Out on the Mobile Highway, primarily a men’s shelter and outreach for and to the poor and homeless in Montgomery. It serves 1200 meals a week, and provides shelter to over 75/night. The “residents” prepare and deliver meals to the homeless throughout the city. The Mission is Presbyterian (PCA) affiliated and opened in 1996. Now it has teamed up with First Baptist, and this Summer Friendship hopes to open a branch in Chisholm designed to offer a hand up to women and children in need. Lead on, Vince.
Pastor Vincent Rosato was the minister of a small, rural church in Hope Hull, Alabama. In 1996 the Lord opened a door for him to preach at a Montgomery homeless shelter and soup kitchen. Vince fell in love with the ministry, felt a great burden for these men and wanted to do more to help the less fortunate Thus began a journey orchestrated by God and carried out by men that is ongoing today.
Vince and his wife, Mary, brought the men to church for a fellowship supper. At first the men were reluctant, but he noticed how the food was a great motivator to get them to come. The number of men grew each week until Vince’s car wasn’t big enough for everyone and they knew that it was time to take the next step and purchase a van.
Word got around and people wanted to be picked up and brought to church. Vince concentrated on opening a shelter that could serve the homeless and poor in Montgomery which grew at a steady pace from the start. People knew they could come to Friendship Mission, get a good meal with plenty of food (Mary did all of the cooking back then) and hear a message from the word. “The primary goal from the beginning has been to ease the suffering of our fellow man while at the same time spreading the word and message of the gospel of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.”
One Sunday, some of the men wanted to spend the night which grew into housing twenty men in the little church. By 1998, Friendship Mission had grown enough that, as an organization standing among its peers, it needed its own board of directors. Vince asked his good friend, Pastor Aaron Fleming, for help and the board was formed. Aaron eventually became Chairman of the Board and holds that position today. He is a Godly leader who leads Friendship Mission in the right direction. Friendship Mission has grown, changing it’s focus from being a small shelter to one of the largest facilities in the State of Alabama.