About Us‎ > ‎

Our History

Emmanuel Baptist Rescue Mission began its Skid Row outreach in 1953 as a God given burden and desire, placed on the heart of one man, Chuck Shamrock. Chuck was a member of the Bible Baptist Church of Huntington Park, California, under the pastorship of Rev. Lynn Pace. God had shown him the great need for a Gospel preaching mission to reach the lost and homeless men of Skid Row in Los Angeles.  The Mission began in a rented building on the corner of East 5th and San Pedro Streets. Together with free sandwiches and coffee, Chuck began telling the the Gospel of Jesus to the least, the last and the lost of Skid Row.

As time went by, God opened an opportunity to purchase a building on East 5th Street. Other churches were contacted and help soon arrived. By February 1956 the Mission was incorporated under the name of Emmanuel Baptist Rescue Mission, Inc. of Los Angeles. Over the next twelve years God blessed the work with approximately 600 men making public decisions for Christ. A full kitchen had been added and hundreds of hot meals were being served.  In the summer of 1965 the mission director, Rev. Dana Hacker became seriously ill. God was faithful!  He brought Brother Joe Hill to take up the ropes. Joe’s story was one of having been saved as a "hopeless" drunkard. Then, In 1968, Brother Hill was called to help another Baptist rescue Mission in Denver. Rev. John Metcalf became the new director.

In 1971 Rev. Metcalf became seriously ill and Our Lord burdened Bro. Hill to return to help the Mission. As the Mission struggled on, the walls began to shake. It was February 9,1971, an earthquake, magnitude 6.6, shook Southern California and caused more than 10 miles of discontinuous surface ruptures with average displacements of about 3 feet both horizontally and vertically. A strong aftershock sequence followed and included four quakes in the Magnitude 5 range. The quake claimed 65 lives and caused more than half a billion dollars in damage, including the destruction of two hospitals and two freeway interchanges. Mission walls cracked but remained standing, bricks and plaster fell but thankfully no one was injured in the Mission. After an inspection the old building was condemned by the City. By rights this should have happened years before. It can safely be said that it was only the Lord that kept that old place up and open for as long as it had been. The building was torn down but the work of the Mission was not forgotten by God!  On April 4, 1971 Brother Hill and his wife" Jean returned to Los Angeles.  On April 16, much to everyone’s sorrow, Brother Metcalf went home to be with the Lord.  Praise God for all that these men did.

If ever a situation looked bleak, it did back in February 1971. Yet everyone associated with the Mission was praising the Lord for His faithfulness. God is able!  The Board put their trust in God for a new building and voted to have Brother Hill go on deputation for a year to help raise the funds to build it.  God blessed the effort and new churches joined together to help. Many of them began sending regular monthly support. In March of 1972 the City of Los Angeles canceled the plans that had been put in motion to build the new building, even though they had previously given permission. The reason for their order was that the City was considering a full redevelopment of the neighborhood.  The City might have changed its plans, but God was still in control. He provided a large two-story corner building on East Fifth Street and Crocker.  It included three storefronts on the ground floor, one of which was a liquor store and space on the second floor that was used as a hotel. The year before the earthquake the rent was $750 for the three downstairs units, after the earthquake the price was down to $300. The building was located directly across the street from the condemned Mission building.  Praise the Lord!
In the early days of the Mission it could not house men overnight. The only overnight help it could give men without a place to sleep was a blanket.  Today the Mission has close to forty beds. The men who stay overnight attend an Evening Gospel Service, eat a hot meal, take clean showers and are given comfortable beds.  Currently, the Mission only houses men. The desire, with the Lord's help, is to increase the number of beds, and perhaps someday to have a separate facility for homeless women. The Mission also provides a free exchange of men’s clothing. Once a week the doors are open for men to exchange their old dirty clothes for good used clean ones.  The hope is that this service would also be available someday for women as well.

Emmanuel Baptist Rescue Mission Is entirely dependent on the prayers and financial contributions received from churches and individuals.