The Westminster Rescue Mission was founded in 1968 by Jim Resh, of Hagerstown, who had a heart for missions work; Mr. Resh founded six other missions through his ministry. We opened our doors in 1969 on Green Street, with a thrift store on the ground floor; the men in the program occupied the rest of the house. We outgrew that space quickly, and moved to Railroad Avenue, where the ministry of the Rescue Mission flourished. At that time, some of the Mission’s clients were even employed as street sweepers by the City of Westminster.
The leadership of the Mission had a vision though, to move the ministry to a more rural setting, away from the easy access to alcohol and other temptations that came with being in town. Just about that time, the City of Westminster said they needed the space on Railroad Avenue to expand downtown parking options, and they offered to help us move. In 1981, we purchased 39 acres of farmland on Lucabaugh Mill Road from the Hull Family, and the new Mission facility was opened in 1986 where it served 32 men. The program was helping many men to turn their lives around through the power of the gospel and the structure, nurturing, and help of the staff, and we had long waiting lists for the program. It quickly became time to think about expansion again. Even as we were in the midst of a capital campaign and had developed drawings of how we would expand the facilities, God’s hand moved once again in a mighty way to expand our vision.
Our neighbors at Random House inquired about purchasing the Mission’s land to expand their warehouse operations. When negotiations concluded, Random House purchased over 9 acres that they needed and the beautiful 30,000 square foot facility we now enjoy was built to accomplish even more ministry to the addicted and hurting. In the same deal with Random House, we were able to move from a store in downtown Westminster that was found to be structurally unsound to the current location of the Spare Room on Main Street. God has blessed the Westminster Rescue Mission throughout its history, and even in the aftermath of the fire that destroyed our barn, and one of our thrift operations, in April of 2012, we trust and believe that God will equip us to rebuild and do even more in ministry to the least, the last and the lost.