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.
Abby has been serving as the Executive Director of Blue Rose Mission since February of 2018. She has always had a heart for others and has lived in Mansfield her whole life so serving with Blue Rose was a natural fit. Abby also teaches Special Education at Sherman Elementary and works as a Children’s Ministry coordinator at her home church, Mosaic.
Abby and her husband, Rob, have been married since 2008 and have four children: Lilly, Evie, Tori and Briner.
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.
Jeff has been serving with Blue Rose Mission since March of 2019 as the Site Coordinator. He enjoys serving others and previously worked as a contractor so serving the community in this capacity made sense. Jeff also works as an Engineering teacher at the local Public High School.
Jeff and his wife, Hallie, got married in 2003 and have three daughters.
Jackie has been a Board Member with Blue Rose Mission since June of 2019. She was attracted to Blue Rose because it allows her to be part of an organization that helps others in the local community while also giving her the opportunity to share her faith with others.
Jackie and her husband, Guy, have been married since 2003 and have two children: Madyson and Morgan.
REV. TAMMY KUNTZ
Tammy has been a Board Member with Blue Rose Mission since 2016 and also serves as the coordinator with the UMVIM (United Methodist Volunteers in Mission). She was glad to be invited to serve as it helps her to expand the mission of the local church and also connects her to the wider UMVIM community.
Tammy has been married since 2005 and has two children and a total of 5 grandchildren.