Winchester Rescue Mission History
The Winchester Rescue Mission opened its doors to the citizens of Winchester Virginia in July 1973 when a man named Morris Whitaker was given a vision from God to leave the security of a good job, borrow $20,000 dollars, and open up a homeless shelter for men who had found themselves on hard times. Any one of us may find ourselves in the same situation due to the financial blow of losing a job, addiction, incarceration, abuse or a series of bad decisions.
What we see here at the mission is that God has His hand on the lives that walk through our doors. He has a purpose for these men and women. The purpose is to introduce them to Jesus Christ, not change them but make them new, and restore their lives.
Jesus tells us in Matthew 25:35-36: “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.”
These results are the reason God opened our doors more than 35 years ago. God inspired Morris Whitaker, Pastor Lee Stone, Pastor Roy Menefee, Neil Connors and now our latest Executive Director Pastor Brandon Thomas to come and minister to men who had been led astray to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, not just for their salvation but for their continual daily walk in grace.
In February of 2018, the Winchester Rescue Mission opened its doors to women in the Winchester area for the first time in its history. The Stone House, named in honor of Pastor Lee Stone, officially opened February 15th, 2018 and sits a few blocks north of the men's residential shelter. The Stone House has a sleeping capacity of up to six women while our men's shelter can house up to 32 men. In early 2019, the Winchester Rescue Mission started headway on opening a larger ladies shelter by mid-Spring 2019. This shelter, also in the city of Winchester, will have capacity for up to 15 beds for ladies. Part of the new shelter will also allow a small family to be temporarily housed.
Looking into the future, the Winchester Rescue Mission looks to create space for a day shelter and more options for single parents with children and other families all while continuing to provide the same services we do today.
Let us continue to offer these men and women the best conditions and opportunities we can, to encourage them to go on and lead lives that will bring glory and honor to God and restore homes and families broken by sin and self focused lives. We’ve been seeing God’s mighty hand at work and have been greatly encouraged by the lives that He is changing. We’re seeing families that were broken being restored, employees reunited with work, and husbands and wives being accepted back to the embrace of their spouses and children.
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