The Kings of the Narrow Gate

July  10, 2014

      Inspired by the people he's met on the street and in shelters, a Dubuque man has published a collection of their stories. T. W. Trenkle call it "The Kings of the Narrow Gate," in honor of the Narrow Gate Mission.

      "The Narrow Gate name comes from Matthew in the Bible in which Jesus is said to have spoken about widen the gate to destruction and narrow the gate to redemption. And that's why I titled it - the kings of that gate are the impoverished people, the people who are humble and are working toward and actively involved in helping their neighbors and brothers."

      Trenkle's day job is teaching psychology at Northeast Iowa Community College, but in his "spare" time, he tries to focus public attention on poverty, race, and in-equality - by writing for newspapers and other publications, and by volunteering at places like the Narrow Gate Mission. 

      "I have found that the news only devotes about one per cent of its space to issues regarding poverty. And I began also to reflect on issues of race because here in Iowa we have those issues and I don't think they're reported enough."

      Back in the early 90's, Trenkle played a key role in alerting the state of Illinois to serious problems at a home for adolescent boys near Dixon - the Nachusa Lutheran Home.

      "The Kings of the Narrow Gate" is self-published, and available at the Book Rack in Moline and Davenport.