Shepherd's Arms Rescue Mission

Our Mission

The Shepherd’s Arms Rescue Mission in partnership with local churches and other concerned parties is called for the primary purpose of presenting Jesus Christ as Lord to the homeless, unemployed, and destitute of Chattanooga’s Inner City and around the world; to provide education which redefines self-worth according to Biblical principles; to offer temporary shelter; physical food, and Christian counseling until clients can be fully integrated back into society as resourceful individuals fulfilling the purpose for which they were created.


Our Ministry Goals

The Goals that Shepherd’s Arms is working with the Lord to accomplish through fulfilling the Great Commission in Matthew 28:19,20; and the work among orphans and widows found in
James 1:27 and Proverbs 24:11 are


Evangelization of the lost and the provision of a depth of Christian  Discipleship


Provision of a safe shelter for homeless women and children where emotional, psychological, and spiritual healing may occur


Prevention of further erosion of God’s design for the family


Reduction of homeless and abortion rates



Reduction of Unemployment


Restoration of Dignity and Self-Worth According to Biblical Principles


Restoration of Purity in relationships


Restoration of a healthy socio-economic posture


“Rescue those being led away to death, hold back those staggering toward slaughter.”

Proverbs 24:11




Our History

The Shepherd’s Arms Rescue Mission was founded October 15, 1995 as a result of much prayer, and an overwhelming concern for the homeless population of Chattanooga’s Inner City. Jim and Mary Ann Sanders stepped out in faith and joined the Lord in the work He was doing among homeless women and children, widows, and at-risk inner city youth.  The founding Scripture given by the Holy Spirit was Proverbs 24:11 which says, “Rescue those being led away to death, hold back those staggering toward slaughter”. Prior to founding Shepherd’s Arms Ministry Jim and Mary Ann Sanders ministered to homeless men in Chattanooga, and through this outreach realized the need for a Christ-centered mission shelter for homeless women and children.

The Sanders spoke in fifty churches sharing the vision during the first two years and wrote twenty grant proposals and then the Lord provided the funding to purchase the initial building and furnishings. The City Church of Chattanooga was the home church of the Sanders and was the first church to partner with them in fulfilling the Lord’s vision. The ministry was launched debt-free and has remained so during the past twenty three years. No government funds were received in an attempt to avoid compromising the Biblical principles set forth in the organization’s mission statement.

Shepherd’s Arms was formed as a transitional housing shelter for homeless women with children where dignity and self-worth are restored according to Biblical principles. Residents may reside for four to six months. During their stay they receive clothing, shelter, meals, weekly allowances to budget, Christian Counseling, Biblical Self-Worth Education, Scriptural Boundaries Courses, G.E.D. classes, Crown Financial Ministry Courses, Lord Heal My Hurts – Precept Ministries Course, Sunday chapel services, and morning and evening devotions. Evangelism and discipleship are the heart of every activity at Shepherd’s Arms.

In the year 2000 an out-reach to widows and at-risk inner city youth was started. The widows receive a monthly food box, luncheon, and Bible Study. Home visits are conducted twice a month. At-risk inner city youth are served by an after school Bible Study coupled with an evening meal. Summer Youth Enrichment Day Camp provides positive activities such as the study of fine arts, Bible study, arts and crafts, educational field trips, and etiquette lessons. This year Shepherd’s Arms celebrated twenty three years of Christmas Adoption for needy families.

 In January 2018 Shepherd's Arms opened a new dormitory with a commercial kitchen, four offices, and library. This new facility was named Nancy's House in honor of the late Nancy Browne Maclellan. This new facility provides twenty-four more beds for homeless moms and children. The new dining hall will accommodate seventy-five.