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Growing a business by the grace of God

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By Doug Ponder

One LaRue County business owner said he owes all the success of his tire and repair service to God.

Mel’s Tire and Repair Service is located on 626 South Lincoln Boulevard in Hodgenville. The business sells new and used tires. They also offer a wrecker service, welding services and field or road service for trucks, tractors and combines.

Owner Melvin “Mel” Mortensen said he worked for Phelps Coal Company in Hodgenville for 16 years before opening his own business in 1988. After becoming a saved Christian in 1985, Mortensen said that he started looking for other avenues to help him get a job.

“I was praying for a better job and nothing came open for a long time. Then I got sarcoidosis, but by the grace of God I got through that and was able to still work. But when I got out of the hospital, business got slow, so I started working for myself,” Mortensen said. “I then borrowed a trailer and equipment I needed to start this business. We are always afraid of the unknown a lot of times, but God put me in a place where I had no other choice than to start out on my own. If it hadn’t come to that point, I probably wouldn’t have done it.”

As business continued to grow throughout the years and Mortensen started gaining loyal repeat customers, Mortensen started looking for employees in places that a lot of businesses owners wouldn’t look for potential employees.

“I have done a jail ministry at LaRue County jail for several years. Its a great way to witness and share the gospel. I had two guys from the jail that ended up working for me and one of them got saved while they were in jail,” Mortensen said. “One of the guys worked for me for six years and the other one for three years. It was good for both of us because I needed workers and they needed work. One of the guys has gone on and opened a tire service of his own. This is hard work and a dirty job, but they were both willing to do it.”

Mel’s Tire and Repair Service is a family run business as Morensen’s wife Alline and daughter Renee Wolford both help out with bookkeeping. Mortensen went on to say that the future looks bright, as other family members are interested in working in the business.

“My great-grandsons Zae Mortenson and Zander Lee Mortensen both love coming out here to the shop,” Mortensen said. “I always tell them that this is a dirty job and when they come here to visit, they tell me ‘pappaw I want to go do my dirty job.’ Zae was at his daycare one day and they asked him what he was thankful for and he said he was ‘thankful for his dirty job.’ So I hope to pass this business along to them one day.”

Mortensen said that Mel’s Tire and Repair Service has no set hours. However, he said he can be reached at anytime by phone. For more information about the business call 270-358-3868 or 270-723-5372.