God called me to recovery ministries and into the Gospel ministry in 1976. I graduated from Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary and became an ordained pastor in 1980. Since 1976, I have served in a variety of ministries including Youth Ministry, Collegiate ministries, pasturing churches, and in Rescue Missions. In each of these ministries I have been involved in teaching, discipleship, recovery counseling, and pastoral ministries, as well as other managerial and spiritual services.
By 1995 God had given me a stronger heart calling for the indigent and homeless in our communities, and in 1997 called me to serve specifically in Rescue Missions.
I served at Light of Life Ministries in Pittsburgh, PA, City Rescue Mission in New Castle, PA, and Rescue Mission Alliance in Syracuse, New York.
Most recently my family was called by God from Syracuse, New York to the Washington DC area August of 2007. Although I knew God had called me to serve at Central Union Mission, there was no position available. Therefore I served as a case manager on an Assertive Community Treatment team for a mental health Core Service Agency (CSA) in Washington, DC, where I was able to use my skills, gifts, training and experience.
We were notified that our particular company was going to close its CSA in DC by end of February 2008. I contacted Central Union Mission again, but there were still no openings.
A few days before the close of our CSA, I received a phone call from Mr. Treadwell asking if I was still interested in a position here at the mission. I came in, and was hired to start work the next week.
Here at Central Union Mission I have been able to teach and develop Bible studies, recovery classes, discipleship classes, and provide pastoral counseling to Overnight Guests and Spiritual transformation Program students. I have helped develop the recovery curriculum and worked with Dr. Rich in refining the discipleship material. I have also refined programs and classes designed to help our Overnight guests to move forward, eventually moving back into the mainstream of our society.
I enjoy serving these men from the streets of DC, Virginia, and Maryland. My heart is to see these men find and embrace Christ as savior, then to grow close to him in all aspects of their lives.
Discipleship and recovery are closely matched in God as he helps people to escape the life-controlling habits and forces of their old lives, learning to live free and recovered in Him, walking in their new life in Christ. Although it can be hard at times and has its ups and downs as we serve the homeless population, I would not trade it for anything else.
Rev. David R. Howard
Director of Overnight Guest Ministries
Rev. Latham A. Douglass, A Man of Prayer, 1888
Testimony given by Dr. S. H. Greene about the privilege of working with Rev. Douglass at the Mission’s very beginning.
It was my privilege to know the man very intimately into whose brain and heart the thought of this work first came. He saw the thousands that were beyond the apparent reach of the churches. He saw them as they swarmed up and down the Avenue. It was the burden of souls in which this movement began. That man was a man of prayer. I shall never forget the time when, before any meeting or committee was called together, he came to my study and unfolded his thought in reference to those unchurched thousands and begged me to kneel with him in the study and ask God to lead him out into this work. I shall never forget that here his faith was greater than mine.
He next sought out men of like faith and kindred spirit with himself. Thank God he found them, and they are largely here tonight. How did this work begin? I want to emphasize that it was its spirituality and soul-burden for the lost — a soul kneeling before God and praying for the lost — a soul reaching out toward others, and they in turn going forward in the same work. It seems to me if there ever was anything apostolic in its origin, it is the Central Union Mission.