Matt. 25 Hope Center - the radical transformation of a community eyesore into a regional ministry center of hope. The old Memorial Hospital building at 12th and Thornton Streets had closed as a hospital in 1978. In 2001 Tony Evans (nationally known radio speaker, author, and pastor) had challenged community leaders to use the abandoned building as a Christian resource center for the community.
Federal Judge Bob Brack had a dream about people of all different backgrounds walking in and out of the old hospital with the phrase "MATT 25" above the entrance. When Judge Brack awoke, he went to His Bible and read the words of Matthew 25. He then shared his vision of serving those in need with different people in the community, and they decided that something had to be done. God was calling His people to revive their community through what was thought of as a useless, old building.
In 2003 a Board of Directors was formed and 350 people signed up for various areas of ministry. Rev. Steve Brown, a pastor with construction experience, was hired in 2004 to head up the renovation process. It was an enormous job with teams of people coming in and cleaning out the vandalized building.
In the spring of 2006 a part of the building was ready to be opened. It was wonderful to see people receiving food, clothes, and other assistance twice a week. Plus there were also support groups for women and men and computer learning classes. Rainbow Reading Room was set up as a place where individuals seeking assistance could leave their children while Center volunteers read to them. One of the wings of the basement was being completely renovated to house the Boy Scout troops in the community.
In the fall of 2006 a new director, Steve Reshetar, was hired to help fulfill the mission of Matt 25. His role was to promote the idea of a Ministry Development Center: encouraging, equipping, and empowering people to fulfill the ministry that God has called them to do. Over the years this mission has evolved a little to make Matt 25 a one stop community resource center. Hurting people are walking through our doors receiving all different kinds of help through the ministries and agencies that now comprise the "Hope Center" as people prefer to call it. They know the Hope Center is a safe place where they will be treated with dignity and offered words of encouragement.
Sid Strebeck, President
Tammy Waters, Vice President
Jack Kirkland, Treasurer
Louis Gordon, Secretary
Esther Steelman, Director
Brad Bender, Director
John Rink, Director
Paul Reed, Director