Hoskins Park Ministries, Inc. represents a merger of two ministries, Jesus Anointed Ministries (JAM), founded January 8, 2001 and Hoskins Park Ministries (HPM), founded November 19, 2002. Both organizations were created to serve God's least.
May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. ~ John 17:23
Jesus Anointed Ministries (JAM)
Johnny Allen informally founded JAM on January 8, 2001. Mr. Allen has housed approximately 8 men (at a time) at his home located at 109 S. Crigler Street since its inception. Mr. Allen ministered to the men who reside in his home 24 hours per day, respectively, on his own. JAM has had approximately 200 residents since its inception (through 2005) at varying lengths of stay and acts similar to a Christian Emergency Shelter in that Mr. Allen takes very high-risk men directly off the streets. Hoskins Park Ministries (HPM)
HPM was incorporated by Tom Wheeler as a non-profit organization under “The National Heritage Foundation” on November 19, 2002. Since that time (through 2005) approximately 40 men have been residents at Hoskins Park. The ministry supports four men in one house located at 111 S. Crigler Street, which is next door to Mr. Allen, and three men at 106 Cromer Street, which is directly behind 111 S. Crigler Street, for a total of 7 residents at a time, respectively. HPM also acted similar to a Christian Emergency Shelter although it was the intent of Mr. Wheeler to house more transitional residents into his houses.
Mr. Allen had been program director at Mission Corp. in Nashville, Tennessee from 1998-2000. He has also been a resident of that same ministry prior to him becoming head of its Nashville branch. Since Mr. Allen had been on the streets himself, and because he had experienced drug addiction in his own life, and because Jesus had saved Mr. Allen using Mr. Hilton Mansfield (founder of Mission Corp.) and his work at Mission Corps., Mr. Allen felt burdened to help those people who struggled as he had by providing that same help. It became his life calling to help men off the street whose lives were being ruined by drugs, by living amongst them and introducing them to the same Jesus who saved him. Therefore Mr. Allen rented 109 S.Crigler Street on January 8, 2001 and moved in to start that work. However, at that time he still believed he was called by the Lord to build a new ministry with his pastor, Mr. Mansfield, since Mission Corps. had recently closed its doors due to financial issues. Mr. Allen immediately took men in off the street. He and Mr. Mansfield also had a large warehouse that they were attempting to use as a larger shelter like facility. Mission Corp. was a fairly large and national ministry and they were attempting to recreate an enhanced version of that ministry in Charlotte. However, during that same time Mr. Mansfield felt called to serve the Lord in a different capacity, leaving Mr. Allen by himself in the ministry of his own home. Around this same time Mr. Wheeler, who was then working at the Uptown Men's Shelter as a Front Desk Supervisor, met Mr. Allen. After a brief explanation of Mr. Allen's work, Mr. Wheeler was invited and visited Mr. Allen's home. He was also introduced to Mr. Mansfield.
And they were calling to one another: “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.”4 At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke.5 “Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty.” 6 Then one of the seraphs flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. 7 With it he touched my mouth and said, “See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.” 8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!” ~ Isaiah 6:3
During his years in seminary Mr. Wheeler believed he was called to serve God's least, His homeless. Having very little experience he decided to check himself into the Uptown Men's Shelter to see what it was like to live in that environment for several days. He also believed the Lord wanted to use that experience to either change his heart or burden it further for his poor. During that time Mr. Wheeler was convinced it was his calling to minister to God's homeless. Shortly thereafter Mr. Wheeler resigned his position at Forest Hill Church (Asst. Director of Discipleship) to serve as a front desk supervisor at the Uptown Mens' Shelter. While in that position Mr. Wheeler felt a call to live in the inner city as well, particularly since he could no longer afford a house where he used to live, having taking a job for substantially less money. He attempted to purchase a house within eye site of one of his churches partners, Christ Resurrection Church (located off of Wilkinson Blvd) but no matter how many attempts he made, the contract was never accepted. Confused, Mr. Wheeler waited. It was during this waiting period he met Mr. Allen. Excited by Mr. Allen and Mr. Mansfield's work, Mr. Wheeler almost immediately offered to assist them in their efforts to build a new ministry.
However, due to the transition occurring with Mr. Mansfield this offer was rejected. Furthermore, a partnership with Mr. Allen was premature since his ministry direction was in transition as well, and Mr. Allen and Mr. Wheeler had not yet developed a relationship. Therefore, on February 27, 2002 Mr. Wheeler purchased the house next door to Mr. Allen in an effort to join God in His work as Mr. Allen's neighbor. Mr. Wheeler lived in this home with its residents 24/7, acting in a similar capacity to Mr. Allen. Mr. Wheeler incorporated Hoskins Park on November 19, 2002 as a non-profit ministry under the National Heritage Foundation. Seeing an opportunity to expand, Mr. Wheeler purchased a second home in October of 2003 which is located in the back yard of the Crigler Street address. Mr. Wheeler moved into 106 Cromer Street as a requirement of the purchase contract, and took in two additional residents in his new home.
On October 1, 2004 Mr. Wheeler purchased the house next door to 106 Cromer Street, 120 Cromer Street. This house was completely renovated in 2005 and has become Mr. Wheeler's permanent residence since November, 2005. Currently Mr. Wheeler lives with one resident of the ministry bringing the total number of residents to eight. Although Mr. Allen and Mr. Wheeler were doing the same work, they remained independent although they had a great deal of interaction and cooperation. God has developed their relationship into a friendship.
Mr. Allen and Mr. Wheeler agreed to merge into one ministry effective January 1, 2006. Since they both were doing identical work prior to the merger, the most significant change was clarifying the implementation of the mission and vision of the ministry, rather than redefining it. It was also important to define specific roles to avoid redundancy and to satisfy giftedness, and then to put Mr. Allen on the payroll of Hoskins Park Ministries. It has been decided that Mr. Allen will serve as its Program Director while Mr. Wheeler will serve as its Executive Director. It should be noted that the name HPM was chosen because of the length of time it had been incorporated (under the National Heritage Foundation, since 2002), the literature that had been produced for HPM, and an agreement that the name was not important enough to change for personal reasons.