A Brief Mission History

John 3:16: The Gospel in a 'Nutshell'

Rev. Bob Geisinger, pictured at right, founded John 3:16 Mission in 1952 inside a converted fish market in downtown Tulsa. That first night, over 40 homeless guests received meals and took shelter inside the new ministry.

Geisinger chose the famous John 3:16 scripture as the Mission's name because this verse is, in his words,

"the Gospel in a nutshell... the lighthouse of the scriptures. It knows no color, creed or class, and its promise is the true purpose of this Mission."

Geisinger did not start out to head a Gospel Rescue Mission. Instead, he trained to be an opera singer and, in fact, had spent time in New York City pursuing that dream. But, somewhere along the way, he felt God calling him to a different mission in life. He came to Tulsa, then a booming oil town, and on a shoestring budget, opened the Mission.

Below is a picture of the current John 3:16 Mission located at 506 N. Cheyenne Ave. in Tulsa.
John 316 Mission shelter tulsa
john 316 history

Sharing the Good News

John 3:16 Mission's central focus has always been to introduce the hungry, homeless and at-risk of the Tulsa community to the life-transforming good news of Jesus Christ. At the same time, John 3:16 Mission endeavors to meet people’s immediate needs for food, shelter and compassionate care.

Through the decades and several location changes, John 3:16 has earned a reputation as one of Tulsa's most trusted and effective ministries to the poor, hungry and homeless. Since being founded, the Mission has provided millions of meals and millions of individual lodgings. Along the way, countless lives have been redeemed and transformed.

Today, John 3:16 Mission continues to carry on Geisinger’s original vision, but on a much larger scale that includes recovery programs for homeless men and women, as well as a Family & Youth Center in north Tulsa that meets the physical and spiritual needs of low-income families.

Pictures below show the Mission in earlier years. The bottom left picture shows the Mission when it was located in what is now the Tribune Loft Building from 1966-86. The second picture shows Mission founder, Rev. Bob Geisinger, outside the Mission circa the 1950s.

John 316 mission history tulsa