Lexington Rescue Mission was founded in 2001 by Jim Connell, who followed God’s call to move from Indiana to Kentucky to start this outreach to hurting people. Jim’s professional experience in accounting, fund-raising, and project management as well as years of leading a lay benevolence ministry had equipped him with the skills he would need to lead this ministry. Nevertheless, with no personal connections or money to fund the ministry, he knew this mission would only succeed if God was driving it.
Lexington Rescue Mission is an interdenominational Christian non-profit organization that is governed by an independent Board of Directors. Lexington Rescue Mission is accredited by the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA) and the Association of Gospel Rescue Missions (AGRM).
In 2015, Lexington Rescue Mission:
Since the beginning of 2016, Lexington Rescue Mission has expanded our ministry to people who are leaving incarceration and re-entering our community. We are now working with men and women who are incarcerated at Fayette, Jessamine, and Woodford County detention centers and Dismas Charities. These men and women are successfully finding employment, housing, and support through our re-entry services.
Jim Connell is the founder and executive director of the Lexington Rescue Mission. In April 2001, Jim left his home and career in Columbus, Indiana to move to Lexington and start the mission. Jim is a former CPA and served as the Chief Financial Officer for a Quinco Behavioral Health Systems, a regional community mental health center. From 1996 to 1997, Jim served as a Project Manager to start a free medical clinic staffed by volunteer nurses and doctors. Following this work, he joined the staff at the Columbus Regional Hospital Foundation to conduct their annual fund-raising efforts. In addition to serving as the Executive Director of the Lexington Rescue Mission, Jim was elected to serve as President of the Southern District of the Association of Gospel Rescue Missions from 2012 to 2014.
Jim lives on the north side of Lexington with his wife Becky. Jim has two grown children, Laura, who works as Development Director for the mission, and Brian, who works as the Senior Director of Legislative Affairs at the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Jim and his wife are members of Immanuel Baptist Church in Lexington, Kentucky.
When Ryan came to the live at The Potter's House, he was, by his account, "a broken man." He had struggled with drugs and alcohol for most of his adult life, and he felt worthless. "The staff treated me with dignity and respect, even though I had very little of these things for myself."
Juan first came to the Mission for a meal when he was suffering from depression. "I had a family, but they didn’t know where I was. I was sending them half of my social security every month, and I was about to become homeless because I couldn’t pay my bills," Juan said. "The people at the Mission introduced me to programs that helped me pay my bills and find food, furniture, and clothes. I got involved in Jobs for Life where I learned about dressing for an interview, putting together a resume, and presenting myself in a professional environmental. I started getting so many more job opportunities after that. It’s been awesome."
Juan's life has radically changed since he then. He is working and supporting his family....and he has hope. "Because of the Mission, my life is finally in a place where my daughter can live with me. I’m able to support her, and she’s doing great in school and living a happy life. Everyone there is so loving. I owe them a lot, and I thank God for them."
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