History


In August of 1993 Rev. Harry and Ginny Wallar felt the call of God to go across the river from Omaha, Nebraska to Council Bluffs, Iowa to begin a work for God. They rented Margarites Catering Hall and the Christian Worship Center Ministries was born. They began with a meager 6 people at their first service. Every Sunday they would set up sound equipment, instruments, and chairs just like a sanctuary. The second Sunday church attendance doubled to 12 and then the next Sunday 36. CWC remained at Margarites Catering for 8 months when a parishioner spotted a little church at 1700 Ave. E. in Council Bluffs. Pastor Wallar struck a deal with the owners and they moved into their new church the following Sunday.

Soon after being in their new building Pastor Wallar began to feed hungry people out of a little white van. The church parishioners would make sack lunches consisting of 2 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, a bag of potato chips, a piece of fruit, and a juice box. He and several committed parishioners would take the van under the viaduct, into tree lines, and on the interstate looking for the hungry and the homeless. They would simply walk up to them and hand them a lunch and walk away.

Approximately six months later during a Sunday afternoon message Pastor Wallar stopped in the middle of his sermon and stated “I am going to buy a bus and we will build a mobile kitchen and feed the homeless and the hungry” and continued his message. Just like he had spoken the next Sunday morning a big yellow school bus was sitting in front of the Church. After several months of hard work the “Mobile Kitchen” was born. The Church began to provide meals to the homeless every night from 5:00 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. the bus would pull under the viaduct in Council Bluffs, Iowa and feed the homeless and the hungry. For two years the bus would be in the same spot every night, seven days a week.

The need was so great that Pastor Wallar soon realized that they needed a building to continue their feeding
program. He spotted an old hardware store just a block away from where the bus parked and struck a deal with the owner. Seven months later “MOHM’s Place” (Messengers of Hope Ministry) was in operation feeding the hungry men, women, and children, that would come every night to eat. Pastor Wallar began to rally organizations that provided services to this population and soon there were 13 different agencies providing 69 different services all aimed at assisting the homeless and near-homeless of our community. Sensing the need for expanded services Pastor Wallar began to pursue a vision God had given him to build a complex for the homeless in our city. January 1st 2002, Pastor Wallar resigned as Senior Pastor of the Christian Worship Center and appointed his 19 year old son as Senior Pastor of the Church in order to accomplish this huge task that was set before him. His orders were to build a shelter, transitional living facility, an expanded MOHM’s Place, and administration building for the homeless. Eleven years later they would serve their last meal at MOHM’s Place on Creektop. It has been estimated that they served over one million meals in that building.

In September 2008 Pastor Wallar’s vision came to pass, with the help of Central States Development Company The Christian Worship Center Ministries moved into the “New Visions Complex.” They literally made history in building the first 62 bed men’s shelter, 26 transitional living unit for single men and single women, a meal site that would seat 250, and an administration building for the homeless and near-homeless of Council Bluffs. This complex t is the first of its kind in all of Southwest Iowa. It is nearly 26,000 sq. ft. under roof and it is built with excellence. Currently we are sleeping approximately100 men per night in our shelter, our transitional living unit is full with a waiting list of about 20, and we feed approximately 6,000 meals monthly in our meal site.

“New Visions Omaha” is our latest endeavor. It is a complex with 26 Transitional living units for honorably
discharged veteran’s and 14 permanent supportive housing units for people who are homeless. The campus
opened in June of 2012 and we are currently in the process of filling all the units. It is the only facility of its kind in the Midwest.

Pastor and Ginny Wallar also operate “MOHM’s Place Thrift Warehouse” and a lawn service to supplement the operational funding streams. All of the profits are returned to the ministry to help us feed the homeless and hungry of our community.