How The Mission Began
The Jimmie Hale Mission has been serving the Birmingham area since our humble beginning as a storefront chapel in 1944. Over the years, thousands have been led to Christ and lives have been changed for the better.
Here’s how we came to be God’s hand in the world:
Jimmie Hale, who was once known as the town drunk, came to know Christ and turned his life around. He wanted to share God’s life-changing love with others, and wanted to create a mission where homeless men could receive help and hope.
Jimmie married Miss Jessie Davis, a school teacher from Moundville, and the two of them founded the Mission in March of 1944. Ironically, that first location was the same building where Jimmie sold his last drink as a bartender.
Unfortunately though, in November of that same year, Jimmie passed away due to health complications. He was only 39 years old. Jessie, now a widow, was only 27 years old, and pregnant with their first child.
Jessie took up the challenge though to continue her husband’s dream. For the next 10 years, she labored through to keep the Mission going. Thankfully, in 1954, God sent Leo Shepura and for the next 36 years, they worked together.
In 1990, Tony Cooper came to the Mission as Executive Director, following in the steps of Jessie Hale Downs and Leo Shepura. Tony counts it as a privilege to be a part of the Mission they created.
Under Tony’s leadership, the Mission has grown even more to include:
Throughout our history and various ministries, we have always been God’s hand in the world and we thank you for your support in making this all possible!