THE STORY of Soul Saving Center is a true testament that what God starts, He finishes. Rev. Irvin A. Hinmon was a man who cared about those who were cast aside and mostly given up on by society.
Rev. Hinmon and his family were members of Ephesus Pentecostal Church in Salem, NJ when he answered the call to outreach ministry. After his brother died following an unfortunate struggle with drug addiction. Rev. Hinmon knew God wanted him to pursue all men with the same compassion and determination in which he pursued his brother.
Training for outreach ministry began when Rev. Hinmon went to Harlem, NY to be mentored under the tutelege of Rev. Jesse Winley, Pastor of Soul Saving Station on 124th St and St. Nicholas Aves. He stayed in Harlem preaching in the Homeless ministry program where they fed the homeless and preached to them daily. He soon returned to Salem prepared to begin his own outreach ministry.
With warnings of danger and death threats from the Bar owner on Walnut St. Rev. Hinmon took his wife and two daughters to Penns Grove, NJ where he held street services on the most crime ridden violent street in the town. A few brave friends accompanied them but most refused to accompany him.
Bishop Freddy Washington, a teenager at the time played the piano which was hoisted up on the back of a bread truck
and sang with the Hinmon sisters. Often the Rev. Hinmon's brother, Pastor James Hinmon and his wife Carolyn would accompany Rev. HInmon and light up the streets as their family sang together to draw the crowd before Rev. Hinmon preached under a heavy anointing to the crowd. His voice would thunder throughout the streets fearlessly as he boldly proclaimed that they could do nothing to stop God from loving them.
The building that would be Soul Saving Center had been a bar which was closed after a murder took place on the premises. Rev. Irvin's father and a few friends turned the bar into a church and it thrived as the street quieted down and the bar across the street closed down. After years of ministry the building burned down and eventually Rev. Hinmon purchased the beautiful Synagogue on Johnson St. in Salem with the financial help of Reggie White, Minister of Defense for the Philadelphia Eagles and the Green Bay Packers.
After years of reaching out to the lost and preaching in prisons, Rev. Hinmon went home to be with the Lord on March 3, 2015. But God wasn't finished with the work of Soul Saving Center. The mantle of ministry to the lost was placed on his daughter Mikki. "I feel the weight of this mantle God has placed on me and I humbly embrace it as it feels very natural to me and I will carry on the work God has for me to do as my father did until my time is done here on earth.
Soul Saving Center is to be a lighthouse until Jesus returns. It is to be a place where people who do not usually attend church can come and feel love and acceptance as they hear the good news of the gospel.