Fellowship House is a Christian ministry based in Camden, New Jersey, helping to bring adults and children into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. To this end, Fellowship House is maintained as a place for spiritual, moral, educational, physical, social and recreational activities, and as a center for helping to meet the many needs of the immediate community. These services are extended to all without regards to religious affiliation.
Fellowship House was founded in 1965, when Trinity Methodist Church in South Camden, lacking the resources to reach the youth in its neighborhood, reached out for help. Fran Casperson, a Bible teacher at First United Methodist Church in Collingswood offered to organize a Vacation Bible School. As she walked the streets, and saw the needs, her heart was broken for the inner city. As Fran prayed and saw God working in people’s hearts, she took a step in obedience by organizing a weekly after-school Bible Club along with Judy Dorner and Marion Burrowes.
Four months later, Trinity Methodist Church burned down. A Pentecostal Church in the neighborhood offered to host the Bible Clubs. For three years, peach baskets and boards provided seating for over 100 children in grades K-12. Soon space was needed to house the growing ministry. In 1969, settlement was made on a property, in miserable condition but a good location at 1722 S. Broadway. On the afternoon of settlement the two storefront windows were cleaned and a witness for Jesus Christ appeared on Broadway. Volunteers worked long hours to prepare the building for Bible clubs. Years later when the storage company next door decided to move and could not sell their property, the owner sold it to Fellowship House for $1. Today these buildings house the gym, food and clothing distribution ministry and homework center. In 1990, when Fellowship House was feeding hundreds out of row home kitchens, a generous donor provided a commercial kitchen as an addition to our building. Time and again, God faithfully provided.
Over the years, other programs were added to meet the needs of the community--men's Bible studies, a women’s ministry, men’s breakfasts, summer camp, health care training, a basketball league, community dinners, a food pantry, clothing distribution, Sunday worship services, and community gardening. Through these ministries, supported by thousands of volunteers and donors who shared the love of Christ in South Camden, Fellowship House has changed the lives of thousands of men, women and children.
2 Cor. 5:14 reads, "For the love of Christ compels us…" That was the motivation out of which Fellowship House was born. And as long as the Lord provides people similarly compelled to give of themselves so the children and adults of South Camden might know that God loves them and that He sent His son to die for them, the ministry of Fellowship House will continue.