Introducing Ted Rodarm, Matthew 25 Ministries’ Executive Director. He, along with Maggie Witherow, Jerry Youmans and Steve Crook Jr., are the stewards of your donations that make our ministry successful in providing transitional and permanent housing to formerly incarcerated sex offenders.
The members of the Matthew 25 Ministries Board of Directors attempted to define a ‘job description’ for what it is that Ted does. This proved to be an impossible task given all that he does.
For example, it’s 8:00 AM and Ted is sitting in the ministry van (which was purchased through the donor generosity) outside the main gate of Blackwater Correctional Institution. He and Jerry just drove 565 miles to welcome a new member of our community as he is released. Twelve hours later Ted meets with a small group of residents to discuss their request for a new washer and dryer (which will be purchased out of donations). Very long days are common for Ted.
In addition to all his responsibilities on-campus, Ted is increasingly involved in prisoner re-entry initiatives, both locally and on the state level. He currently serves as Advisory Member to the Palm Beach County Reentry Task Force and has a leadership position on its Sex Offender subcommittee.
Matthew 25 Ministries is unabashedly a Christian ministry. As such, the testimony of our members gives an insight into both what M25M does as well as into the life of the person giving the testimony. Psalm 107:2, tells us - “Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, Whom He has redeemed from the hand of the enemy”.
My name is Ted Rodarm. I am an ex-offender. I committed an offense in 1997 and served over ten years in prison. My plan for my release was to stay with my mother for a time, until I could get on my feet, but she passed away a few months before my release, and I was left with no family in Florida, couldn’t leave the state because I was going to be on probation, and had nowhere to go.
I would lay in my bunk at night, crying out to God. All I heard from Him was, “Do not worry.” I was trying not to worry, but I was 3 weeks away from being homeless and, the truth is, I was scared.
One day, my release officer called me into her office and told me about an organization called Matthew 25 Ministries. She said they might have a place for me to stay. There was finally hope! I filled out the application, had a phone interview a few days later and was accepted. Praise God!
There was a knock on the door a couple days after I arrived. It was Pastor Dick Witherow, who along with his bride Maggie, founded Matthew 25 Ministries. As we sat at the kitchen table, we talked about the promise made by God found in Jeremiah 29:11. – “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Dick told me God did have a purpose for me, even though I had no idea what it might be.
One of the first people I met was a woman by the name of Rose. We became friends, eventually began dating and were married at Jacob’s Destiny Church on the M25M campus on September 22, 2012.
Prior to my incarceration, my chosen profession was banking. At the time Rose and I got married, I worked for a tile and grout restoration company. It was the most difficult and physically demanding job I’ve ever had. I told God, “I can’t do this much longer.” I heard, “Do not worry”. At this point, I was too tired to argue about it.
In October of 2012, I was offered a part-time position with Matthew 25 Ministries, to do data entry and other administrative tasks. What did I do? I went and got another part-time job to make ends meet, and said goodbye to the tile and grout business forever!!
Soon, my position with Matthew 25 Ministries became full-time and in 2014 I was promoted to Director of Operations. In May of last year, I was promoted to the position of Executive Director.
As a little boy, my mother held me in her arms and told me that the name she had given me, “Ted”, means God’s gift. She explained that I was God’s gift to her and that someday, I would grow to be a man and be a gift to many.
It’s taken 48 years for me to realize this - from the parents I was given, to the schools I attended, to the career I had, to ten years of incarceration - God has prepared me to do what I do.
I have not forgotten what Matthew 25 Ministries has done for me. I was given more than a home when I would have otherwise been homeless. I was helped when I was helpless, and given hope when I was hopeless.
Today, I have the opportunity and awesome privilege to do for others what was done for me.
It has been a privilege to write this article about Ted – as it will be to write next month’s “We’d like you to get to know us” article on the co-founder, the irrepressible Maggie Witherow.
Jim Parker, Ph.D.
Member, Matthew 25 Ministries
Board of Directors
Christmas in the Village is right around the corner. This year’s event is on December 16!
Tickets will go on sale in October. Set your calendars now so you don’t miss this “magical” event!