Historical Sketch of IHS
In October of 1994, a vision was born in the hearts and minds of Jasper and Carolyn Bacon.
After serving in pastoral work for over eight years, this couple sensed a calling, which was supported by Riverwood Bible Church in Jackson, to enter into a ministry which would allow for more outreach to unchurched and unevangelized people in their hometown of Canton and surrounding counties throughout Central Mississippi.
In His Steps Ministries received its state incorporation in November 1994 and was granted 501c(3) non-profit status from the Internal Revenue Service in April 1995.
Following registry with the state, a board of directors was formed to over-see the newly formed ministry.
Responsibility for ministry over-sight was transferred from Riverwood Bible Church to the board of directors, which has grown from six original members to eleven men and women who strongly support the mission of In His Steps. The executive board meets monthly to receive updates on the activities and financial condition of the ministry, as well as to take any actions that it deems beneficial which are consistent with the by-laws.
In His Steps Ministries desires to use innovative and specialized ministries to impact the lives of people for the glory of Jesus Christ.
Given this desire, IHS sees the first element of its mission as evangelizing, discipline and guiding juvenile offenders and their families. The second element of the mission of IHS is to provide long-term preventive services for a select group of at-risk children beginning in the 2nd grade and continuing through the 12th grade by way of the Christ-centered S.P.A.S.E. initiative that includes an after school program, saturday morning reading and science programs, and a six-week summer enrichment program. Thirdly, IHS offers family services including counseling, parenting workshops, and an annual family conference to all parents of IHS students. IHS renders compassionate services to the elderly, single parents, and disabled individuals by performing minor home renovations with the help of partnerships with local and out-of-state churches. Lastly, the sports ministry offers innovative evangelistic mentoring programs and weekly team devotionals for middle and high school athletes in order to promote the Gospel of Jesus Christ through sports and physical fitness.
In 2005, a family based in Wheaton, IL provided $150,000 for the purchase of a fifteen-acre plot of land on which to start the In His Steps Ministries campus and $200,000 to help with the construction of the multipurpose building.
In the next year, the Lord provided another $165,000. With fifteen acres of land and $365,000 in cash, the board decided to build a 7,200 square foot building complete with classrooms, a computer lab, conference room, game room, multipurpose room, and administrative offices. In a move that triggered a second large wave of donations, a Wheaton-area businessman, in June 2009, gave $175,000 to be matched by other donors.
The call was heard and challenge met by Jackson-area businessmen and other IHS friends, and a total of $335,000 was raised in the matching gift campaign leaving a $53,000 balance on the mortgage. On January 30, 2013, IHS submitted its final mortgage payment on the multipurpose building in the amount of $35,677.27.
In March 2014, the ball fields and teaching garden were completed. In September 2016, the open air pavilion was completed. As we trusted God for provisions in the past, we continue to trust Him for the development of a sports complex, dormitories/cabins, walking track and other outdoor games, for the purposes of creating more opportunities to share Christ’s love with local at risk children, youth and their families. Where God leads, He will provide.