Salty Church hopes to help people in need by connecting them to the programs and services they need.
Salty Church opened its new "rescue station" in the historic Ormond Beach fire house on Thursday, May 24, and the ministry hopes it will become a place where people in the community can get a helping hand.
"Ultimately, this place is a symbol of hope and help for the city," lead pastor Robbie O'Brien said.
The church's vision for the rescue station is to connect people with existing government services and local ministries. The rescue station will be open Monday to Friday and will work toward prevention, something that O'Brien said Salty Church, unlike most ministries, works hard to accomplish. During the ribbon-cutting ceremony, he said Salty Church wants to empower people to be self-sustaining and help them before they end up homeless, in foster care or in jail.
It is not a 911 emergency center, like the original fire house used to be when it opened in 1937. One of the old jail cells has been converted into a bathroom and the fire house chief's living quarters into office space. But the exterior remains almost intact, and the historic fireman's pole was incorporated into the conference room light fixture.
"They never really intended that it would be used by Salty Church, but it sure feels like it," O'Brien said. "It feels like they built it for what we want to do."
Before officially cutting the ribbon and declaring the rescue station open for business, O'Brien told a story about a young boy who threw starfish into the ocean, one by one, as thousands washed up on the shore. In the story, an old man comes up to the boy and tells him he won't make a difference because he can't save them all, but the boy continues his efforts. The boy's mindset is what Salty Church wants to exemplify.
"We're not gonna save them all," O'Brien said. "We can't help everybody, but we can always help one more."