Hillcrest Bruce United Methodist Ministries was formed in 1971 by a coalition of several Ashland area United Methodist Churches who were receiving almost daily requests for help from residents of the Hillcrest and Bruce apartments. They began working together to provide not only physical necessities like food, clothing, and diapers, but also to share the love of Jesus Christ with those in need.
With assistance from the Kentucky Conference of the United Methodist Church and the General Board of Global Ministries, the ministry found a home in a donated apartment within the Bruce complex. A Church and Community worker and a group of volunteers led Sunday School classes and other activities, and provided food, clothing, furniture and other physical needs. As awareness of the services offered grew, the board of directors realized the necessity of moving to a larger facility.
In 1985 a new 4,000 square foot facility was completed and the ministry officially became known as Hillcrest-Bruce Mission. In this new facility, the Mission could offer an after-school program, women’s groups, educational classes and family night activities. In addition, the large rooms allowed the Mission to offer pre- school at no charge to children in the neighborhood. The building also included two dental offices, a clothing closet, staff offices and a complete kitchen.
In recent years, the Mission has expanded its programs and services even further as we attempt to meet the spiritual, physical, emotional, educational and social needs of the clients we serve. The Mission now employs five people, and is blessed to have almost 80 volunteers who are active in our low-cost dental clinics, our programs and worship services, and our annual Christmas adopt-a-child program.
In 2005, the Mission expanded its facilities again when it purchased the house adjacent to the Mission. Our preschool was relocated to the house, and the Mission now offers a computer lab so that job skills can be taught to those clients who want to better their lives but need local training opportunities. The dental assistance program continues to serve many patients each month, with volunteer dentist and hygienist offering their services.
"Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people..."