This month represents the one-year anniversary of the partnership between Union Rescue Mission (URM) and Faithful Central Bible Church. The two joined forces last year to meet the spiritual needs of the Skid Row community.

In recognizing the partnership of Christian organizations, the church held a celebratory service. Bishop Ulmer, who has been leading Faithful Central since 1982, preached there on July 21 to more than 200 persons.

“Normally, we have three services at our main campus in Inglewood,” Ulmer said. “We have to fit into their lunch schedule so they have to be out by a certain time. Plan A was to simulcast the celebration from downtown to Inglewood,“ Ulmer explained, but the details couldn’t be worked out. “So I had to rush back for 11:45 a.m. service.”

URM, founded in 1891, is one of the largest missions of its kind in the U.S. and in 2018, the mission transformed its chapel from an emergency shelter to a place of worship. This is now Faithful Central’s downtown LA Campus.

“It was a good celebration,” Ulmer added. “We’ve been there a year seeing lives changed and touched. And the team down there is outstanding.”

A number of people from the Inglewood congregation frequently volunteer at the downtown location.

“This is a ministry opportunity for them to volunteer and help,” Ulmer said. “We have a doctor, some school teachers, regular corporate people, just to serve.”

The volunteers are there throughout the week, doing a variety of things, from setting up for Sunday services and assisting with Bible studies, to providing baby sitting services for families.

“Many ministries go down there once a month. But there was a passion that lead us to having a regular, fulltime time ministry.

“There’s a different mindset and structure there,” Ulmer added “First, when we brought [the homeless] down on busses [to Inglewood], the feedback was ‘Let’s do church in our setting, in our culture.”

The bishop said that each month, someone is transported from the mission to the church for baptism into the Christian family and the ceremonies are taped to show to the downtown congregation.

“One of the hot topics, if you will, is the issue of homelessness,” Ulmer said. “At the end of the day these are men and women, and many are very skilled and have opportunities to move forward.

“They need someone to pray with them and encourage them to be all that God wants them to be.”