Louisville Rescue Mission rebrands, expands ministry

By Myriah Snyder

Published: September 18, 2018

LOUISVILLE—Louisville Rescue Mission, one of the five oldest Gospel rescue missions in the United States and Louisville's oldest, is rebranding, restructuring some aspects of their ministry, and expanding its ministry across the Ohio River into Indiana.

During a press conference and open house Sept. 18, LRM officials shared the new name for the ministry, Re:Center Ministries.

The branding change came for a number of reasons, Cory Bledsoe, Re:Center's executive director, shared. Part of it, he said, is just helping the ministry understand, "our philosophy of ministry, where we're trying to go, what our focus is, and marrying that with our brand."

Hilary Bullock, public relations manager for the ministry, echoed that. "This is a good change. The ministry is growing." But, she said, for a ministry like LRM to exist for 137 years, it's had to "adapt."

This newest adaptation includes not only changing its name and starting a campus across the river, but also expanding what it's doing within its programs. One of the ministries' main purposes, the LifeChange program for men, will have an added third step, in hopes of helping participants permanently overcome homelessness.

Louisville Rescue Mission, Louisville's oldest Gospel rescue mission, is rebranding and extending its ministry across the Ohio River. The ministry will not be called Re:Center Ministries.

Although it will keep its services like a day shelter, providing meals, showers, a mailing address and baggage storage, they're looking for more long-term results.

"2 Corinthians 5 calls us to be ministers of reconciliation. What are we doing as a ministry to be those ministers of reconciliation? How are we repairing those relationships?" Bledsoe shared.

"We came to the realization that, really, in order to do effective Gospel ministry with the population that we're targeting, to see really long-standing life change rooted in the Gospel and in this community and with families is more intentionality," he said. "Therefore we wanted to shift away from a soup-kitchen, emergency relief mentality, so we will gladly serve less people but with the goal of having a greater impact."

A resident in Re:Center Ministries' (formerly Louisville Rescue Mission) LifeChange program stops to study scripture during the day.

One aspect of that is expanding its ministry to women with young children and offering services to help get to what they see as the root of the issue – broken relationships, Bullock shared.

"We're trying to go deeper rather than wider with the people that we serve," she said. "This is giving us an opportunity to kind of specialize in the prevention and recovery side, but to do that in a way that's faithful to what we believe."

The long time Kentucky Baptist partner receives Eliza Broadus State Mission Offering funds and was formerly a mission directly under Louisville Regional Baptist Association.

For more information on how a church group or individuals can help or on the new aspects of the ministry, visit recenterministries.org. (WR)