#GivingTuesday 2022 | MTM's new GED testing site | Give

History

In 1899, city leaders in Grand Rapids discovered an influx of homelessness and addiction.

They called the Pacific Garden Rescue Mission in Chicago for help and Melvin E. Trotter, a former homeless and hopeless alcoholic, was tapped to start the Grand Rapids City Rescue Mission in 1900. In his forty years of running the Mission, he tapped many others to help start 68 other Rescue Missions across the country.

Mel Trotter Ministries Timeline

1897

Mel Trotter Finds Christ
On January 19, Melvin E. Trotter drunkenly stumbles into the Pacific Garden Rescue Mission in Chicago and accepts Christ as his Savior.
01 Jan 2021
12 AM

1900

Mel Called to Grand Rapids
In February, three years after his transformed life, city leaders from Grand Rapids call the Pacific Garden Rescue Mission for help. Mel Trotter, a leader at the Mission at that time was sent to start a rescue mission in Grand Rapids.
01 Jan 2021
12 AM

1905

Mel Ordained
Mel Trotter is ordained as a minister.
01 Jan 2021
12 AM

1906

Smith Opera House
City Rescue Mission moves to the old Smith Opera House.
01 Jan 2021
12 AM

1917

Ministry
Mel Trotter begins a ministry to solders in World War 1.
01 Jan 2021
12 AM

1924

Billy Sunday
In May, Mel Trotter fills in for Billy Sunday in Memphis, TN.
01 Jan 2021
12 AM

1937

Morning Mission
The Mission initiates its Morning Mission radio program.
01 Jan 2021
12 AM

1940

Mel Trotter Goes Home
On September 11, Mel Trotter passes into the presence of his Lord. City Rescue Mission becomes the Mel Trotter Mission. John Shy becomes interim superintendent.
01 Jan 2021
12 AM

1942

Wartime Outreach
Mel Trotter Mission initiates wartime outreach.
01 Jan 2021
12 AM

1944

Superintendent Named
Rev. Fred C. Zarfas is appointed as superintendent of the Mel Trotter Mission.
01 Jan 2021
12 AM

1945

Branch Mission
Branch Mission is established to care for transient men.
01 Jan 2021
12 AM

1946

Headquarters Remodeled
The Mission headquarters are remodeled and repaired.
01 Jan 2021
12 AM

1951

Superintendent Named
In September, Rev. Claude J. Moore is appointed as superintendent of Mel Trotter Mission.
01 Jan 2021
12 AM

1953

Superintendent Named
George Bontekoe is appointed superintendent of Mel Trotter Mission.
01 Jan 2021
12 AM

1956

Headquarters Location Changes
Old Mission headquarters are sold.

Mission leases the Heyman Building on Monroe Avenue as the temporary quarters.

Mission purchases Kent Theater and Oaks hotel properties for new permanent headquarters.

The dedication ceremonies for the new permanent headquarters are held between October 18-21.

01 Jan 2021
12 AM

1959

Tribute to Women
The Mel Trotter Missions newsletter pays tribute to the women who have worked at the Mission.
01 Jan 2021
12 AM

1963

Building Donated to Mission
On April 6, Mr. and Mrs. Hale McKay donate a building to Mel Trotter Mission.
01 Jan 2021
12 AM

1966

Mission is Displaced
Mel Trotter Mission is displaced by urban renewal.
01 Jan 2021
12 AM

1968

Commerce Avenue Location Opens
The new Mission headquarters opens at 225 Commerce Avenue.
01 Jan 2021
12 AM

1973

Children's Bible Day Camp
Mel Trotter Mission acquires land for a children's Bible day camp.
01 Jan 2021
12 AM

1974

Camp Mel-Tro-Mi
Camp Mel-Tro-Mi holds its first activities as a children's Bible day camp.
01 Jan 2021
12 AM

1976

Superintendent Named
In May, Rev. Henry Hoekstra is appointed as superintendent of Mel Trotter Mission.
01 Jan 2021
12 AM

1984

Executive Director Named
Jim Lenters is appointed as the new executive director (formerly superintendent) of Mel Trotter Mission.
01 Jan 2021
12 AM

1988

Executive Director Named
Harold Koning is appointed as the executive director of Mel Trotter Mission.
01 Jan 2021
12 AM

1989

Executive Director Named
Richard Roberds is appointed as the new executive director of Mel Trotter Ministries.
01 Jan 2021
12 AM

1992

Executive Director Named
In October, John Willock is appointed as the new executive director of Mel Trotter.
01 Jan 2021
12 AM

1993

Interim Director Named
Rev. Donn Rainbolt is appointed as the interim director of Mel Trotter Ministries.
01 Jan 2021
12 AM

1994

Outreach Programs
The following new outreach programs are initiated, State of Michigan's Center for Substance Abuse Services treatment (CSAS), "Biggest Bar-B-Q in Town" for the heartside district, and the children's Back-to-School program.

In May, Rev. Thomas J. Laymon is appointed as the new executive director of Mel Trotter Ministries.

01 Jan 2021
12 AM

1995

Women and Children's Shelter
Mel Trotter Ministries purchases the John K. Burch Building for the new Women and Children's Shelter.
01 Jan 2021
12 AM

1996

Thanksgiving Banquet
The First Annual Thanksgiving Banquet is held.
01 Jan 2021
12 AM

1997

Golf Event
The first annual golf event is held to benefit the Women and Children's shelter.
01 Jan 2021
12 AM

1998

International Union of Gospel Missions
In June, Mel Trotter Ministries hosts the International Union of Gospel Missions conference.

The new Women and Children's Shelter opening dedication ceremonies are held.

01 Jan 2021
12 AM

2001

Clinics
The Vision and Dental clinics open.
01 Jan 2021
12 AM

2002

Publicly Intoxicated Shelter Opens
The City Wide Center for Publicly Intoxicated Shelter opens and nurses are hired to manage and provide ministry and medical care.
01 Jan 2021
12 AM

2003

CEO Named
Tom Meyers becomes the CEO after serving as interim CEO.
01 Jan 2021
12 AM

2005

Grand Rapids Retail Store
Mel Trotter opens its first Grand Rapids retail store on 29th Street.
01 Jan 2021
12 AM

2006

Sparta Retail Store
Mel Trotter opens its Sparta retail store.
01 Jan 2021
12 AM

2007

CEO Named
Rev. Chico Daniels becomes the CEO.

The Belding retail store opens.

01 Jan 2021
12 AM

2008

CEO Named
The Grand Rapids retail store on 29th Street closes.

The Auto Training and Sales Center opens.

The Middleville retail store opens.

01 Jan 2021
12 AM

2009

Clinics and Summer Camp Close
The Mel Trotter Summer Camp closes as well as the Dental and Vision Clinics.
01 Jan 2021
12 AM

2011

Clinics Open
The Chiropractic and Legal clinics open.

A fifth retail store opens in Jension.

01 Jan 2021
12 AM

2012

Big Changes at Mel Trotter Ministries
The Mission board affirms the mission and vision statements and approves the new strategic plan.

In February, the renovated Food Pantry and new Day Center open. The Day Center provides a safe space and resources from Mel Trotter Ministries and other ministries and agencies.

The Chapel is renovated and renamed the Bob and Betty Kregel Chapel.

01 Jan 2021
12 AM
!

2013

Mel Trotter Ministries Purchases Property
Mel Trotter Ministries purchases the property on the SW corner of Commerce and Williams with funds from a generous bequest.
01 Jan 2021
12 AM
!

2014

Interim CEO Is Announced
Gordon Oosting becomes the interim CEO.
01 Jan 2021
12 AM
!

2015

CEO Is Announced, New Programs Are Provided
Dennis Van Kampen becomes the CEO. He served as the Vice President of Mission programs from 2012-2015.

Step Up, the revamped substance abuse recovery program for men and women, opens at Mel Trotter Ministries which addiction services provided by Arbor Circle.

Pathway Home, a collaboration established by Family Promise Ministries, to work with and secure permanent housing for homeless families opens at Mel Trotter Ministries.

Pilgrimage Program opens targeting ministry, services, and housing for men who are chronically homeless, mentally ill, and physically disabled. In the first year, 39 men were helped in permanent supportive housing.

In September, the First Annual Season of Hope fundraising event is held at Frederik Meijer Gardens. The Keynote Speaker is author Liz Murray.

01 Jan 2021
12 AM
!

2016

Retail Stores Close, Youth Emergency Shelter Opens
The retail store and Auto Repair Center at 555 28th Street closes. Donated automobiles are still accepted.

Y.E.S. (Youth Emergency Shelter) opens, providing separate space for unaccompanied homeless male youth ages 18-24. The pilot opened with 6 beds and was expanded to 10 beds.

The Mission board approves a new strategic plan: "Vision 20/20".

01 Jan 2021
12 AM
!

2016

Filling More Gaps for Vulnerable Populations
MTM opens an off-site transitional Youth House for men ages 18-24.

An outreach case manager is hired to help families experiencing homelessness in rural, northern Kent County.

The R&R Space is opened; a shelter space for individuals who identify as transgender. This is the first shelter space of its kind at a Christian organization in Michigan.

01 Jan 2021
12 AM

Transforming Lives

“Without MTM, I don’t know where I would be, but definitely not in the great position I am now socially, economically, spiritually, and physically,” said Sidney. “There isn’t anything they fall short of in meeting guests’ needs.”

Sidney

Sidney once had it all— a successful flooring business, a six-figure salary, a home in a gated community, a beautiful wife. He lost everything, however, when a serious injury sidelined him for two years and started him on a path to nowhere.

0
    0
    Your Cart
    Your cart is emptyReturn to Shop