The Ministries of Shepherd's Arms
Residential | widows | At risk Youth | Chapel | benevolence | prayer
Shepherd’s Arms is a Transitional Christ-Centered Shelter for Homeless Women with Children and not an emergency shelter. The difference being our residents may stay with us 4 to 6 months or longer if necessary. Over 900 homeless women with children have resided at Shepherd’s Arms with 60+% being placed into permanent housing. The goal of restoring dignity and self-worth according to Biblical principles is supreme with evangelism and depth of Christian Discipleship being a vital part of the process.
Intake is done by an initial phone interview followed by an on-site visit and tour. Shepherd’s Arms does not accept women who are at-risk because our shelter is not a hidden shelter. Applicants with a recent history of substance abuse are referred to a more appropriate placement. Shepherd’s Arms only accepts women with children. Residents leave the shelter at 7 a.m. daily and return at 6 p.m. and are asked to be productive by seeking employment, attending school, or actually working while in residence. Upon intake residents sign a covenant agreement to abide by the boundaries of the shelter which are aimed at keeping good things in and bad things out.
Weekly appointments with our counselor who operates from a Biblical base is required. Counseling sessions are geared to provide weekly homework assignments aimed at expediting the exiting process as clients move into a productive lifestyle. Morning and evening devotions are a part of the program as well as Sunday afternoon chapel services at 4 p.m. The Bible is the primary textbook for all classes. Residents also are required to attend daily evening classes such as “Lord Heal My Hurts”, “Scriptural Boundaries”, “Crown Financial Studies” “Breaking Free” and other classes that are rotated daily.
Residents are provided three meals daily and a small weekly spending allowance that they are required to budget. They also receive clothing, personal hygiene items, bus passes or gas allowances. Minimal evening chores are required. Residents are allowed to do laundry daily and evening showers. Families are adopted for Christmas so that everyone is blessed with gifts, love, and acceptance.
On January 28, 2018 a new dormitory was opened at SARM. This new facility was named Nancy's House in loving memory of the late Nancy Browne Maclellan. This new facility provides twenty-four more beds for homeless mothers and children, a seventy-five seat dining hall, and a library with three thousand books.
Shepherd’s Arms Rescue Mission believes James 1:27 is a key scripture for joining the Lord in the work He is doing among widows as it states, “Pure religion before God is to care for orphans and widows in distress and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.” Warren and Cleyta Andrews are our benevolence ministers to the widows. All widows receive a monthly food box. A monthly visit is also scheduled with pizza and encouragement from our benevolence team.
A monthly luncheon and Bible study is also provided as a means of ongoing fellowship and spiritual growth.
Partnership with the Anglican Church of the Redeemer is a joyous relationship as the Anglican Church conducts an annual Christmas Luncheon for the widows. Partnership with the Lookout Mountain Presbyterian Church Youth Group has been such a blessing as the youth of the church pack the monthly food boxes for the widows. Blankets and homemade quilts have been a gift of the Lord to the widows and other clients of SARM. These quilts are made and donated by the ladies of the City Church of Chattanooga and St. Jude Catholic Church.
At Risk Youth
Shepherd’s Arms began an out-reach to at-risk inner city youth eighteen years ago. Due to the erosion of the family unit as God designed it we believe it is vitally important that we reach the next generation for Jesus Christ and disciple them in the grace and knowledge of the Lord. It is our prayer that Malachi 4:6 be accomplished as we ask the Lord to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children and the hearts of the children to the fathers. Teaching the Word of God to our children is the most important gift we can present to the next generation coupled with life- style evangelism as we live it before them as models.
The ministry at Shepherd’s Arms has an after-school Bible Study twice weekly followed by dinner. Presentation of the Word of God is also accomplished in Summer Youth Enrichment Camp. During Summer Youth Camp the Word is taught daily along with fine arts. Educational field trips are enjoyed during camp. The last day of camp is shoe shopping day. Every child attending camp receives a new pair of school shoes. School uniforms are also provided as needed. Every child accepting Christ in Summer Camp is baptized in water.
Christmas Adoption for our inner-city families is another way of staying connected and making regular spiritual deposits into their lives. Former residential clients also are eligible to be adopted at Christmas.
One of the most significant ministries of Shepherd’s Arms Rescue Mission is the Sunday afternoon Chapel Services at 4 p.m. These services are open to the community and a part of the ministry program for the residential clients. The service is usually conducted in a family devotion setting and everyone is encouraged to dress casually. Using the Bible as a text and teaching in an expository fashion is the model at SARM.
During the past 21 years there have been over 3,500 decisions for Christ made at SARM. Every person who attends a chapel service also receives either a to-go dinner or dinner on site.
The Benevolence Ministry at Shepherd’s Arms began with just a food pantry. Today the ministry has grown to include school shoes and uniforms, book bags, hygiene packs, books/bears/blankets for children, quilts and blankets, umbrellas, school supplies, meals served on site including a special Thanksgiving Dinner and Thanksgiving Turkey Boxes delivered to those in need and Christmas Adoption of needy families.
Shepherd’s Arms loves to partner with churches, corporations, civic clubs and individuals to collect these important benevolence items. The Anglican Church of the Redeemer provides book bags for students annually.
If your family or organization would like to adopt a family this Christmas please contact us in November or if you or your church, corporation, or civic club would like to conduct a one item benevolence drive please at any time just e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the ministry 423-821-8363.
Shepherd’s Arms Rescue Mission was founded by prayer and continues to be our greatest need. In the Gospel of John 15:5 the Lord Jesus tells us “without Me you can do nothing”. Jesus goes on to say in verse 7 of John 15 “If you abide in Me and My words abide in you, you may ask what you will and it will be done unto you.” Our desire at Shepherd’s Arms is to constantly abide in Jesus and to have His words abide in us. We aim to pray His prayers rather than our prayers and this is based on the model Jesus set for us in Isaiah 50: 4 which says, “The Lord GOD has given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: he awakens morning by morning, he awakens my ear to hear as the learned.” When we tune our ears to the prayers Jesus is praying and agree with Him they are always answered. This is accomplished by reading HIs Word and listening for His voice through the Holy Spirit.
If you are interested in becoming a Watchman on the Wall and joining the pray-ers that lift up Shepherd’s Arms daily we invite you to contact the ministry. We need individuals and groups of pray-ers to come on site and pray for the ministry, conduct prayer walks and drives.
If you have a special prayer request please let us know by e-mailing us at email@example.com or calling the ministry at 423 821-8363.