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History

FOCAS Ministries has almost a 30 year record of proven success with more than 20 years in Cincinnati’s community of Over the Rhine. Lives have been transformed! Our program works on a very Spartan budget, limited processes, a no-frills environment, and high financial accountability standards. We have been a member of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability since 2002.

View and Download the 30 Year History Brochure -- Best printed on legal paper with landscape orientation 

 

For Quick Reference, jump to the sections below: A Brief History || Haiti Programs || Inner City Programs || Vision Mission and Purpose


Brief History  back to top

FOCAS Ministries was established in 1986 by Richard (Dick) Taylor, an executive at GE Aircraft Engines in Cincinnati, Ohio, after traveling to Haiti with a mission team from his church. Haiti, located 700 miles South of Florida, is an island nation with a population of eight million people. It is the poorest country in the world.

Dick’s heart was moved by God to establish a ministry designed to help the desperately poor in remote areas of Haiti, with basic needs including elementary education, food, and medical attention.

Since the mid 80’s, Mission trips to Haiti have also been conducted each year. Countless trips have been made emphasizing medical attention, construction, and many forms of evangelism.

 


 

Haiti Programsback to top

FOCAS Ministries currently provides direction and leadership to the Child Sponsorship Program of Mission Evangelique International (MEI) run by Dick’s longtime friend, Pastor and Bishop Octamoliere Liberius. The aim is to help the desperately poor through resource development, providing medical programs, building projects, equipping schools, and training indigenous leaders to become self-sustaining. (Please prayerfully consider becoming a FOCAS Child Sponsor in Haiti by investing $35.00 per month for a child’s education.)

Approximately 900 elementary children are supported in five rural schools: Mont Mare Roseaux, Francois, Gallet Chambone, Duplan II, and Callebasse Vocational School.

 

In 1997 a Child Survival Program was initiated to help save the lives of babies and their mothers through the provision of nutrition education, perinatal care, and other basic health care services. Children, parents and neighborhoods are also presented with the Gospel at schools, seminars, and camp programs. The program grew too large to manage effectively, and in October of 2008 it was taken over by Food for the Hungry.

 

In 1992, after Dick retired, he began working full-time (voluntarily) on FOCAS Ministries activities searching for an effective way to address the crucial needs of men in the Over-the-Rhine inner-city community of Cincinnati.


Since 1993, the goal in each of our inner city programs, as described in following paragraphs, is to see changed lives and the elimination of personal destructive behaviors. To attain these goals we strive to build one-on-one relationships with children, men and women and offer help through gym activities, counseling, prayer, Bible studies, teaching positive life skills, and networking with other agencies.


In 1994, following the death of Dick's grandson, FOCAS Ministries opened the Nicholas Hoyer Sportsclub for youth and children. The Sportsclub would eventually be renamed the SportsCenter, involving activities with Bible Study and is open 20 hours a week during the school year and 40 hours a week in the summer months.


In the following year Dick’s wife, Anne, added an outreach ministry to the streets called The Lord’s Pantry.

 

Today, FOCAS’ Five inner city programs include:back to top

The Lord’s Gym OTR

The Lord’s Gym Covington

The Lord’s Gym Family Activity Center

The Lord’s Gym Street Outreach Ministry (formerly The Lord’s Pantry)       

The Lord’s Gym Mobile Street Outreach Ministry

 

Dick’s wife passed away in March of 2010; and in February of 2013, Dick Taylor suffered a fall sustaining a serious career ending injury. The board of trustees appointed Scott Bowers as the interim executive director in March and the executive director in February of 2014. Tony Green joined the staff in the winter of 2015 as Director of Development, and Vicky Gentry continued in her faithful role as Administrative Assistant.


The Lord’s Gym and Lord’s Pantry had to vacate the facility we were renting in May due to a FOCAS Kids Prayingstructural failure in the building. However, all things work to the glory of God; and as a result, under the leadership of Bob Clarke, Director of Ministry Operations, FOCAS Ministries re-opened not one, but two Lord’s Gyms and two Lord’s Pantry’s in Over the Rhine and Covington, Ky.


The Lord’s Pantry would begin identifying with a new emphasis on street evangelism and discipleship leading to a name change: The Lord’s Gym Street Outreach (STORM). The moves would eventually lead to the creation of a Mobile Street Outreach Ministry in the summer of 2014. Chaplain Jim Turner leads The Lord’s Gym Street Outreach ministry.

 

In September of 2013 the SportsCenter was spun off under the leadership of Pastor Al Mosely and his church, with the intention of FOCAS Ministries starting a new youth initiative in 2014.  As a result of years of displacement of many people to Price Hill from Over the Rhine’s gentrification projects and gross upshot of violent crimes, Price Hill was selected as the location for FOCAS Ministries’ new youth and family initiative. The Lord’s Gym Family Activity Center opened on June 1, 2014.

 

In August of 2014, FOCAS Ministries joined with City Gospel Mission and Jobs’ Plus Employment Network at the official ground breaking of our future shared campus at Dalton and Liberty streets. The current plan is to relocate The Lord’s Gym and Street Outreach Ministry Over the Rhine locations to this campus sometime in mid-2015.

 

In all of the wonderful history and exciting changes that God has led FOCAS Ministries through the Vision, Mission, and Purpose have remained the same. They are as follows:

 

Vision Statementback to top

To see transformed lives; reproducing transformed lives that change cultures and communities for the glory of God.

 

Mission Statement

To proclaim the gospel, develop disciples, and show God’s love in practical ways through gifted compassionate servant-leaders; so that, lives are transformed in urban Cincinnati and Haiti by the power of the Holy Spirit (Ref Luke 4:18-19)

 

Purpose

To glorify Jesus through loving, serving, and discipling people to live empowered-transformed lives.