Over the years, the Rescue Mission has faced leadership and organizational changes, giving it an interesting history of survival. In its early years, the Springfield Rescue Mission was a strong Christian-based organization, focusing on feeding, sheltering and clothing men living on the streets or traveling from town to town. For the most part, these were men who had abandoned their families and were addicted to alcohol. The Rescue Mission, then and now, reaches out to the least, the last and the lost – meeting physical and spiritual needs through the presentation of the Gospel, relying on God through the public to support our work.
By 1938, the Springfield Rescue Mission had weakened in its witness for Christ and Cummings Memorial became the dominant homeless shelter in the community. Cummings Memorial Inc. began as a Christ-centered organization and continued in full operation until January of 1997, when it was closed for health and safety reasons. With a decline in emphasizing spiritual needs for the homeless by Cummings, a group of seven laymen form a local church bound together to establish the Springfield Gospel Mission in 1951, bringing God back into the healing process of meeting spiritual and physical needs of poor people. They began with meager financial resources and the faith that God would provide for their ongoing needs. Basic services of a cup of coffee or soup and a chapel service were offered to those who would come for assistance. In 1958, this same group of Christian men changed the name back to the Springfield Rescue Mission, which continues today as a Christian non-profit human service organization.
In 1997, the Springfield Rescue Mission acquired the former Cummings Memorial property and began the legal process of dissolving the Cummings Memorial, Inc. name, and expanding the Springfield Rescue ministry to offer more beds for emergency shelter and transitional living programs.
Today, the culmination of these three organizations make up over 100 years of service to the homeless, addicted and poor. Although the Springfield Rescue Mission experienced many changes over the years, it remains a Christ-centered organization, reaching out and touching lives with the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the determination to seek God’s will for its future. Men, women and children seek the many services provided at the Rescue Mission daily.
1892 - This ministry began over a laundry on Stanford Street on September 15.
1927 - Celebrated 35 years of ministry with the Superintendent Alexander of the Water Street Mission, as guest speaker.
1930's and 1940's - The Rescue Mission went through a difficult period and Cummings Memorial began work with the homeless.
1940's - Fanny Crosby, a famous hymn writer ministered here.
1951 - The Springfield Rescue Mission was rechartered by seven lay people from Grace Baptist Church.
1962 - Purchased the former Y.W.C.A. building at 19 Bliss St.
1974 - Became a member of the Association of Gospel Rescue Missions.
1988 - Two programs established:
1989 - Two programs established:
1990 - Three programs established.
1994 - "Growing Together Toward Excellence" Certification with the Association of Gospel Rescue Missions (AGRM)
1995 - Learning Center established.
1997 - Springfield Rescue Mission obtained the Cummings Memorial Building at 148 Taylor Street.
2000 - Kitchen renovation completed.
2002 - Two programs established:
2004 - Renewal of "Growing Together Toward Excellence" Certification with AGRM
2006 - New Development Office
- Women's and children's shelter ministry.
- Renovation of current facilities or relocation for greater ministry growth.
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