RESCUE MISSION HISTORY

“In 1893 a godly and capable man maned John Price opened a mission in the East End at 408 East Federal Street. It all started with a small Sunday school class.  The venture was successful from the start and the following year a kindergarten, sewing club and mothers club were added. So, in 1905 the board felt that the work should be enlarged and made permanent, and the ministry was relocated to 360 ½ East Federal Street. Accordingly, an old residence was rented from the Youngstown Ice Co, two workers were engaged, and a Gospel Mission, having certain settlement features, was maintained.”

 

English classes with an enrollment of over 100 foreigners followed. The kindergarten grew to seventy-five students. Later a day nursery for children whose mothers went to work and a fresh air camp for over sixty children were established. A total of $4,631.56 was donated to operate Christ Mission Settlement in 1907 from hundreds of patrons, churches, businesses, and groups. The shelter has never received government funds.

 

In 1908 we moved to East Boardman Street to a three-story building on a lot donated by H.B. Wick. Rev. Ray Hagstrom joined Christ Mission as our Superintendent in 1917 and in 1922 the Christ Mission Helio Hygienic Camp for Pre-Tubercular and under privileged children started.

 

Again, the activities outgrew our quarters and for many years a new building was needed. Our hopes were finally realized and in 1929 as a spacious new building was home to Christ Mission Settlement – a combination Mission and Settlement, seeking to emulate the Master who came “not to be ministered unto, but to minister.” Included was a “Children’s Receiving Home” to temporarily care for young ones whose homes were completely broken due to sickness, death, desertion, or incarceration of parents. In 1929, sixty-nine children were served.

 

1936 saw the addition of Christ Mission Farm and in 1958 Rev Walter Houghton became the new director. In 1960 the work was split to become two separate entities, Christ Mission Goodwill Home and Rescue Mission Inc. In 1969 the Rescue Mission moved to South Avenue before moving again in 1972 to 962 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd. Rev John Woods, Rev. Tim Lowe and Rev David Sherrard led the Mission in the mid-1970’s to the early 2000’s where the ministry continued to serve three meals daily to anyone in need, offer overnight shelter, and help with clothing and essentials. The ministry also offered basic living skills, budgeting, and GED coursework along with Bible studies and chapel services. In 1992 the Mission served 113,683 meals to hungry people and provided 26,886 nights of shelter.

 

Jim Echement was the next Executive Director in 2012 until our current CEO, John Muckridge III assumed leadership in 2017 and we fully engaged in a capital campaign to move from our 25,000 square foot building that was beyond repair. In November of 2021, a ribbon was cut at 1300 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd to open a brand new and fully paid for 8.6 million dollar, 50,000 sq foot single story building designed for the ministry of rescue in the Mahoning Valley. The current shelter is capable of sheltering 100 men and 86 women and children nightly, continues to serve three meals daily to anyone in need and offers programming to grow individuals out of homelessness with an annual budget in 2023 of $2,880,000.

Praise God for His faithfulness and thank you to all who have been part of our rich history!

Listed below are the milestones that have made The Rescue Mission of Mahoning Valley the remarkable institution that it is today.

RESCUE MISSION OF THE MAHONING VALLEY MILESTONES

2023

Thanks to the Lord, our Valley provided 105,125 meals and offered 44,659 nights of shelter to 1,339 different people as we celebrated 130 years in the Valley. And Jessica Hagstrom Emaus, our former Finnish intern from 2006, came back to volunteer at the Mission in June with her family: Tom, Erik, and Ingrid.

2022

Selling out in 58 minutes, the Mahoning Valley Coffee Trail fundraiser featured 17 locally owned coffee shops in its first year. And the Mission humbly received the Vindicator’s Gold Readers’ Choice Award for charitable organization.

2021

November 12, 2021, marked the opening of the Mission’s new location at 1300 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd. A joyous celebration was attended by nearly 800 guests who gave great praise to the Lord and toured the new facility.  In the second year of the Covid 19 pandemic

2020

The Vindicator’s Annual Readers’ Choice Award in the category of Best Charitable Organization presented to Rescue Mission of Mahoning Valley in September 2020. Launched second phase of capital campaign fundraiser called “Supply Our Shelter” to raise 1.5 million dollars to furnish the “move our mission” construction underway at 1300 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd in Youngstown, Ohio.

2019

The “Move Our Mission” capital campaign broke ground on 10-31-2019 for a new 50,000 sq foot building (6.5 million dollar project. Hosted first “point 5K” fundraiser – a 1,640 foot fun-run at White House Fruit Farm in July. New mission statement adopted. “By God’s grace, the Rescue Mission of the Mahoning Valley exists to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ as we promote accountability and provide food and emergency shelter to men, women and children experiencing hunger and homelessness”

2018

71,383 meals served. 1625 unique individuals provided with overnight shelter. 36 staff members employed.

2017

John Muckridge, III named President/CEO of Rescue Mission of the Mahoning Valley.

 

2016

Capital Campaign to Move Our Mission launched in November

2015

Recognized as “Children’s Advocate Award Honoree” from Akron Children’s Hospital Mahoning Valley at 5th Annual Champions for Our Valley’s Children Celebration. Ceased operations at Distribution Center on Glenwood Ave to focus on the average 130 clients cared for at the Mission each night

2014

Entered into a partnership with San Diego Christian College to create The Discipleship Academy, a comprehensive educational program. (Total meals served 165,504. Total Overnight Stays 44,553) Updated website and all Mission branding including a new logo featuring a hand and sun.

2013

Total meals served 114,236. Total overnight stays 36,114 (of which 4,932 were for children).

2012

James G. Echement is promoted from Development Director to Executive Director of the Rescue Mission of Mahoning Valley. Lynn Wyant was promoted to Development Director in his place.

2011

Over 40,000 hours of volunteer time is logged at the Rescue Mission of Mahoning Valley. A record year!

2010

Received “Certification of Excellence” from the Association of Gospel Rescue Missions for the second time in Mission history, and a new 12- passenger vehicle is purchased for the ministry.

2009

Celebrated Rev Sherrard’s 20th Anniversary as Executive Director of the Rescue Mission of Mahoning Valley in Youngstown.

2007

Received 8+ acres from the City of Youngstown for a future new facility.

2006

A student from Finland selected to intern at the Mission for 6 weeks. Jessica Hagstrom Emaus traveled to Youngstown to learn about homelessness and serve our guests.

2005

A true year of growth. A major communication program is launched to educate the community on all that is happening at their Mission.

2004

The Rescue Mission Ambassador Program is launched, establishing a liaison between individual churches and the Mission. The Mission prepares for growth. Private funding enables the Mission to install a leading-edge computer network linking both buildings to each other and the world.

2003

Year-end statistics show a huge increase in the Family Service division. Of the more than 23,000 overnight stays, over 5,000 were children.

2002

Two sisters who regularly volunteer transform the Mission’s Family Service Division with a complete renovation of an old office area. Room becomes the “Wee Room,” a play and learning area for our smallest guests. Gift was in honor of their parents.

2001

A walk-in freezer and refrigerator are purchased with grant monies allowing the ministry to take advantage of perishable foods that are purchased in bulk and donated.

1999

Private donations provide for the renovation of an old storage area into a Computer Learning Center, which is a key element in the Resident Programs for men, women and children.

1992

End-of-the-year figures show increases in meals (13,683), overnight stays (26,886) and clothing (6,151). Due to a lack of space, a new facility is purchased. The Distribution and Volunteer Center is opened at 2246 Glenwood Ave.

1991

A survey in Youngstown indicates 50% of the homeless are children. A new board is formed for the New Life Maternity Home and is spun off from the Rescue Mission to better serve the needs of girls.

1990

“Winter Wonderland” begins. Children’s gifts are collected at Christmas and volunteers wrap the gifts for distribution.

1989

“Teen Straight Talk” begins under the direction of Mary Duke. Rev. David Sherrard, with his 18 years of experience in the Detroit Rescue Mission, comes to Youngstown with his family to serve as the Executive Director.

1988

Due to increases in the numbers of women and children, a Family Services division of the Mission is formed, with an average of more than 60 people per night.

1985

New Life Center in Vienna is remodeled and opened as the New Life Maternity Home, a residential prenatal care home for girls of any age in crisis pregnancy.

1982

Shelter opens for families with an average of 10-12 per night.

1980

Rev. Tim Lowe comes with his family from mission work in other areas to be the new Executive Director.

1975

Rev. John Woods becomes the Executive Director.

1972

The Mission begins moving into the former African-American YMCA building located at 962 West Federal Street in Youngstown, Ohio (now known as Martin Luther King Blvd.).

1969

The Mission moves to a South Avenue location between an Italian food store and shoe repair shop.

1964

Mary Fulton Ladies Auxiliary is organized.

1963

The mat-making program helps provide jobs for 200 men totaling more that 9,000 man hours. Edith O’Connell leads a Good News Bible Class every Thursday under the direction of Child Evangelism Fellowship and International Children’s Ministry.

1962

Total meals served for the year to the homeless in Youngstown: 15,425.

1960

The Board decides the work is too large for one board to handle efficiently, so they split the work. Part of it later becomes Christ Mission Goodwill Home and the other part becomes known as Rescue Mission Inc.

1958

Rev. Walter Houghton comes from Florida with his family to be the new director.

1952

Overnight emergency lodging for the year: 5,000 homeless men and women.

1943

Men’s and women’s prayer groups increase to 20 active groups.

1936

Christ Mission Farm is started on a 275-acre estate of William Swanston. The farm maintains dairy cattle, hogs, chickens and a small maple sugar camp. The farm provides food for the pre-tubercular children’s camp.

1932

A group of seven Christ Mission Settlement workers start Christian Missionary work in the foreign fields.

1929

Men’s night school classes at Christ Mission Settlement were well attended.

1928

Camp Hospital is made possible and dedicated to Youngstown Kiwanis Club for their work with underprivileged children.

1925

With $300 capital, a pool room at the corner of Boardman St. and Dounds Alley is rented.

1923

Monthly socials on Saturday nights are attended by 288 men. Eighteen different nationalities are represented and 52 volunteers participate.

1922

Christ Mission Helio Hygienic Camp for Pre-Tubercular and socially underprivileged children is started 10 minutes southwest of Youngstown near Canfield.

1917

Rev. Ray Hagstrom joins Christ Mission as Superintendent.

1916

Children use Mill Creek Park’s Fresh Air Camp in Youngstown for a playground.

1908

Ministry moved to East Boardman Street into a three-story building. The lot was donated by H.B. Wick.

1905

Ministry moved to an old house in the rear of 260 ½ E. Federal St. in Youngstown.

1902

Christ Mission Kindergarten chartered in Youngstown.

1894

Sewing School, Mothers Club, and free Kindergarten are established in Youngstown.

1893

In 1893 a godly and capable man maned John Price opened a mission in the East End at 408 East Federal Street.

daily vacation bible school christ mission settlement 1929 rescue mission of mahoning valley
1928 photo of children eating christ mission settlement rescue mission of mahoning valley
christ mission settlement building 1908 rescue mission of mahoning valley
mens night school classes 1929 christ mission settlement rescue mission of mahoning valley
Christ Mission Settlement main building 1945 rescue mission of mahoning valley
Christ Mission Settlement Kindergarten 1945 rescue mission of mahoning valley
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