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Having felt that they had been called to be “the hands and feet of Christ,” many of our early board members would go on home repair mission trips to other parts of the country.  But, when they returned they would ask themselves, “What about us?  There is a lot of need right here in Richland County.  Who will help us?”


And so, in February 2008, this group decided to organize.  They began by going to the Nehemiah Mission in Cleveland in order to learn how to operate a ministry of this type.  They worked on job sites, sought advice and learned the ins and outs of charitable home repair mission work.   Upon their return, The Main St. United Methodist Church and other United Methodist Churches in the area began the development process and the Blue Rose Mission was born.  


Our focus narrowed to the tasks of assisting homeowners in the Greater Mansfield area with home repairs while developing relationships with clients and sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ.  Being "the hands and feet of Jesus" became a reality on Make a Difference Day 2008 when we completed our first projects which included leaf raking, digging up shrubs and evicting a groundhog.  More than 70 volunteers helped out that day.  By 2009, the mission had individual volunteers and work teams that painted, plastered, did plumbing and electrical repairs, built steps, and installed locks and laid flooring. The early work teams came from neighboring counties and local churches.


By 2012, mission work teams had begun to come from far beyond our area and even from other states, such as New Jersey and Illinois. We were spurred on by comments from the homeowners, such as one client requesting that a certain group come back to her house because she had so much fun with them and loved their singing. The requests for help continue to number about 150 for each summer season.  We are thankful that even more churches in the area have joined such a wonderful cause.


The feeling of "Brotherhood in the Neighborhood" grows stronger every time a new group comes in to work.  Some groups have made a third, fourth and even an eighth return trip.  We constantly remember that not only is the homeowner and family watching you, but the whole neighborhood.  The ripple gets bigger and bigger and the homes of Richland County continue to become safer, more secure, and the appearance of our neighborhoods is improving.  These homeowners have experienced first-hand the Love of God through the service and compassion of volunteers from Blue Rose Mission.


At the beginning we asked: "What About Us?" Now the question is: "What about You?" Is Jesus calling you to service? Now is the time.  Blue Rose Mission provides wonderful opportunities for work teams consisting of both young people and adults to grow in discipleship to Jesus Christ while completing home repair projects.  With your help, we can reach the hurting people of our community.  Together we will provide opportunities for amazing spiritual growth for work teams, as well as the families being served, as they encounter one another in a loving, caring setting of mutual understanding.

Our Board

Meet Our Board


Executive Director

Jessica has been serving with Blue Rose Mission since 2021. She first started as board member, then helped with Site Coordinator and now Executive Director. Her heart for missions was first cultivated in high school and she made missions a priority in her life since. After taking a break from teaching in 2020, she heard of Blue Rose, loved its mission, and wanted to help out. 

Jessica and her husband Ian got married in 2015 and have 2 kids. 

Matt Merriman-Vice Chairman of the Board


Chairman of the Board

Matt has been serving with Blue Rose Mission since 2017, becoming the Vice Chairman of the Board in 2019 and accepting the position of Chairman of the Board at the end of 2020. He also came for a total of 6 years to serve with Blue Rose as the leader of a work group out of his then church, Columbia United Methodist Church. As a pastor, Matt liked the Mission of Blue Rose and had great experiences each time he brought a work group. This led to his wanting to get more involved by becoming a Board Member.

Matt has been married to his wife, Heidi since 2011 years and they have a blended family of 4 children ranging in age from 13 to 21 years old. Matt is currently serving as the pastor of Northampton United Methodist Church in Cuyahoga Falls. From 2013-2019, he was the pastor of the previously mentioned Columbia United Methodist. Matt is also a retired Coast Guard officer.

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Vice Chair

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Susan has been a Board Member with Blue Rose Mission since 2021 and currently serves as secretary.  She has spent the past 20 years serving as a church secretary and learned of Blue Rose through her church. She is currently employed with North Central State College.


Susan has been married since 1998 and has two daughters.

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Site Coordinator

Ian has been serving with Blue Rose Mission since 2020 as a Site Supervisor and then the Site Coordinator in 2022. He enjoys serving others and enjoys jumping into home remodel projects so Blue Rose made sense. 

Ian and his wife Jessica got married in 2015 and have 2 kids. 

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Coming Soon!



Board Member

Gary Oswalt of Mansfield, OH joined the Blue Rose Board in 2020.  A lifelong resident in the Mansfield area, he graduated from Crestview H.S. in 1967, attended and graduated from Stautzenberger College (Toledo) in 1969, receiving his technical training in Architectural Design and Drafting.  Later in his professional career, he also attended and graduated from North Central State College with an Associate in Business Administration degree (1988).


Gary began his professional career with Sprint Corp. in 1970 holding various positions, all within the Architectural Drafting, Building Engineering, Office Design, and Facilities Management field.  Gary retired from Sprint in 2004 after 34 years of service.  He then operated his own self-employed Architectural Drafting business, serving the residential housing industry in Richland, Ashland, and Huron counties. Gary retired from that endeavor in 2013.


Gary is married to his high school sweetheart, Connie, who also graduated from Crestview H.S.  Together they have 2 grown daughters, and one grandson

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Board Member

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Board Member

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Board Member

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