1965: The Plunge

To understand just how Faith Mission has evolved, you must go back to before Faith Mission even existed. In 1965 Reverend Harold Goers, pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church on South Third Street, went to Chicago to take part in an urban training program. He participated in a part of the program known as “the plunge” in which he dressed in shabby clothes and with nothing but change in his pocket, went to live for three days on Chicago’s Skid Row. He slept in a flophouse among some of the city’s most desperate homeless men.

When Rev. Goers returned to his church, he wondered how this practical experience could be put to use. He happened to meet Charles Lane, a new church member and an employee of the City Mission on Chestnut Street. Lane had learned that City Mission was about to lose its lease and pleaded with Goers to help him find a storefront in which to open another mission. Rev. Goers was not sure from where the money or resources would come to open a new venture but Lane challenged him saying “Where is your faith, Pastor?”

Goers wrote that “after a month of doubt and fear, we stepped out in faith and rented a small storefront at 177 E. Long Street.” In January 1966, Faith Mission filed articles of incorporation and, on February 6, 1966 Faith Mission held its first worship service and served its first meal to 14 men.

If it weren’t for Pastor Goers’ experience on Skid Row, thousands of Columbus’ most desperate men and women would not have been able to experience a hot meal, a warm bed and hope at Faith Mission over the last 50 years. As we honor the 50th anniversary of that first meal, we thank all of the founders of Faith Mission and look forward to serving Columbus’ homeless and hungry neighbors for another 50 years.

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