with the men at the House of Refuge.

The thrift store is on Main Street, Spindale, just a few blocks from the House of Refuge. Support for the ministry comes from at least ten local churches, dozens of individuals, and churches from places like Kentucky, Tennessee, South Carolina, and Mississippi.

"The Lord called me; and the Lord has provided," Stafford said of the ministry which began April 1, 2019.

One of the most important provisions has come from two local churches who come in and serve dinner to the residents, all of whom have recently been released from prison.

Rev. Paul White serves Mt. Lebanon Baptist and Rev. Chris Fox is at Bethany. Between them, these two churches feed on Tuesday and Thursday nights.

"This is not only a great service to our men, but it saves us money for our food budget," Stafford said.

If you'd like to help with volunteering, donating, cooking dinner, prayer requests or just learn more, call the Refuge House at 828-202-5543. There's also a Facebook page and donations can be mailed to P.O. Box 216, Spindale, 28160.

Stafford said the ministry's current needs are: prayer, monthly financial support or a one time love gift, a website designer, thrift store volunteers, golfers, hole sponsors, door prizes (gift certificates, etc) for the benefit tournament Oct 24 at Cleghorn, a grant writer, paper products, cleaning supplies, and laundry detergent.

But most importantly Stafford stressed, "Please let people know we are truly thankful and honored to serve our Lord Jesus Christ and to see these men give their lives to Him. That makes it all worthwhile! We definitely could not do it without the support of the people, churches and businesses of Rutherford County who are standing alongside of us on this journey! Thank God for answering prayers!"

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