A new director has taken over at the Panama City Rescue Mission, the change comes about a month after the Rev. Billy Fox was removed from his duties.
New executive director, Thurman Chambers, is making a return to Panama City, where he was actually director once before.
In 2006, he and his wife moved to Delaware, where he was working with another mission and ever since they left they have been dreaming of coming back to the Gulf Coast.
"Rescue mission work to me is really a calling, because that's really what i sensed when it happened years ago," said Thurman Chambers.
Chambers has worked at missions across the united state including some bigger cities like Atlanta and Wilmington, Delaware. One of his favorite places to work was right here in Panama City.
"It's just been a journey, from there (Atlanta) to Jacksonville, Florida, then I came here in 2001 and I was here for 5 years and really for many years regretted that I ever left, because we love this place."
During his first time at the PC mission, he created an addiction recovery program called "Power to Choose." They still use the same program.
"It is a work book.. It's a scripturally based 12-step program is what it is," said Chambers. "This book keeps them honest, because they have to answer some hard questions and they do it in group meetings sometimes."
Chambers has seen a lot of success with the program first hand; he is excited to get started with it again at both the Bethel Village for women and the Main Rescue mission campus for men.
"Rescue missions really become a lot more than the preconceptions people have of them; they really meet a lot of needs. You can walk in this door 24/7 and sometime they are not asking for much or they don't need much, but at least they know where they can go."
One of his first steps will be to try regain healthy finances for the mission, they do not accept government funding. So, the program relies strictly on donations.
He feels giving community members are the heart of the organization and he has plans to do his best to connect with them on a personal level.
The mission is seeking volunteers for help with renovation on the new Bethel property on 11th street. If you would like more information about what they need, or how to get involved, click here.