Bethesda News

Remember & Renew: Community Center Phase II

And your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; you shall be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of streets to dwell in (Isaiah 58:12).

Our Ancient Ruins

In 1990, Bethesda Mission purchased the 82-year-old Shamrock Fire Station on the corner of 15th and Herr for $35,000. Through this building, we launched a lifeline to the kids and families of Allison Hill in the form of our Youth Center

29 years later, we expanded our offerings and outreach by purchasing the former printing company building adjacent to the old firehouse, and we repurposed the structure into a functional space for indoor and outdoor activities. The renovations included a full-size gymnasium, a computer lab, a weight room, and additional community rooms.

Now it is time to return our attention to the old firehouse that has been with us since the inception of our youth program. The 115-year-old structure has aged poorly, limiting the growth and effectiveness of our youth and family outreach. Though we originally sought to renovate the building to overcome these failings, this is not economically feasible. It would cost approximately $700,000 more than demolishing the old and building completely new.

In an effort to preserve the historical value of the old firehouse and remember a fallen Shamrock firefighter, the new structure will include a replication of the current front facade. A Remembrance Event will be held this June at the fire station to commemorate its history.

The Foundation of Generations

The new structure will allow us to double our services and increase our effectiveness. We plan to build a 10,400-square-foot, 2-story structure connected to our gymnasium facility that will offer multi-purpose spaces for youth programs and a brand-new expanded kitchen.

Project Cost and Funding Summary

$2.2 Million to demolish the fire station and rebuild a new 2-story facility (with a 2nd story shell).
$2.5 Million to create access to the 2nd floor (stair towers, elevator, observation mezzanine) and finish 2nd floor rooms.
$1.83 M raised already!
We need to raise $370,000 to demolish & build 2 story with 2nd story shell.
We need to raise $650,000 to access the 2nd floor with improvements.

We are looking for campaign support from all parts of the community: foundations, businesses, churches, and individuals. Please prayerfully consider how your gift can make a profound impact on generations of youth and families in need.

Restoring the Streets and Fireproofing Lives

For three decades, Bethesda Mission’s Community Center has tangibly demonstrated God’s love to thousands of children, teens, and families. God has opened doors in the past few years to double this legacy of service, with the new facility opening opportunities for more kids and adults to find inspiration, guidance, and real hope.

In the story from the book of Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were shielded from the flames that were meant to destroy them because of their faith. Likewise, we desire to build a foundation of faith in the youth and adults that God has entrusted to us so that when they face trials, they will rely on God, who is with them, and not be overcome.

The Harrisburg community is facing great challenges. Low-income, single-parent families are struggling, and many youth seem to be turning toward destructive behaviors. At our Men’s and Women’s Missions, we see people every day who have destroyed themselves through drug and alcohol abuse. Some have lost all connection to their families and friends. To them, we offer hope, healing, and a fresh start.

We have failed if the kids at our Community Center end up in our long-term recovery programs as adults. Instead, we seek to serve the community by offering those kids and their families a positive place to turn, a foundation to stand on, and a vision for their future.

Completing the Fireproof Vision

Community Center Phase II is a massive undertaking and will be of tremendous benefit to the youth and families of Harrisburg once it is complete. We welcome you to tour our current Community Center. Please don’t hesitate to contact us at (717) 257-4442 or if you are interested.

You can support this project in three major ways:
1. Please pray for wisdom and safety for those demolishing the original structure and building the new one.
2. Share information about this project with others. As more people know about it, they too can pray for and support us.
3. Consider financially supporting this project. You can donate through our website at If you would like to contribute through a bequest, stock or estate gifts, a multi-year commitment, or another way in which you feel comfortable, please contact Cindy Mallow at (717) 257-4442 ext. 233 or at

Thank you for your support!

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