SPRINGFIELD – Freeway Ministries, an effort to bridge the divide between the church and those struggling to emerge from addiction and life behind bars, has grown from one man’s conviction by the Holy Spirit into an international gospel force. And what began out of Crossway Baptist Church here now has its own headquarters in north Springfield.
“Never in a million years, when I was sitting in a prison cell with no place to go, no friends, no plans, and no place to call home did I envision something like this ever happening,” founder John Stroup said. “God knew before I was born that there would be a Freeway Ministries, and exactly what He would do with this work.”
Using volunteer labor, Stroup and others have torn out the guts of a 37,000-square foot building. Now they’re busy trying to raise the $250,000 needed to rehab the structure inside and out.
“This is going to be a place where churches can come and learn how to do this kind of ministry in their cities,” he said. “Local youth can have a safe place to hang out, recovery meetings can be held, and children can be taught through our Freedom Kids childcare. We are believing God for greater works to be done in our community and around the world.”
Freeway Ministries began in 2011, but has grown to para-church ministries across Missouri, Nebraska and even in South Africa since then. Each branch of Freeway is sponsored and operated by a local church.