Since 1965 Fellowship House has provided local ministry to thousands of children, teens and adults of South Camden. Learn more about our history.
50 Years of Caring
Watch the video and learn how we've been making a difference in Camden since 1965.
Fellowship House was founded in 1965, when Fran Casperson responded to a call for help from a South Camden church to reach the neighborhood children. As she walked the streets and saw the needs, her heart was broken for the inner city. In response, Fran organized a weekly after-school Bible Club, using borrowed spaces in the community. When over 100 children assembled, they were forced to lay planks across peach baskets to provide enough seating. It was apparent that a building was needed to house the growing ministry, so in 1969, settlement was made on a row house, in miserable condition but a good location at 1722 S. Broadway.
God called other workers to come alongside Fran. Bill Wallace knocked on neighborhood doors to invite residents and their children to Fellowship House and conducted Sunday morning worship services. Bob Powers and Bill Plumb organized youth sports events and taught Bible lessons. These three men repaired existing facilities, constructed new ones and painted everything in sight. Men’s and women’s Bible fellowships were begun. Those who went into Camden did so because they had hearts that loved the Lord and felt they could serve Him best by sharing His love with those who needed to know Him. As 2 Cor. 5:14 says, “For Christ’s love compels us…”
In 1973, Fellowship House hired its first staff person, Dick Wright, as the Director. His deep love of children, compassionate heart and boldness to share the Gospel touched many lives. As time went by, Fellowship House’s mission expanded to meet the needs of the desperately impoverished people in the neighborhood in which it operated. A substance abuse program was developed to counsel and get help for those addicted to drugs or alcohol. A soup kitchen and a clothing ministry met basic needs. A well-equipped study center was created to assist kids who need extra scholastic help. Many lifelong memories were formed while the children enjoyed summer camp at a variety of South Jersey campgrounds.
God continues to call men and women to this intentionally non-denominational ministry to share the love of Christ with the children and families of the surrounding community. And He has continued to bless Fellowship House by prompting generosity in the hearts of His people. As a result, Fellowship House has changed the lives of thousands of men, women and children.