As we celebrate the 15th year of our organization, we wanted to share a brief history of how we started, highlight some of the significant events that shaped us, and share a few stories of how we have helped our community. This is the first installment.
This post is 461 words and about a 2 minute read
On a cold January night in 2008, five people met in the living room of the home of Ben and Margret Fields. They and Kyle Roberson, Joy Roberson, and Brett Parker were eating pizza and discussing what God might call them to do.
At the time, Ben, a mechanic and the owner of a car repair shop, had been quietly giving cars to people in need. Occasionally someone, typically a customer, would approach Ben with a vehicle they no longer needed and had little to no trade-in or resale value. Ben would inspect the car, and if it could be made roadworthy with minimal repairs, he would complete the work. Once the car was ready, Ben would call upon a local church for help identifying a potential recipient needing reliable transportation.
The group concluded they should be more intentional in following where God was leading: giving cars to people in need. Through Ben’s efforts, it was already happening without intentional effort. What would happen if this became an organized ministry?
The group would work out the details of sourcing cars and identifying potential recipients later. Now the conversation turned to finding a name for the ministry. The Book of Acts served as an inspiration as they started searching the internet for words and phrases that would apply to this ministry. They knew they would eventually need a domain name, so that was the logical place to start.
All the good names with “Acts” in them, like Acts of Love, Acts of Service, etc., were already taken. Margret remembered reading about a project in another state where a group wanted to put a church on every exit of a particular freeway loop. The name was “Project” plus the highway number of the loop. Margret and the others counted the number of books in the Bible and found that Acts is the 44th book. “Project 44” sounded like a great name! A quick search of “Project 44” on the internet revealed a garage rock band (Project .44) and a supply-chain business (Project44). However, the domain “Project-44” was available, so with the addition of a hyphen, Project-44, the car ministry, was born.
With a mission and a name, the next step was to organize as a non-profit. A formal organization designated as a non-profit would be more likely to secure the donated cars and financial support needed. The same group that met in that living room on a cold January evening began the formation process and filed the necessary paperwork with the IRS in April 2008. In November 2008, Project-44 officially received non-profit status.
Those early visionaries had no idea how a car ministry would grow and expand. They were just thankful to have a place to start.
Next: A Counseling Ministry is Added
2 thoughts on “A Brief History of Project-44”
Prayers up for another 15!
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Amen and thanks, Teresa!