‘I absolutely believe the Lord sent him to me’

Police officer helps pastor to recovery

-Messenger photo by Chad Thompson
The Rev. James Rogers poses in front the west entrance to Westside Church of Christ, 1132 A Street, recently.

A troubled past and the help of a police officer led the Rev. James Rogers to where he is today — serving as a pastor at Westside Church of Christ in Fort Dodge, 1132 A St.

“It was 32 years ago, a police officer that led me onto the road of recovery and became a very dear friend,” Rogers, a native of California, said.

Rogers had been addicted to alcohol and drugs. Eventually, it came to a point where he was ready for a change.

“When I went into recovery and came out it used to be take a cop to lunch day, every day for 10 years until he moved to another police department,” Rogers said. “I used to take a cop to lunch. I absolutely believe the Lord sent him to me.”

Through his experiences, he found God.

“Because of his forgiveness, I cannot but preach the gospel and teach the word of God,” Rogers said.

Rogers has been in Fort Dodge for a little more than two weeks. He was preaching in Vernon, Texas. He worked in that state for the past 12 years.

His move to Fort Dodge is not the first time he’s had to make an adjustment.

“I moved from San Diego from 1.3 million people to Dickens, Texas with 283 people,” he said. “You talk about a change. That was a huge change.”

His journey eventually landed him in bible school.

He obtained his bachelor’s degree in biblical studies in 2015 from Sunset International Bible Institute in Lubbock, Texas.

Much of his work has revolved around helping Narcotics Anonymous and offering his services in prison ministry.

“It helps me to stay plugged in to where I came from and to help lead others with similar problems into the freedom that I so enjoy,” he said.

A ministry called Home Missions was involved in the church he worked at in Vernon and Rogers was invited to Fort Dodge.

“So after four years in Vernon I have located here with my wife Tabetha and we are looking forward to the new experiences and challenges here in Fort Dodge,” he said.

He and his wife have five children and eight grandchildren.

Rogers is a U.S. Marine Corps veteran. He was stationed in El Toro, California. An injury forced him into retirement.

His philosphy on religion is simple.

“We believe that we are simply Christians studying God’s word together,” he said. “The Lord only established one church, his church, period.”

His goal is to continue to help others who are suffering.

“Helping people to come to know God regardless of their station or position in life,’ he said. “I deal with drug addicts, alcoholics, homelessness, people who battered women, people who lost so much and don’t feel they’re worthy is the people I have done my most work with,”

In the short time he has been in Fort Dodge, the one thing that stands out is the people.

“The biggest attraction has been the people,” he said. “I have come across so many kind, nice people here, that love to talk, that love to fellowship or spend time together, and that has really been a big plus here. I really enjoy it.”

Westside Church of Christ service times

Sunday — 9:30 a.m., Bible study,10:30 a.m. worship, 5:30 p.m., prayer service, 6 p.m., worship

Wednesday — 7 p.m., Bible study

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