LRM Names Winner of 1st Holcombe Award
In April 2015, the Louisville Rescue Mission awarded its inaugural Holcombe Mercy Ministry Award to Bryce Butler. The award is named after the ministry’s founder, Steve Holcombe, who was converted to Christ in 1881 out of a violent lifestyle of drinking and gambling aboard a riverboat.
Butler is a board member whose tireless labors on behalf of the ministry have not only allowed it to remain in existence, but have caused it to flourish in recent times after many years of financial struggle to a point of nearly disbanding. Brian Croft, who serves as senior pastor of Auburndale Baptist Church in Louisville and vice president of the board for the Louisville Rescue Mission, presented the award to Butler at the ministry’s annual banquet.
Said Croft, “I have served on the board for several years and I cannot remember a time that has been more exciting than this season we are walking in now. But I must confess to you, it wasn’t always this exciting. In fact, just a few years ago, we hit a very scary place and many of us wondered if this rescue mission that had existed for over 125 years would actually survive. We were in a financial crisis, the staff was burnt out and discouraged, building needs had overwhelmingly accumulated, and our record keeping was a mess.
“In God’s kind providence, someone joined our board that not only had a love for this ministry, but possesses some of the rarest gifts I’ve ever seen. He joined the board, once he regained his composure over the shambles he saw that our ministry was in after his first board meeting, he rolled up his sleeves and said he wanted to help. I do not believe it is an overstatement to say this ministry may not have survived without the unique service this man provided at this pivotal time.”
The Holcombe Mercy Ministry Award will be given annually to an individual who best exemplifies the vision of the ministry’s founder in helping Louisville’s hurting and homeless. Butler was presented a commemorative picture that serves as a symbol of Holcombe’s own ministry aboard riverboats that followed his dramatic conversion by the grace of God.