In 1988, Bob Garmater had a vision to have an establishment in Harlan that the kids could walk to…a place where they would be known by their first name, a place where they would feel safe, and a place where they could learn about Christ. Bob prayed about this idea of a ministry outreach and ten years later in 1998 a building became available to purchase. So Bob, Debi, and Rick met and discussed a plan to buy the building. South Scipio United Brethren Church was willing to put up their farm ground as collateral and John Korte and Don Wolf were willing to do whatever it would take to make this a reality. God blessed it and brought forth the HCYC. It was opened in March of 1999.
MillCreek Power Tool Repair was purchased for $50,000 and the adjacent lot from Dan Miller for $15,000. We had less than $2,000 in the bank to make this transaction but took a leap of faith and mortgaged the South Scipio United Brethren farm ground. When we started renovating the existing building the community took a great interest and John Korte donated all the materials needed to renovate. Don Wolf contacted Foundations in Fort Wayne and within 120 days our mortgage was paid off and the building was renovated. God blessed it again.
We quickly outgrew the 30 x 70 former MillCreek building and added on 7,000 square feet and completed that in May of 2000, debt free.
There are currently six churches in the Harlan community supporting the Youth Center. These churches range from a variety of denominations and have been very helpful in their assistance. The churches include South Scipio United Brethren, Harlan United Methodist, North Scipio Untied Methodist, Ekklesia In Harlan, Pathway Christian, and Holy Trinity Lutheran. Each church or denomination is assigned a couple months out of the year where they will provide snacks, drinks, volunteers and resources. This has been a great blessing to the community and we thank these churches dearly.
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