60th Anniversary!

Posted on Feb 2, 2019 in News | Comments Off on 60th Anniversary!

60th Anniversary!


A special giving opportunity from Rev. Roger Skelley-Watts

Greetings, sisters and brothers of Christ in the Steubenville area:  I was privileged and honored to be appointed as Executive Director of The Urban Mission Ministries from 1988-1992.  God showered countless blessings upon us during that short, but eventful, time together.  The Mission moved from a small house on 3rd Street, two churches merged under the leadership of D.S. Jim Skinner, and the current Mission Center church at 301 North Fifth Street was donated to the Mission.

I followed the untimely death of the Rev. Bob Hutton, engaged in deep grief ministry, and honored him by opening the first Hutton House Shelter for Homeless Families.  Responsive to requests to help victims of the steel mill closings, all area churches came together to organize the JOSHUA program. A Steubenville University professor came up with the name, and the late Rev. Jim Humphrey was involved.  On the eve of the visit by Ohio East area Bishop Edwin Boulton and his Cabinet, a massive fire ripped through the Mission Center, from bottom to top.  We recovered, restored better than ever, and emerged from the flood and fire with grateful hope in our hearts.

The history of Urban Mission remained alive and all around me – the Rev. Bob Henthorn and his faithful associate who served from his wheelchair were around to inspire from the early days of the Mil Men’s Hostel.  Rev. Fred Gaston and Deaconess Mary Louise Minnick, and many long time volunteers kept me grounded in God’s grace. Ever since, The Urban Mission has held a holy place in the hearts of me and my family.  As I read Rev. Ashley Steele’s beautiful article about your 60th anniversary expansion dreams, my family and I have been praying about how to celebrate my 70th birthday on January 26, 2019.  Following my retirement party, Thanksgiving and Christmas blessings, giving back felt the Holy Spirit call.

I invite you to join me, my wife Rev. Joan, children Andrew and Kathryn, in donating $70 (or a multiple) to the Rev. Roger Fund.  100% will go to the 60th anniversary expansion dream.  Mail a check made to The Urban Mission, 301 north 5th Street, Steubenville, Ohio 43952.  Note to the REV. ROGER FUND.  You may also connect with the Urban Mission website and designate the REV. ROGER FUND. I’ve been working with Rev. Ashley on this celebration plan, so call with any questions to 740.282.8010

Please contribute ASAP.  Our family has already kicked off the campaign with our seed gift of $700.00.  May it grow many more blessings with your generosity.  May we honor our past ministries together by investing in the future miracle that God inspires.

Sincerely, your servant in Christ,

Rev. Dr. J. Roger Skelley-Watts