This year Damascus Way turned several pages in the storied history of our ministry! Just this past week, Damascus saw the culmination and conclusion of two significant chapters.

First, came the end of Doug Bodde’s tenure as the Chair of the Damascus Way Board. After serving Damascus Way faithfully for 5 years, this news is of course bittersweet. Doug was a dedicated volunteer and board chair during these years. He oversaw the expansion of Damascus Way’s housing by assisting in the acquisition of the county contracted building in Rochester. Additionally, he oversaw weekly bible studies and was passionate about networking with churches and connecting them to the work of Damascus. He oversaw important organizational restructures and the hiring of our new executive director, Tierre Webster.

Doug and his family will be moving back home to Kansas where he and his wife will work at the University. They are excited to find a church with a strong outreach to communities in need. We are so very grateful for Doug’s service to Damascus Way and pray for both him and his family as they enter a new season of life! Doug shared some departing reflections on the ways in which he has seen Damascus grow and mature in recent years. Here are a few of his words; 

I see our identity developing in very positive ways. Damascus has moved from a ‘Christian-themed halfway house,’ to a more canny gospel ministry, addressing the critical needs of devastated men…The organization embraces its service to not just the ‘spiritually ready,’ but the skeptics, the hostile, the confused and the indifferent. In fact, this is very much our spiritual calling and urgent reality. These changes have required, and are the result of, new personnel and leadership.

Thank you so very much Doug Bodde!

This past week also saw the dramatic and similarly bittersweet finale to Damascus Way’s first home, as the old 5730 building in Golden Valley was demolished. Purchased in 1974, Damascus Way was formerly a nursing home, before it began to serve men coming out of incarceration. From 1974 to January of 2021, the 5730 building served thousands of men, giving them a place of comfort, familiarity and shelter. For decades, this house was a place of transformation, as the gospel was shared with many and Christ’s love was displayed in the service and stewardship of numerous staff who worked there over the years. 

We thank God for the gift of 5730’s use for nearly 50 years!