Peoria Rescue Ministries Historical Timeline
PEORIA RESCUE MISSION FOUNDED
Mrs. Florence Holzschuh and Mrs. Helen Durdel began serving donuts and coffee in a storefront on SW Adams Street because of the burden they felt for homeless men in Peoria. In October 1955, these women met with the Ministerial Association, asking them to organize a Rescue Mission Board. During the next few years, a residential program for sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with homeless men became what is known today as Peoria Rescue Mission.
men’s renewal program begins
A farm in rural Peoria County is donated and plans beginto take shape for a men’s long-term renewal program. Known as Victory Acres, this program includes Bible studies, counseling, and a work program to help men heal from various forms of addictive behavior.
rev. jerry trecek becomes executive director
Jerry Trecek steps into the role of Executive Director of Peoria Rescue Ministries after serving for a few years at Victory Acres. Under his leadership, Peoria Rescue Ministries continues to grow and expand.
current peoria rescue mission built
The present Rescue Mission building is constructed to accommodate nearly 100 men. Clothing, food, and overnight lodging continues to be provided to men who are homeless and in need.
Pregnancy center & counseling center open
A need is seen to minister to women experiencing an unplanned pregnancy or recovering from post-abortion trauma. The Women’s Pregnancy Center is founded and serves the area by providing free pregnancy testing, STI testing, sonography, baby diapers and supplies, etc. The Center is now known as the Empower Life Center.
A counseling center, now known as the Barnabas Center, is also opened to offer free Biblical instruction and encouragement to individuals and families.
begins supporting global ministries
Peoria Rescue Ministries begins supporting global ministries in the Ukraine and Latvia. The REALIS Center in Ukraine serves as a seminary and training center, while the Riga Bible Institute in Latvia trains nationals to proclaim the gospel of Christ to those in Eastern Europe.
renewal program for women begins
Esther House opens as a long-term residential renewal program for women and their dependent children. It provides a safe and inviting environment for women to come learn about Jesus Christ and grow in their walk with Him. Biblical principles and life skills are taught to help the residents become self-sustaining members of our community.
Thrift Store Opens
A thrift store opens to sell donated items at a reduced cost. Located in one of the poorest areas of Peoria, this store serves and ministers to an often forgotten segment of the population.
New executive director
Rev. Jerry Trecek “passes the mantle” of leadership to the new executive director, Jonathan Rocke. Peoria Rescue Ministries continues on with a passion to serve the needs of the vulnerable and to proclaim the life-saving message of the gospel.
Emergency Shelter for women & Children opens
An emergency shelter available to women & their dependent children opens at the Esther House facility. Services provided include warm beds, showers, nutritious meals, clean clothes, chapel services, Bible studies, and individualized case management.