In 1957, Director Andrew Vander Veer kicked off a new era for the West Fulton Street Mission. With a growing heart toward those ravaged by drugs and alcohol, he helped form an “Alcohol Victories” committee and moved the organization closer to downtown.
He challenged the public with a competition to come up with a new name. Thus, Guiding Light Mission was chosen out of 600 entries. The publicity and support for the new downtown Guiding Light was strong. The late 50’s through the 60’s was a boom period for donations and local church support. The programs and services offered were vast: Bible classes, meals for the hungry, weekday meetings, gospel services, youth programs, juvenile assistance, family support, hospital calls, church planting, African American outreach and more. All were geared toward bringing people closer to the Lord.
The next few decades were a time of introspection for Guiding Light. A philosophy of, “We don’t turn anyone away” made our organization a safe haven for the troubled all through the 80’s. But this begged the question: “Where do we want men leaving Guiding Light to turn next?” Eventually this elusive end goal became clear: if faith works, then all God’s faithful deserve meaningful work, too.
THIS MEANS THAT ANYONE WHO BELONGS TO CHRIST HAS BECOME A NEW PERSON. THE OLD LIFE IS GONE; A NEW LIFE HAS BEGUN!
2 CORINTHIANS 5:17