Founding of Exodus House OKC
Hello. This is Stan Bassler. I was director of criminal justice and Mercy Ministries when Exodus House, Oklahoma City, was founded.
I believe the hand of God is visible in this story. Reverend Dr. Dale Tremper, who is pastor. Of Penn Avenue Redemption Church there in Oklahoma City.
We were listing together and we agreed, based on our experience at Redemption, that another transitional step was necessary from even the low level community corrections facilities to complete freedom. The gulf was too wide. Many people relapsed or reoffended. Dina Hopkins was a charter member of Redemption Church and had been formally incarcerated. I had heard of Exodus Ministry in Dallas, a transitional residential ministry for ex.
Prisoners and their families.
Dale and I and Dina decided to visit that ministry. We love the architecture and open courtyard with each apartment facing it. The premises said support and accountability. We like the concept of apartment furnishings being a graduation present, adoption of apartments by faith based groups, and mandatory savings accounts for residents. Exodus ministry did not have a church attendance requirement. It’s graduates did not want to leave their community was the people who lived in the apartment there with them. Dale and I agreed that we would add Redemption Church attendance twice weekly as a requirement for Exodus House people that way they could keep their community if they wanted it. When they graduated in 1997, CJAM was chosen for Oklahoma City and Tulsa Bishop Society Dinner fundraisers. Bishop Blake started these. At those events, we parlayed our vision for Exodus House. By this time, Dina Hopkins felt called to live on the premises and to run the ministry. At one of those dinners, she met Lou MC, who had a number of properties. Lou hired her to run one of his apartment properties to train her for Exodus. In the spring of 1998, my supervisor, Reverend David Severe, told me that the Woodwork Foundation had awarded CJAM.
A seed money grant for Exodus in the amount of $22,000. We wanted a property architecturally like the Dallas one near Redemption Church. Lou found our current property and negotiated.
A one year lease for $18,000.
That left money to cover utilities. Lee told me that Dina was ready. Dina agreed to work without salary. Janet Bassler’s daughter, Tracy Weaver, was a US. Two missionary. She had experience programming residential ministries without salary. She denied she designed the initial program. As we neared the end of the first year, lou negotiated a purchase price for the building. The Woodworth Foundation donated an additional $150,000 for the purchase of the building. David Severe got the United Methodist Board of Global Ministry to add $75,000 to complete the purchase of the property. Although it was a loan, it did not bear any interest, was not expected to be paid back, was simply a.
Mortgage on the building in case the purposes were ever changed.
Most everybody in the field of reentry now agrees that case management, the support and accountability of a pro social community and the furnishing of essential resources are key ingredients for successful reentry. God has used this ministry to touch many lives and I am so thankful for those who have made the sacrifice to actually be on site. People like Robin Words, people like Steve Bird and others who have been involved in the supervision made it what it is today. God bless you. Bye.