Mission & History
Our Mission: We exist to serve and glorify God through Christ-centered ministry that meets the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of hurting people in the greater Lexington area.
Lexington Rescue Mission began as Jim and Becky Connell from Columbus, Indiana, felt led by the Lord to start a ministry to the poor and homeless in the fall of 2000. Lexington was one of three communities in the region that was identified by the Association of Gospel Rescue Missions as needing a rescue mission.
In April 2001, Jim left his job in Columbus and moved to Lexington to start the mission. Four months later, the mission purchased a building on North Limestone Street with the help of a generous gift from a Lexington couple. On November 21, 2001, services started with a Thanksgiving banquet at Broadway Christian Church. Since that time, the mission has fed and clothed the poor and hungry in our community. In March 2003, renovations on the Limestone Street building were completed, and the mission launched its residential recovery program for men battling drug and alcohol addictions. In addition, a Homeless Prevention Program was started to give emergency financial assistance for rent and utilities to those on the brink of homelessness. In January 2004, the mission purchased a 5,000-square-foot building in north Lexington on Glen Arvin Avenue. We received our occupancy permit in May 2005 and opened The Outreach Center. Since then, we have changed our residential recovery program to a transitional home and added a health clinic, job training, ex-offender re-entry, walk-in hours for resource referral, a discipleship program, and pastoral counseling.
2000: Jim and Becky Connell, from Columbus, Indiana, feel led to start Lexington Rescue Mission.
2001: Lexington Rescue Mission is established at 649 North Limestone, and the first Community Thanksgiving Dinner is held at Broadway Christian Church.
2003: Renovations are completed at the Limestone building, and a residential recovery program for men and the Homeless Prevention Program are launched.
2004: A former nursing home at 444 Glen Arvin Avenue is purchased. The Lexington Rescue Mission Thrift Store on Bryan Avenue opens. A Read to Succeed site is established.
2005: The Outreach Center opens on Glen Arvin Ave. The Mission starts sending urban youth to camp in Jackson County. The first Mission banquet is held.
2006: Renovations are completed on the kitchen at The Outreach Center, and the Mission starts serving lunch there.
2007: Klothes For Kids, which provides new clothing to Fayette County Public Schools, is launched. The Mission also opens a health clinic at the Outreach Center and transitional housing for men on Maryland Ave.
2008: The Mission launches the Fresh Start employment program and a budgeting class. The first annual Walk for Warmth, a fundraiser for the Homeless Prevention Program, is held.
2009: A second Lexington Rescue Mission Thrift Store is opened on New Circle Road. Parenting classes start at the Outreach Center. The Mission participates in Sleepless in Lexington.
2010: The thrift store on New Circle Road was was closed. The Mission starts a Community Garden at The Outreach Center.
2011: A women’s transitional home, called R.U.T.H. House, is opened.
2012: Steady Hands, a worship and Bible study service, and Jobs for Life, a Biblical job training program, were launched.
2013: A neighborhood center was opened at Embrace Church on North Limestone.
2014: The Mission closes its thrift store and women's transitional home and starts offering Jobs for Life classes at Fayette County Detention Center.
2015: Jobs for Life starts classes at Woodford County Detention Center. The Mission partners with New Life Day Center and Jubilee Jobs to launch Advance Lexington, a staffing service.
2016: The Mission launches character-building classes in the local jails and expands its re-entry ministry to Jessamine County Detention Center. We also opened a new neighborhood center at First United Methodist Church in downtown Lexington.