July 21, 1888: Reverend Robert C. Oliver purchased the lot at the corner of Assembly and Taylor Streets for the purpose of a mission that cares for destitute citizens.
1889: Construction of the then-named Gospel Tabernacle’s facility is completed.
1891: Reverend Oliver Dies at 57 years old on August 2nd; shortly after his death, the mission is renamed as the Oliver Gospel Mission.
1904: As listed in Reverend Oliver’s will, a book depository for religious books advocating holiness is created at 1106 Taylor Street (called the mission book room).
1980: The 2nd and 3rd floors that housed the Mission’s low-income apartments are condemned after city building codes are revised. Oliver Gospel Mission condenses its services to provide temporary daytime shelter, food and chapel.
December 24, 1981: The Mission reopens night-time shelter temporarily for the winter.
1982: Remodeling of the Mission’s 2nd and 3rd floor apartment area is underway and completed, now meeting the city’s new building codes. Oliver Gospel Mission fully reopens to the homeless.
1987: An anonymous donation of over $150,000 is given and creates the Re-Founders Fund to help plan for more renovations.
1989: Complete renovation of 1100 Taylor Street is underway.
1990: Oliver Gospel Mission’s new renovations are unveiled.
1997: The New Life Discipleship Program is created to help men overcome their alcohol and/or drug addictions.
2002: The Christian Life Development Program (now the Recovery Program) is implemented to replace and improve upon the New Life Discipleship Program.
2004: Oliver Gospel Mission purchases the building next door at 1116 Taylor Street.
2005: Renovations for 1116 Taylor Street is completed and room is created for a clothing distribution center, classrooms, career building computer labs, and offices.
May 2, 2013: Oliver Gospel Mission celebrated its 125th Anniversary with a gala featuring Dr. Ben Carson as the guest speaker with over 800 guests in attendance.
2013: Oliver Gospel Mission establishes the Timothy House, a home for Recovery Program graduates to continue to receive support as they reintegrate their daily lives back into the community as responsible citizens.
2015: Oliver Gospel Mission publicly announces its plans for a new ministry, Toby’s Place for Women and Children, as it undergoes a capital campaign to raise funds for the future center that will provide aid to homeless women with and without children.
The Mission’s approach has continually operated in the same spirit of its founder, but over time has adopted new programs to adapt to the changing times and needs of the community. It currently serves men 18 years and older through a variety of ministries. These services include chapel, meals, shelter, clothing, an addiction recovery program, and a program that helps men secure employment and housing.
Stationed at 1100 Taylor Street, the Mission has seen and experienced a lot of change since 1888. However, one thing will always remain. Oliver Gospel Mission will always be there to help the broken and homeless.