John 3:16 Mission History - In a Nutshell
Troubled by the growing number of homeless men on the city's streets, Rev. Bob Geisinger founded John 3:16 Mission in
downtown Tulsa in 1952.
A classically trained opera singer turned evangelist, Geisinger chose the famous John 3:16 scripture as the Mission's name
because, he said, this verse is "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's aim was to feed, shelter and clothe homeless men according to scriptural mandate. Most importantly, however,
he wanted to share the Good News about how their lives could be transformed through the loving grace of Jesus Christ.
This Christ-centric culture continues to inspire the work of the Mission to this day.
Through the decades, John 3:16 has earned the reputation as one of Tulsa's most trusted and effective ministries to the poor,
hungry and homeless. Since being founded, the Mission has served more than 4 million meals and provided over 1 million nights
In the late 1980s, John 3:16 expanded operations to assist poor families and children by offering food, clothing and programs
including arts enrichment, literacy and recreation. Other major developments have included the opening in 2011 of a new feeding
center and kitchen, and the addition, in 2007, of daytime program services for homeless and at-risk women.
The scope and scale of John 3:16's ministries continue to grow. In 2013, the Mission purchased a former elementary school along with
150 acres of rural land surrounding it. After renovations, this facility will house long-term, live-in recovery programs for both
homeless men and women.