God tells us in the Bible that He can do immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine. In 1997, after seven murders in an eight block area, the leaders of the West Park Community invited leadership from across the city to help bring change to the area. Believing that God charges His people to be a catalyst for change and through the power of prayer, the Rosedown apartments were made available for converting into a place that would meet the needs of the community.
In 2001, Mission First opened the doors of its first campus on Roseneath Ave. The first phase was converting the Rosedown Apartments. Soon after, the second phase of constructing a multipurpose building cafeteria, classrooms, offices, and a full size gymnasium was completed. From there, they saw the ministries grow in number of staff, volunteers, patients, and students as God met the needs both for Mission First as an organization and the individuals being served.
In 2016, Mission First combined its strengths and resources to merge with the Neighborhood Christian Center and Peyton’s House, a young men’s after school program, located on Ash Street in Jackson.
Another step forward in meeting an unmet need was launching Mission First’s Early Learning Center for K3 in 2018. Since its opening, they have added a K4 and K5 class in consecutive years. This ministry provides affordable Biblically based education to families in the area. Mission First ELC is poised to meet a critical need for young children in such a way that they may create a ripple effect with wide-ranging impact on communities in the state of Mississippi. Most importantly, Early Learning Center students are given the greatest foundation anyone can give them by understanding that they are created in God’s image for His purpose.
The Ministries of the Lantern Clinic in Rankin’ County recently began a partnership with our medical and dental clinic which has expanded our resources to meet the needs of patients who have found themselves in a seemingly hopeless situation without dental and medical insurance. Patients have benefitted from their diagnosis with the use of cat scans, MRIs, and ultrasounds. Graciously, the Lord has allowed for Mission First to assist in providing medical and dental care to approximately 3,000 patients per year.
Mission First’s Neighborhood Revitalization ministry is mobilizing hundreds in service projects throughout the year. This is done mainly through volunteer groups who work on projects to develop the community. This includes construction, demolition, and painting, widow ministries such as yard work and domestic projects, and street clean-up.
Despite the challenges of 2020, Mission First was able to add a new ministry last year: Peyton’s House Girls. This ministry is an extension of Peyton’s House Guys and offers middle school girls the opportunity to receive help with homework, study God’s Word with one another, and participate in educational enrichment activities. All in all, Mission First’s after school and summer programs offer educational enrichment for 150 students. Many of these students have attended college and started their vocational training with several entering military and law enforcement.
Through Mission First’s partnership with the Mississippi College School of Law, their legal ministry has been an advocate for family civil law matters by serving 1,500-1,600 clients. Because of this ministry, families are being restored and children are being adopted into Christian homes.
Every area of Mission First’s ministries has touched the lives of many and shed God’s light in darkness at a time when it was urgently needed.
Mission First is thankful that God has allowed their ministries to grow over the past 20 years. God has worked through Mission First to help others in meeting needs, building relationships, and experiencing faith!