The Galesburg Rescue Mission is celebrating it’s 80th anniversary Tuesday.
Acting Director Jimmy Bennett calls it “awe-inspiring” how they’ve been “blessed” for eight decades to help those in need with clothes, shelter, food, and more.
While the basic call of serving God through helping people has not changed, the Rescue Mission has gone through some evolution over the years.
They moved to the former Calvary Assembly of God Church on South Street in December of 1966.
When that building was destroyed in a fire, work continued out of the McCollum Chapel on South Seminary Street after their South Street
They moved to their current location, an old school on the 400 block of East Third Street in 1983.
Later that year they opened their Center for Women and Children.
They also launched a Women’s Pregnancy Center in 1995, which offers food boxes for those in need and a used furniture store to help local families buy furnishings at a reduced cost.
Renee Galvin is Director of the Women’s Shelter says that many women and children that come to them are also victims of domestic abuse.
She says like the men who stay at the Mission, Bible studies and spiritual growth are points of emphasis.
Rev. Sylvester Sanford was 62-years old, and at an age when many think of retirement, Sandord and his wife Josephine started the Rescue Mission in 1941.
Finally, Rev. Sanford retired at the age of 80. Director Bennett says the Mission is Sanford’s legacy as a “humble servant of the Lord.”