About Us


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Our Mission

Our Story

Freeway Ministries was originally established as a ministry of a local church in 2011. John Stroup, Rick Lechner, and Mike Aye, co-founders, began to meet in a coffee shop to fellowship, pray, and study God’s word. During these meetings, they began to discuss their burden to help others from their backgrounds. They felt led to start a ministry to reach what many consider the hard to reach.

They met with their pastor, Eddie Bumpers of Broadway Baptist Church (now Crossway Baptist Church), and shared the burden God had given them. They explained the people they were going after were not typical church people; they might smoke outside the church and may not look or act like normal church members. They told Pastor Bumpers, “Your church members might be shook up.” He responded, “My church members need to be shook up!”

Pastor Eddie gave them access to a small building used for Sunday School Classrooms that would hold about 40 people. He said, “If you ever outgrow this building, we’ll find you another one.” They outgrew it the first night! Freeway Ministries moved down the road to a former high school gymnasium. This building enabled them to grow and expand.

In 2017, they purchased the old Holiday Lanes Bowling Alley at 1041 W. Kearney Street in Springfield, Missouri.  The building had been condemned, but with help from volunteers, local businesses, and churches, the building was completely renovated. It now serves as the Freeway Ministries World Headquarters and Freeway North. 

Freeway Ministries is an independent ministry that partners with local churches to make an eternal change in local communities. With 8 locations and 12 Discipleship Houses, Freeway Ministries is reaching the hard to reach with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, ONE BROKEN LIFE AT A TIME.

What We Do

Freeway Ministries focuses on three areas of ministry to do the work of the Great Commission: outreach, evangelism, and discipleship. Each area of ministry enables us to bridge the gap from the recovery community and the unchurched to the local church.


Focusing on the physical and spiritual wellbeing of the community, we meet a person’s physical needs so they will be more receptive to focusing on their spiritual needs.


Intentionally spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ through preaching the Word of God, we present a Bible-based service weekly at all of our locations.


Equipping believers with the Word of God through accountable relationships to replicate faithful followers of Christ, we provide one-on-one discipleship.

What We Believe

  • We believe the Bible is inspired by God and is without error (2 Timothy 3:16).
  • We believe in the virgin birth (Matthew 1:18).
  • We believe in the Holy Trinity (2 Corinthians 13:14).
  • We believe in the substitutionary death of Jesus on the cross (1 Peter 2:24).
  • We believe in the bodily resurrection of Jesus (1 Corinthians 15:3-4).
  • We believe Jesus will come again (Acts 1:11).
  • We believe man is sinful (Romans 3:23).
  • We believe salvation is by faith alone (Ephesians 2:8-9).
  • We believe in the eternal security of the believer (1 John 5:11-13).
  • We believe in a literal heaven for those who accept Jesus as Savior and a literal hell for those who reject Him (John 14:1-6, 2 Thessalonians 1:8).

Mission Statement

The mission of Freeway Ministries is to reach the hard to reach with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, ONE BROKEN LIFE AT A TIME. Transforming eternity by meeting the physical and spiritual needs of those hurting in local communities, Freeway is equipping others to minister to the hard to reach. This is accomplished through weekly meals, teaching, and discipleship. We are committed to using Biblical truths to be an extension of the local church, present the Gospel, and assist people in breaking free from sin and addiction to live a productive life. Our greatest desire is to see people come to know Christ, be discipled, and then become disciples who make disciples.

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20 NKJV


Cost of Incarceration Per Inmate Per Day

The national average to house an inmate is over $31,000 annually.


Cost of our residential Discipleship House for Taxpayers

Freeway Ministries is funded completely by donors; we do not receive any government funding. All residents are paying taxes and contributing to the local economy.


Amount Freeway Ministries Saves Taxpayers Per Year

We are an alternative to prison in multiple counties throughout the U.S. When people are not incarcerated, we save the taxpayers money.


Discipleship Housing Beds Available

Nationwide, we have the ability to accommodate almost 70 individuals in our residential Discipleship Houses.


People Fed Weekly at Outreaches

Across the nation, we see over 700 individuals walk through our doors for our weekly services.


Average Cost of Weekly Meals

Because of the generosity of businesses and private donors, we are able to keep our food costs to a minimum.


Weekly Volunteers

People faithfully serving every week enable us to fulfill our mission. 


Freeway Locations

… and growing! We are planning to open an additional 3 Freeway Ministries locations in the next year with the ability to open many more.


Freeway Discipleship Houses

… and growing! We are building two additional homes in different locations and expect them to open within the next year.

Our Staff

John Stroup

Executive Director

Casey Merrick

Director of Men’s Discipleship

Sharla Stroup

Director of Women’s Discipleship

Jessica Merrick

Assistant Director of Women’s Discipleship

Rachel Baird

Executive Assistant to the Director