Mayor’s Newsletter August 2023

The first 3 months as your elected mayor have been very productive and challenging.

  1. We have been working on city hall, cleaning up and doing some much needed maintenance. It will get a new coat of paint in the coming weeks. Our city secretary Wilma Joplin has applied for a grant from TNMP to get our windows replaced. City Hall is a central meeting place for our community and is in need of many repairs and updates, this will be an ongoing process over the next year.
  2. The city hired contractor Jimmy Duncan to help with maintenance and repairs to city hall. He will assist Arthur with our water system, and city maintenance.
  3. We have a floating dumpster for residents to use on a month by month basis. If you need a dumpster for a month for projects or cleanup, call or stop by City Hall to reserve it. The dumpster is on a first come first serve basis at no cost. You can request the dumpster once a year.
  4. We have started our investigation of restoring the old gym to use as a community center. We are only in the investigation phase, engineers and contractors will be giving us their assessments and estimates over the next couple of months and the council will make a determination on how or if we will proceed.
  5. Training and Development: Completed a class for emergency management provided by TDEM. Roger Keck, the Mayor of Gordon and I went to San Antonio to attend the multi day TML Newly Elected Officials training, which was very beneficial. The former mayor of Fort Worth, Betsy Price gave an inspiring speech about being a great mayor and helping the community. I had a chance to shake hands and talk with her for a minute, it was an honor to meet and talk with her.
  6. I have worked hard to keep CARE in Mingus, they now have a permanent home here in Mingus at the red barn. They are temporarily housed at city hall while they renovate the new building. Representatives from all 3 towns went to the county commissioners meeting to show our support for CARE and asked for funds to be allocated to them in the county budget.
  7. The City of Mingus received a perfect financial audit for 2022! I would like to thank our city secretary Wilma Joplin for doing such a fantastic job of taking care of city business and finances. Excellent work!
  8. Attended city council meetings in Strawn and Gordon, connecting with our neighbors to work with them on issues that effect all 3 of our communities. I would like to see a meeting of all 3 councils sometime in the coming months so that we can discuss opportunities for all of us to work together to solve issues and make our communities better.
  9. I’ve been to several water meetings with our state rep and other local and state officials over the past year. I recently attended the 2023 Water Summit hosted by our state rep Dr. Glenn Rogers at the Crazy Water Hotel in Mineral Wells.

The Old Mingus Church

The Church Incident.

DISCLAIMER: This is for entertainment purposes only. Any names or likenesses are simply coincidence.

The story of the old church.

The church was purchased by a local man on the 22nd of August 2018 (Deed filed at the courthouse Sept 25, 2018) from a woman in Mingus. She had previously purchased the church from the Overlook Society on December 14, 2012 according to public records. She owned it for 6 years and let it rot during that time. This story is about a scam, lies, attempted robbery, vandalism, trespass, court bias, blatant abuse of power by a judge, and a frivolous lawsuit concerning the bell and pews.

Timeline Synopsis:

August 22, 2018: The church was purchased for $5,000 as is with no restrictions or reservations.

June 8, 2019: She tried to steal the bell out of the church, the sheriff’s office failed to prosecute. She destroyed my personal property, and tried to remove the bell which was part of the building. Her efforts to try to steal it significantly damaged the building. (10 months after the purchase.)

September 9, 2020: 2+ years later. She sent a letter demanding the bell. (2 years and 19 days after the purchase. )

December 17, 2020: She filed on me in JP court #4 for possession of the bell. (2 years and 4 months after the purchase.)

December 20, 2020: A citation was issued that I was being sued. (2 years and 4 months after the purchase.)

August 20, 2021: Trial and judgement rendered. (3 years after the purchase.) The judgement was not legal as you can’t assign someone property then take it back at an undisclosed future date. I was misrepresented by my attorney who should have fought this but did not.

November 28, 2022: The church and all of its contents were donated to CARE in Mingus so they can build a new facility. (4 years and 3 months after the purchase. )

January 23, 2023: Writ of possession served to turn the bell over to her. ( 4 years and 5 months after the purchase.)

February 10, 2023: Court Property Hearing. ( 4 years and 6 months after the purchase.) This was the loophole the JP used to issue a commitment claiming contempt of court because I wouldn’t turn the bell over to her.

February 10, 2023: I have been threatened with jail for an indefinite amount of time for a civil matter (contempt of court). ( 4 years and 6 months after the purchase.)

February 15, 2023: A commitment was issued. I was told that I would be taken to Palo Pinto and held indefinitely until the bell shows up!!

March 2, 2023: The commitment has been recalled and the bell remains out of her hands forever. Case Closed!

April 30, 2023: I got a call from a nice reporter telling me there is going to be another trial!! Minutes after that phone call the judge drove in front of my house and said there will be another trial over the bell.

April 2, 2023: The church has been moved to its new home at Ranger Ridge where it will be restored and the bell will ring again!


Prior to the most recent purchase in 2018 by the current owner, the previous owner had sold the church to someone else via owner financing. A gentlemen who lives on the same block as the church. He paid her monthly as required until he discovered that part of the property she had sold him South of the church was not hers to sell. An illegal land sale that she used to try to scam him. The owner finance purchase paperwork was never filed in the courthouse, even though the paperwork was drawn up by an attorney but apparently they were never paid, so it was not filed. This was revealed by her as a fact and the gentleman that financed thru her verified the accusation. When he stopped paying her due to the illegal land sale that was part of the deal, she foreclosed by simply evicting him using the local JP as there were no legal records of the owner finance transaction.

The church was already in very poor condition when she sold it to the current owner. No major renovations or upkeep had been done in the years the previous woman owned it and the water damage ran deep into the walls and floors. The South wall leaked and was badly damaged. Water was leaking into the side walls all around, dripping on the pews and floors from the holes in the roof. The window frames throughout the building leaked. It was left in disrepair for years prior to the sale in 2018. The pews, bell, and other fixtures were rained on, defecated on by vultures and rodents and left to rot while in her possession. She never had any interest in them until a year after it was sold! Why would they have been left to be rained on and destroyed if she had any interest in them?

Almost a year after it was purchased on August 22, 2018, the drama began. On June 8th, 2019, yes almost a year later!! She tried to steal the bell out of the church in broad daylight, during a city wide garage sale. She was told several times in text messages “DO NOT TOUCH ANYTHING IN THE CHURCH!! NOTHING IS TO BE REMOVED!” Many of the locals were involved in the garage sale at The Deer Lease bar, preoccupied with the event, she took advantage and snuck around that day destroying the bell tower, lying to people about her permission and ownership of the bell and church! The current owner had been out of town, but came back early because he suspected something was going on with the church as per text messages. He arrived late that night unplanned, and the next day he went to the garage sale to the surprise of everyone because he was not supposed to be back for a couple days and didn’t tell anyone he had returned. The woman was at the garage sale and didn’t say a word to him, not even an acknowledgement. She walked by, looking down at her food silently as he said hello. It was an odd passing considering the usual greeting from an acquaintance after returning from an out of town trip for several days. Something was up!

The discovery. Upon leaving the garage sale. He headed over to check on the church. Nobody ever said anything about the church because nobody knew, or they knew but were lied to and unaware it was an attempt to steal the bell. Several people thought she still owned the church!! Yes she never told the people helping tearing it apart that she didn’t own it, nor did she tell anyone in town who would have been very concerned and called the sheriff’s office had they known it was an attempt to steal the bell and vandalize the building. Even the crane operator assumed she had the right to take it.

As he rounded the corner to the church, there was a crane parked on the property and the top of the bell tower was destroyed, pieces scattered on the roof and ground. In shock and panic, he didn’t quite comprehend what was happening. How was this allowed to happen in broad daylight!? She had crafted a web of lies to avoid anyone calling the police or notifying anyone about the destruction happening to the church. Had he not returned early, she would have taken everything! He immediately returned home to call for help. The first thought in the panic was to figure out why on earth she would do such a horrible thing, it was thought they were friends. A slew of text messages began between the new owner and the woman to stay away from the church and not to touch anything! She ignored all the messages and returned to the church to continue her theft.

At his request, a couple of family members came to town to see what was going on. They arrived, discussed the situation and then headed for the church to see the damage. When they arrived, she was there still trying to steal the bell!! She completely disregarded the specific instructions to stop and get away from the church. When the owner got to the church, she had people on ladders and on the roof. The crane was lowering the hook to grab the bell as they pulled up. Even after several warnings to stay away from the church and not to remove anything. She was told repeatedly to stop and leave immediately as she was trespassing and had no right to be there. She argued that she would do whatever she wanted and NOBODY could stop her! (There is a video of this) She continued and insisted the bell was hers and nobody was going to stop her from getting it. She continued to try and defy the orders for several minutes until a heated argument insured. The sheriff’s office was called, but didn’t respond until later that day. She used the text messages from their friendship months prior to try to prove she had rights to the bell, when she did not. A ruse to confuse the officer and make it look like she had a right to be there. She also lied to the officer stating that she was related to the new owner and she had permission, when in fact via 2 days of text messages she did not, and there is no relation between them. She should have gone to jail, but the officer stated that they weren’t taking an old lady to jail. The lies she spewed made it a civil matter according to the PD. So because of her lies, it forced the situation to be treated as a civil case, not criminal at the time. At the end of the day she got away with destroying the church. The bell was left exposed because of her destruction and lies. It was safely removed later to protect it from getting destroyed when the building falls or to prevent it from being stolen. It gets used often and can be heard by everyone in town on occasion.

June 8, 2019 Attempted theft of the bell.
June 8, 2019 Bell tower destroyed by her.

On September 9th, 2020, over 2 years after the purchase and more than a year after the attempted theft, she sent a letter of intent to sue for the bell and pews at a valuation of $7,500!! Another attempt to steal the bell and pews using the local court. She fabricated a value and a lie that she was to be given free and clear the bell and 7 pews. (Which 7? All of them were in bad condition.) Why did she choose to let them decay in the building for 6 years, then 2+ years after the sale then decide she had to have them and they were hers even in such poor condition? They had by her hand been defaced already as all the ornate hardware had been removed. (The pews are worthless due to rain and buzzard shit all over them. They are also from the late 70’s/Early 80’s, not original as stated on purchase. The bell is only worth about $700 as it cast iron and not brass.) Why the deceit and sneaking around if she truly had rights to them? She never once notified the owner she was going to get the bell or pews because she knew she had no right! In her lawsuit, she claimed she discounted the church $5,000 to keep bell and pews, a complete lie.

The deed at the bottom of this post shows that the church was purchased with it’s contents without restriction. “Grantor, for the consideration and subject to the reservations from and exceptions to conveyance and warranty, grants, sells and conveys to Grantee the Property, together with all singular the rights and appurtenances thereto in any wise belonging, successors or assigns forever.

Another fact is that the property was purchased on the 22 of August, 2018. The check cleared on August 24th.

Sec. 16.003. TWO-YEAR LIMITATIONS PERIOD. (a) Except as provided by Sections 16.010, 16.0031, and 16.0045, a person must bring suit for trespass for injury to the estate or to the property of another, conversion of personal property, taking or detaining the personal property of another, personal injury, forcible entry and detainer, and forcible detainer not later than two years after the day the cause of action accrues.

Check cleared on August 24, 2018

3 months later on December 21, 2020. The new owner was served a notice of lawsuit in the amount of $7,500 for the bell and 7 rotten pews. The serving of the notice was done in a questionable manner. An unrelated minor from down the street was served the papers. He was outside the fence doing yardwork. On top of the questionable serving, the owner was only given 14 days to find an attorney. At the time, court was schedule for Monday January 18, MLK Jr Day!! Of those 14 days, 5 were business days and not weekends or holidays. It was a challenge to find a local attorney over the holidays on such short notice. The owner and several locals showed up for court at 9AM that morning only to find that court was not being held, and conveniently the owner was not notified. Everyone witnessed the phone call as we stood on the steps of the city hall. The rescheduling went on for 8 months!! On 2 more occasions it was cancelled the day of. The trial was finally held Aug 20th, 2021 where everyone was required to wear a mask!! Against the Governors orders and the Supreme Court ruling!! Court was held on a Friday and the judge required a notice of appeal by Monday at 3PM! Roughly 7 business HOURS to file an appeal!! Without any judgement or paperwork being delivered to anyone! The flawed and errored judgement came days after the appeal time had passed!

The Verdict: The bell, and pews belong to the new owner, and the old lady, the former owner owes $2,000 in damages for trying to steal the bell. So be careful when you deal with this evil woman. She used pictures of her destruction and attempted theft of the bell to confuse things in court, saying most of the damage was done by the new owner!! More lies.. She has yet to pay the judgement as of Jan 2023.

At the time the judgement was rendered in Aug 2021, the church, bell, and pews had belonged to the new owner for 3 years!! As stated by the deed and the purchase in 2018. So if the ruling was in fact in her favor, how can you take something that deteriorates from someone after that amount of time? Or force them to care for it, maintain it, and store it for 3 years!! If so, a storage fee and maintenance costs should be assessed and billed to the old lady!!?? The supreme court can’t even rule to give someone property and then take it away years later.

Buyer beware when purchasing from a scam artist, always get everything in writing and use a title company!

The church has been vandalized repeatedly over the past few years, windows broken out, the door kicked in, bricks stolen from the foundation. People have zero respect for private property.

A lot of time and effort went into assessing the church restoration. In the end it was not feasible to restore if it. The cost to restore it would have been astronomical, a complete rebuild was needed to make it safe and usable.

So all the people who want to criticize its decay, get the whole story first.

Update 25 January 2023

The church has been DONATED to a local non profit for a new building and space of their own. No money was taken for the church, property, or the contents. All pieces and parts of the church were given away, everything!

No good deed goes unpunished out here. On January 23, at 2:30pm a Writ of Possession was issued to turn the bell over to her 4 and a half years later!! The writ is dated January 18, 2021!? It demands that the bell be turned over to her. With the threat of a commitment! I’m no attorney, but I don’t believe you can throw someone in jail over a civil issue. It gets even more interesting, the pictures attached to the writ of possession are pictures taken in 2019 during the attempted robbery!! There is a crowbar in the picture and from the top where the tower was destroyed. Nobody has ever been on that roof except the workers with the old lady that tried to steal it.

All the paperwork for this mess is here in reverse order. Personal information has been redacted or legal reasons. No harm is intended by these posts, it is merely for entertainment purposes.

Handed to the owner by the constable on Feb 6, 2023 at 15:38 CST to appear in court on Friday Feb 10, 2023 at 11:30 CST There was no date on this notice or the envelope it was delivered in. I called the JP and asked for more than 4 days as I needed to consult with my attorney. I was DENIED!

Not dated and not a legal summons. A call was made Feb 6, 2023 at 16:45 CST to the JP asking for more time to consult with an attorney the JP responded saying “Court is scheduled for Friday at 11:30 am you better be there. You’ve had 2 weeks to prepare.” A flat out lie!

January 23, 2023 served by constable.

The writ is dated January 18, 2021, an illegally served writ, well beyond it’s legal date.

Letter from the previous owner demanding the bell and pews. Jan 23, 2023

Received by mail from her.

This judgement states that it is in favor of the new owner! This is also an illegal ruling, you can’t give someone proerty then take it away later.

Paperwork in reverse order.

She never paid the judgement against her, she walks around free after destroying my personal property and trying to steal the bell. Meanwhile I am threatened with jail. Welcome to America!!!

The notice above was served to a 14 year old minor who lived down the road, it was found on a workbench outside. Over 2 years later..
Over 2 years later…

The start of the illegal lawsuit and nothing but lies…

Texas needs a Texas size trail system!

I’ve started investigating a multi use trail from Mineral Wells (MW) State Park to Palo Pinto Mountains State Park (PPM) to Possum Kingdom SP (PK)

A Bicycle/horseback/hiking trail from MW – PPM – PK would benefit the parks and the surrounding communities in countless ways.

The trail would be a huge economic booster for the state and the local communities. Palo Pinto, Lake Palo Pinto, Gordon, Mingus, and Strawn.

This is the beginning of something big for Palo Pinto County and Texas!!

Here is the trail system that inspired me to start this journey.

Mickelson Trail South Dakota–mickelson-trail/

If you have any experience getting trails created or would like to help, please email me vinny at minguslife dot com.