April 22, 2015
The Louisville Rescue Mission recently awarded its inaugural Holcombe Mercy Ministry Award to Bryce Butler. The award is named after the ministry’s founder, Steve Holcombe, who was converted to Christ in 1881 out of a violent lifestyle of drinking and gambling aboard a riverboat.
Butler is a board member whose tireless labors on behalf of the ministry have not only allowed it to remain in existence, but have caused it to flourish in recent times after many years of financial struggle to a point of nearly disbanding. Brian Croft, who serves as senior pastor of Auburndale Baptist Church in Louisville and vice president of the board for the Louisville Rescue Mission, presented the award to Butler at the ministry’s annual banquet.
Said Croft, “I have served on the board for several years and I cannot remember a time that has been more exciting than this season we are walking in now. But I must confess to you, it wasn’t always this exciting. In fact, just a few years ago, we hit a very scary place and many of us wondered if this rescue mission that had existed for over 125 years would actually survive. We were in a financial crisis, the staff was burnt out and discouraged, building needs had overwhelmingly accumulated, and our record keeping was a mess.
“In God’s kind providence, someone joined our board that not only had a love for this ministry, but possesses some of the rarest gifts I’ve ever seen. He joined the board, once he regained his composure over the shambles he saw that our ministry was in after his first board meeting, he rolled up his sleeves and said he wanted to help. I do not believe it is an overstatement to say this ministry may not have survived without the unique service this man provided at this pivotal time.”
The Holcombe Mercy Ministry Award will be given annually to an individual who best exemplifies the vision of the ministry’s founder in helping Louisville’s hurting and homeless. Butler was presented a commemorative picture that serves as a symbol of Holcombe’s own ministry aboard riverboats that followed his dramatic conversion by the grace of God.
Founded in 1881, Louisville Rescue Mission (LRM) is America’s fourth oldest homeless rescue mission. For over 130 years, LRM has been caring for the physical and spiritual needs of Louisville’s most vulnerable citizens.
We are now excited to be called Louisville Rescue Mission (formerly Jefferson Street Baptist Center)! In the midst of changing our name, we want everybody to know that our mission stance has not changed. We continue to exist to extend gospel-centered mercy to homeless and hurting people of the greater Louisville KY area. Changing our name has not changed our mission focus and we hope that our name change will increase our ability to better fulfill our mission and to care for more people. Our core values continue to be Community, Transformation, and Christ and our desire is to help encourage our guests to move forward in each of these areas. Our Mission continues to be firmly grounded in the Word of God, and we have the privilege of teaching our Day Shelter guests and our LifeChange men that Christ is the Way, and the Truth, and the Life and that no man comes to the Father but through Him (John 14:6). Please pray that we would continue to have boldness preaching and teaching God’s Word to those that are hurting in the city of Louisville, while we seek to meet their physical needs.