Crime, punishment … and a better story

Crime, punishment … and a better story

In fall 2015, Rickey Claybron and two other men violently robbed three Rockford retail stores and attempted to rob another. They pointed guns at store clerks and customers while stealing cigarettes and cash. Two store employees were struck with the guns and one was...
Angel Tree opportunity grows

Angel Tree opportunity grows

When you spot the familiar Angel Tree in our church lobby on Sunday, you may notice something. It’s bigger. That’s because First Free has embraced the program so enthusiastically in recent years that this Christmas we’re taking on more local kids than ever – 85 in...
New Life for an Old Store

New Life for an Old Store

The new Carpenter’s Corner Thrift & More store, which will benefit Carpenter’s Place ministry to people experiencing homelessness, is scheduled to open in January. First Free will support the new store by collecting donated items on Dec. 10 during Christmas...
Amid uptick in need, Rescue Mission seeks help

Amid uptick in need, Rescue Mission seeks help

Rockford Rescue Mission finds itself in a season of urgent need, and is asking the community for help. With a downturn in giving during this season of inflation and economic struggle for many, plus a continuing shortage of staff and volunteers, the Mission is being...
‘Success looks different here’

‘Success looks different here’

In a neighborhood where need is always visible and hope isn’t, a former factory contains a thriving ministry for at-risk kids. Located at the corner of Seventh Street and 13th Avenue, Rock House Kids is a Bible-based program for children and teens. It runs four...
“Mom, we forgot to save me”

“Mom, we forgot to save me”

As 11-year-old Nevaeh sat with her mom in church a couple of weeks ago, she had questions. The two have been attending First Free’s Sunday worship service at the Rockford Rescue Mission, where Stephanie is a resident in the Women’s Life Recovery program. On this day,...