We believe in the Impact that Education & Mentoring Relationships can have on a child's life. 


We've seen this firsthand through our ongoing partnership with Cardinal Valley & Harrison Elementary Schools. Volunteers from several Lexington United Methodist Churches have given any where from an hour to several a week to mentor through our after-school and summer enrichment programs.
By the end of our final week of camp, it was crystal clear there is a bond and trust that has been built. There were kids that wanted to hold hands and walk and talk with leaders. It was because they knew they could trust them and that they would lend a listening ear and be attentive -- something our students are so desperately seeking and needing.



We are asking you to pray about mentoring students this school-year through our after-school program at Cardinal Valley Elementary School. Being beyond blessed by our Lexington community through the ESR grant, we are moving to a 4-day a week program, which means we have intentional opportunities every day for an adult to make a lasting impact on a student's life.

Students who have mentors are more likely to stay in school, have a better chance of going to higher education, are 46% less likely than their peers to use illegal drugs, are 52% less likely than their peers to skip school, and tend to trust their parents more and better communicate with them.

Would you be apart of what God is doing in and through Nathaniel Mission? We are looking for mentors Monday - Thursday from 2:30-5pm or 4:00-5:00pm. If you are interested in more information, contact Casey Coyle.

Meet the Rojas Family!   They are committed to being present and engaged in the lives of our children here at Nathaniel Mission.   "Volunteering at Nathaniel Mission is a special honor that was such a fun part of our summer. These kiddos bring such light and joy into the world and it’s a privilege to spend time with them and learn from them. "  We are looking for more volunteers that are committed to loving and caring for our neighborhood kids. Would you join us this school year!?

Meet the Rojas Family!

They are committed to being present and engaged in the lives of our children here at Nathaniel Mission.

"Volunteering at Nathaniel Mission is a special honor that was such a fun part of our summer. These kiddos bring such light and joy into the world and it’s a privilege to spend time with them and learn from them. "

We are looking for more volunteers that are committed to loving and caring for our neighborhood kids. Would you join us this school year!?

Another Granting Partner!

In addition to the multitude of generous donations the Nathaniel Mission receives from individuals, groups, and churches, the operation of our ministry requires significant funding through securing grants. Ministry is expensive, particularly ministry focused on improving the wellbeing of impoverished neighbors and neighborhoods. The Nathaniel Mission’s Children and Youth Development Opportunities, those programs aimed at addressing critical gaps in educational support for young individuals along the Versailles Road Corridor, is an important aspect of our work toward the transformation of our communities. Our summer camps, after school programs, and other initiatives are an investment in our neighborhoods that truly does lead to restoration, but not without a high price tag.

Therefore, it is with immensely grateful hearts that we write to inform you that The Nathaniel Mission has received an especially generous grant through the Lexington-Fayette County Urban Government’s Extended Social Resources grant of $70,000.
The Nathaniel Mission is proud to receive this first-time award through the City of Lexington as our government officials seek to support organizations like ours doing important work in underserved areas of our community. We are thrilled to know we have secured much of the financial resources necessary to impact the lives of our young neighbors, offering them critically important educational, developmental, and relational support.

Many thanks to the Lexington-Fayette County Urban Government Office of Social Services, and to our God who continues to equip the Nathaniel Mission with the resources necessary to transform our communities!

Summer Fun!


Over the last 2 years hearing and seeing our neighbors and community leaders, access to summer learning opportunities that are intentionally focused on critical thinking and reading skills are vital for our neighborhood kids success in school!

If you look at the ninth-grade achievement gap between lower and higher income youth, two-thirds of this gap can be explained by unequal access to summer learning opportunities during the elementary school years! TWO-THIRDS!  So will you join us in meeting the needs of our kids this summer?!

There are three main ways you can join us this summer: 

Small Group Leader: Campers will be divided into age-level groups.  These small group leaders must greet each camper, stay with campers at all times, be aware of camper problem, lead them to their next activity, and participate in games and activities with the campers.  This job is very relational and includes looking for ways to get to know the campers and point them to Christ

Activity Leaders: Leaders will be given detailed instructions and supplies prior to the start of camp.  They will be responsible for leading their designated activity for each small group of campers.  Activities include: Health & Physical Activity, Hands-On Educational Projects, and Reading. 

Donation: Even if you are unable to give of your time, we welcome you to give financially.  Simply click here to see how to give. 

Summer Camp Dates are:

June 17-20 | 12-4p
Nathaniel Mission, Suite 100

June 24-27 | 9-1p
Valley Park (2077 Cambridge Dr.)

July 8-11 | 12-4p
Nathaniel Mission, Suite 100

July 15-18 | 9-1p
Valley Park (2077 Cambridge Dr.)

If you are interested in volunteering in any of our summer camps, contact Meghan Talley at mtalley@nathanielmission.com or by calling 859-255-0062.

Reversing Summer Learning Loss

Reversing Summer Learning Loss

What was your summer filled with? Sports, camps, going to the pool, camping, and amusement parks? For the kids in our neighborhoods, summer looks quite different. Most do not have the opportunity to participate in any of these programs, if any programs at all. That is why we are inviting our neighborhoods kids to join us for 4 weeks of summer camp this summer!

Summer camp is a time for kids to be safe, loved and given the opportunity to learn about new ideas and explore the world around them. Camp is not only a great opportunity for the kids but also their parents. Let me introduce you to L. L was having a difficult time at camp. He was arguing with others and getting into fights every day. Almost every day of camp, he and his brothers got sent home early because of fighting. One day, I had asked his mom what we could do to help him. I didn’t know his story so I had no idea of the pain and hurt that he had just went through. He had just been abused, and he had pretty severe PTSD because of it. His mom had opened up and shared what had just happened as well as what triggers him. At the end of the conversation, she had told me, “I have never had someone else love and care about my child so much. Thank you!” Those words warmed my heart. She has an amazing young son who deserves to see how loved he is. This is why we do what we do. So that kids can have a safe place to be and know that they are loved beyond anything that may have happened in the past or anything that they did. They are loved.

Won’t you join us in loving on these kids? We are looking for individuals who would prepare and serve lunch, bring breakfast snacks, prepare spaces and activities, lead small groups, physical activity, STEM, reading and Bible lessons.  We are looking for adult and high school students who would commit to a full camp of camp as well as activity leader that could commitment to a day or two for 2 hours.  No matter your availability, if you are interested in loving on some kids. Let us know!

Summer Camp Dates are:

June 17-20 | 12-4p
Nathaniel Mission, Suite 100

June 24-27 | 9-1p
Valley Park (2077 Cambridge Dr.)

July 8-11 | 12-4p
Nathaniel Mission, Suite 100

July 15-18 | 9-1p
Valley Park (2077 Cambridge Dr.)

If you are interested in volunteering in any of our summer camps, contact Sierra Bonham at sbonham@nathanielmission.com or by calling 859-255-0062.

Meet Justin

Justin attends Hope Springs Community Church, a United Methodist Congregation right across the parking lot from the Mission.  One Thursday he was in the parking lot head to for praise

band practice and a crowd of kids followed after him to see what he was doing.  It sparked his interest and he was available.  He has been volunteering with our Harrison Elementary School neighborhood kids one to two days a week this year.  

Justin said, "I try to let God lead me to people, places, and things these days, so I've been truly blessed for Him to have led me to such a great group of kids! Each one of the children at The Mission have a lot of personality, so it's been fun getting to know them over the semester and an absolute privilege."

Justin is making the commitment to help with summer camp and we hope you will join him.   If you are interested in helping with summer camp, we have several opportunities before, during and after camp.  Please let us know by emailing mtalley@nathanielmission.com.  

Building Long-Term Relationships

We affirm that God is already at work in agencies, groups, schools, churches, and individuals along the Versailles Road Corridor.  Many of the gifts, talent, and resources already exist for a thriving community. Our heart is to be a bridge for our neighbors and to forge long-term relationship with neighbors.  We have intentional ways this month to continue to invest in our neighborhoods

During Spring Break, Partners for Youth organizes activities in Valley Park Monday - Friday from 1pm to 4pm.  We will provided activities to neighborhood kids on Tuesday.  On Thursday, for the small neighbors right by the Mission, we will be providing activities in our children's wing from 1pm to 4pm. 

In partnership with Antioch Baptist Church and Hope Springs Community Church (UMC), we will be hosting a morning of Easter Celebration, Saturday, April 20 starting at 9am in Speigle Heights Park.  We are looking for volunteers to provide games and crafts, man the egg hunts, and donate plastic eggs and egg filler (candy, stickers, small toys).  Our goal is 1,500 eggs! Simply drop off donations at the Mission.  

Hope Springs and Nathaniel Mission will be inviting our neighbors to Easter Breakfast.  Coffee is ready at 9am.  Breakfast will begin at 9:30am with a morning full of celebration! Let us know if you care bring a dish to share. 

The Cardinal Valley Park Activity Board has invited us to join them in providing children's activities for their annual Easter Egg Hunt on Sunday, April 21 at 2pm.  

If you are interested in these opportunities, let us know by responding to this email!

Poverty Intervention and Prevention

Empowered Neighbors

By reaching out to our neighbors with services such as Emergency Food Assistance, Social Services Support, Budgeting and Financial Independence Classes, and much more, The Mission aims to offer hands up to those experiencing critical poverty and homelessness.


We want to equip neighbors with the resources, experiences, skills and knowledge to make good use of their resources by connecting them with community partners. The first Tuesday of the month we invite our neighbors to lunch at The Mission to explore and discuss topics such as finance, budgeting, job training, banking, home energy, and housing rights and issues.  Community partners such as REACH, KY Career Center, BlueGrass Green Source, and Lexington-Fayette Urban County Human Rights Commission, provide critical information that help neighbors thrive.

Many of our neighbors are on a tie budget and are just happy to have food in the cabinets, but we want to empower families that even on a budget they can make healthy food choice that will impact their children and their own lives for the long term.  Class begins at 6pm on Wednesday for the next 6 weeks.  

Our Jobs for Life class help men and women develop character, become connected to a community of support, and help them obtain far more than just a job. When a neighbor participates in a Jobs for Life class he will experiences a life filled with confidence, self-control, coaching, learning and faith.  Classes are Wednesdays with lunch provided at noon and class to follow.  

Meet Lee Hunter

He is the Director of Employment Services at Lexington Rescue Mission.  He is on his second class of Jobs for Life hosted here at The Mission.  This class helps prepare

job-seekers to find lasting employment through Jobs for Life, a Biblical job training program that teaches the skills that will help people succeed in any workplace. Lee teach these classes at their facility at 629 North Broadway and well as local jails, prisons, halfway houses, recovery programs, and at The Nathaniel Mission. 

We are always looking for volunteers to support these classes through preparing a meal and mentoring participates.  Click below if you are interested! 

Health & Wellness

Healthy Neighbors

The Nathaniel Mission's commitment to health and wellness initiatives drives us to invest a great amount of resources in order to meet the needs of our neighbors.  A wide variety of clinics and classes are offered to alleviate issues of health in our communities.  Below are three of our main health and wellness initiatives, though other opportunities are being added continually.

From exams to assistance with corrective lenses, the Vision Clinic has assisted innumerable patients receive basic vision care that often goes unmet. In 2018, 120 of our neighbors received eye exams and a voucher for eye glasses.  The Mission keeps a waiting list for clients desiring to be seen by our volunteer Ophthalmologists and Optometrists.  The national average cost of an eye exam and eye glass is over $300, which for our neighbors is a huge burden when correctives lenses are essential to life. 

For many of our neighbors, taking care of their feet can mean the difference between working comfortably and unmanageable discomfort.  Our volunteer Podiatrist helped over 50 clients receive appropriate shoes, nail care, and other services to alleviate these important health concerns in the past year.  

The Mission knows that the cost of care for life-long health concerns, such as diabetes, can be a great burden to carry. By offering assistance in the form of supplies, consultations, support groups, and assessments, the Mission's investment in Diabetes Support can turn the tide for our neighbors in need.  Through our diabetes support group and monthly Lunch & Learn program focused on nutrition, over 130 neighbors learned intentional ways to make healthy life choices. 

Meet Sheila Faust

Sheila has been with us at Nathaniel Mission since September 15, 2014, as our Social Worker. Providing Diabetes information and support is also an important function of The Nathaniel Mission. Sheila Volunteers her time and provides our clients with a relaxed and fun class in which they can address their concerns and learn better ways to manage diabetes. After the Support Group, clients are offered the opportunity to receive diabetic testing supplies such as monitors, test strips, lancets, and alcohol swabs if needed, at no cost to the client. 

For the first time this year, The Nathaniel Mission also offered free A1C testing to individuals who were concerned about whether they had diabetes or not. As we continue to Invest, Restore and Transform our community, we hope to grow and implement new ways to help our clients live healthier lives. For more information on how you can get involved call 859-255-0062. 

Reflection of 2018

2019 is Here!

As we begin 2019, we at the Nathaniel Mission are again committed to a yearly process of evaluation, strategic planning, and course-setting for our organization.  2018 was one of tremendous success and much celebration.  The 2018 Strategic Vision Plan we established a year ago has been instrumental in focusing our efforts and creating tangible fruits of our work alongside our neighbors.  In much the same way, our staff and board have begun the process of again creating holy space for the Spirit of God to inspire, direct, and inform our decision making and planning for 2019.  We hope to take a close look at data, invest in conversations with our neighbors and clients, and prayerfully listen to the Lord's direction in the month to come.  In February, after much deliberation and discussion, a 2019 Strategic Vision Plan will be established and published for our partners to read. 

Our hope is to bring our whole community on board with the things God has placed before us and work collaboratively toward achieving the goals and vision we discern for our future.  We know this process will be incomplete without your input and prayers.  Please do consider reaching out to us with your thoughts, suggestions, insight, and support in the weeks to come.  We are confident in the foundational reality of our work - that The Nathaniel Mission is God's, not our own.  We again entrust it into His hands and attentively await His instructions on how to best steward this transformative ministry with which He has blessed us and our communities.

Thank you for journeying with us, and may 2019 be a blessed year for each of you!

Rev. Dan Baer
Executive Director, The Nathaniel Mission

Meet Lorran Ferguson

Nine months ago The Mission and Hope Springs UMC continued to build on our growing partnership.  Our heart at the Mission is to provide for all aspects of our neighbors lives and a relationship with Jesus is at the top of that list.  Neighbors learning to live love by Jesus, which cannot be done outside of community.  Becoming a part of a congregation is something to strongly encourage our neighbors.  At Easter, Hope Springs opened their door to host Breakfast and Bible Study for our folks and Lorran Ferguson stepped up to

the task of coordinating breakfast.  We have an average of 50 folks and upward of 80+ folks from our target neighborhoods and Hope Springs transports folks from the Men's and Women's Hope Centers.  Lorran coordinates groups to serve breakfast.  We are so grateful for her servant's heart.  At Breakfast and Bible Study, you can hear God's truth and a testimony of God's grace and faithfulness from Hope Springs members.  You are welcome to join us! Doors open at 9am with hot coffee and breakfast starts at 9:30am (Suite 150). Most join us to worship over in the worship center (Suite 300) to follow. 

End of the Year 2018

Dear Friends of the Mission, 

            As we come to the close of another year, The Nathaniel Mission is grateful.  We are grateful for the generosity and investment from friends like you. 

At the beginning of the year, The Mission set out on an ambitious journey with our Strategic Vision Plan for 2018.  This plan outlined the many ways in which we would drive at our central focus for the year, namely developing deep and sustainable relationships with our neighbors along the Versailles Road Corridor.  We understood that if transformation were to come to our communities, it would be through the fellowship of mutually committed peoples striving to attain a common, measured, and necessary goal.
Due to your presence, prayers, and gifts, we celebrate most of all those new relationships formed in 2018.  Through clinics, classes, and innumerable programs, we have a rebuilt rapport and respect in our neighborhoods.  Friends and neighbors recognize The Nathaniel Mission again as a ministry of attentive care and substantive resources in assisting during times of need.  Children are receiving critically necessary educational assistance.  Adults are receiving potentially life-saving support and assistance with diabetes management and other health-related issues.  Our building is a safe place for friends in crisis where real, tangible assistance is offered when life seems to be at its most precarious.
In short, those who were otherwise overlooked are known at The Nathaniel Mission.  We celebrate that The Mission’s impact in our communities is restoring dignity and respect to those who previously were on the outside looking in.

What better time to remember that Jesus Himself came as one such individual.  Born in lowly estate, heralded by social outcasts and foreign ambassadors, Jesus was born into the most unexpected place and welcomed all to the table in return.  We celebrate this joyous season that The Nathaniel Mission continues this grace-filled work in places deeply in need.

As this year ends, we thank you for your help in accomplishing these miraculous achievements, with the power and for the glory of God.  We simply ask that at this time of celebration and generous kindness, as you gather with those at your own tables and lift high the name of Jesus, you would remember our friends at The Nathaniel Mission.

Your year-end gift is most appreciated.  It allows us to step forward into 2019 with confidence knowing that our supporters, volunteers, prayer warriors, and friends are behind us as we see where and to whom God sends us next.

Blessings to you all, and Merry Christmas!

Rev. Dan Baer
Executive Director

Thankfully Full

Did you know?! One in six families in KY struggle with food insecurity.  Nathaniel Mission is committed to meeting that need with dignity towards our neighbors.  Through our partnership with God's Pantry, Glean KY, FoodChain, individual donors, and churches.  We are able to meet that need for our neighbors along the Versailles Road Corridor and beyond.  

Through a time of listening to our neighbors needs, we found that 50% of clients come to the market every month.  For at least 57 families surveyed, the Market meets a critical need for their family that can't be filled by any other resource.  We have had an average of 189 families accessing the Market on a monthly basis in 2018. 

Over the last 6 months our God's Pantry partnership opened the door for us to pick up two days a week at Target and Kroger and receive a Little Caesar's donation once a week.  These pick ups include fresh produce, frozen food, meat, bread and bakery items, and many miscellaneous items from salad dressing to boxed meals and everything in between. 

Even more that food, families receive love and respect, where we intentionally take time to look our neighbors in the eye and speak life into their lives.  They receive spiritual support with a prayer partner where they have a chance to express their needs, connect to resources, and to receive prayer. 

With growth of clients and partners, we are looking for people who have a heart to feed the hungry. Here are a list of ways people can volunteer their time: 

Retail Donation Pick Ups: Tuesday & Thursday mornings from Target (Reynolds) and Kroger (Leestown).

Shopper Assistant & Prayer Partners: On Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 1-2pm the market is open.  In order for our market to function well we need a team of four people. One person who takes time to listen and to pray for our neighbors.  Another to check IDs and input data into the computer and two others who help the neighbor shop for items. This commitment takes place from 12:45-2:30pm either Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday.

We are looking for financial givers, monthly as well as one time only gifts.  Simply $12.50 a month will feed one family at the Market. 


After a career of taking care of animals as a Veterinary Technician and then Practice Manager, my focus changed to wanting to help feed people. In my last years in veterinary medicine someone dropped off a dog that needed a home and with him came a few cases of canned goods. I decided to cart the food over to God’s Pantry and picked up some information on volunteering. Coincidentally in a meeting at my church, Southern Hills United Methodist, one of our ministers was advocating that we need to support our local Nathaniel Mission. In looking for volunteer opportunities at the Mission I

found out a God’s Pantry location was housed at the Mission. In God’s perfect timing both my focus to help feed people and work with Nathaniel Mission came together.  After God’s Pantry made the decision to wean down their locations, Doris and Bob Hagar with Rev. Dave McFarland started our own market place which also enabled our guests to receive toiletries and supplies not offered with food stamps. But the most important aspect they included was prayer. Each guest of the market is offered a few moments of prayer which in turn builds relationships to the goal of investing, restoring and transforming. Thank you, Nathaniel Mission, for the opportunity to reach out to others who are in need.
Please let the staff know if you would like to volunteer or get more information about the market which is open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 1-2.