J.L. Wilson Welcome House

Welcome House 2022_760
WH 1

What Is Welcome House?

Welcome House is a Christian model of welcome and hospitality developed by Cooperative Baptist Fellowship field personnel Marc and Kim Wyatt, in partnership with CBFNC and refugee agencies such as World Relief. Welcome House is a shelter for those who need a temporary place of safety and comfort before entering their new permanent homes. The Welcome House provides guests with renewal and opportunity for acclimation between travel and settling down.
How does Welcome House work?
  • World Relief takes responsibility for sponsoring (vetting and checking) all refugees that they bring into the They act as caseworkers and seek to actively find the families permanent housing while the family temporarily stays in a Welcome House. Families may be in a house for as little as a few days or as long as 3 months.
  • Guest Guidelines (created by each homeowner) are reviewed and agreed upon with signature of the guest and sponsoring agency at in-take. They are also posted in the house in a high traffic area.
  • Church and community members of all ages and skills can be involved in welcoming and showing hospitality.
Who does Welcome House serve?
  • It serves refugee individuals and families sponsored by World Relief Triad who need a safe, first landing spot while World Relief staff works to find them permanent housing, employment, and education opportunities
Why do Welcome House?
  • Opening a Welcome House provides us the opportunity as Christians to be people of hospitality and to be people of welcome and fellowship in the name of Jesus.
  • Hebrews 13:2 “Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.” This has also been the verse used to focus the Missional Engagement’s missions strategies and lead us in our Encourager Church partnership.
  • “I was a stranger and you welcomed ” – Jesus
Why do Welcome House at Ardmore Baptist Church?
  • We have a house. This connects our previous work with Good Neighbor teams, hosting a remote learning center for mostly refugee students, teaching ESL classes on Wednesday nights a number of years ago, and our partnership with Janée and Hary in Belgium who primarily work with refugees. God has been leading us down this path for years and this is the calling that faithfully puts that past work and training into our next step of ministry: The Ardmore Welcome House.
  • The missional engagement survey results gathered earlier this year placed immigration and refugee work and advocacy in the top 3 issues that ABC members wish to focus on missionally as we share the love of Jesus.
  • The need is real and now. World Relief is gearing up to receive more refugee families than ever before as they prepare for Afghan families and continuing resettlement needs around the world.
  • This ministry initiative has potential to connect us intergenerationally in the church and create collaborative relationships with other faith communities in the Ardmore neighborhood. It gives us the opportunity to love our new neighbors and be examples of Jesus’ love.
How can we do Welcome House at Ardmore Baptist Church?
  • This ministry needs the investment of time, energy, resources, and support from all of Ardmore Baptist Church. We hope that you will find a way to be involved and make this ministry a faithful, personal, spiritual commitment. There are many ways to be involved in this type of ministry!
  • It will be made possible through a formal partnership with World Relief and collaboration with Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of North Carolina, and other faith communities of Ardmore. We will be guests’ friends while World Relief will be their case workers. We offer Christian friendship and World Relief helps them find housing, employment, and education.
  • Financial scholarships are available for churches who open Welcome Houses through CBFNC. These finances can be used to help with upkeep of the house, repairs, purchasing cleaning supplies and groceries.
Who can be involved in the Welcome House at Ardmore Baptist Church?
  • ABC will put together Hospitality Teams. Each team will consist of a team leader to serve as the liaison for communication. Each team will have 6-7 people on it and together you will clean and prepare the home prior to our guests arrival, greet and welcome each family coming into the house, show them how to do basic things like flush toilets, start microwave, turn on the oven, provide a few groceries, check in every few days with a hot meal, playdate, walk around the neighborhood, show them where the grocery store is, etc. We hope to establish 4-5 Hospitality Teams. All Hospitality Team members are vetted, trained, and background checked by World Relief.
  • Prayer Partners: We believe that offering welcome and extending hospitality is not just something that is “nice to do” but is a way of being faithful in our Christian  witness. Any venture of faith should be surrounded in prayer. So we invite you to pray with us for Welcome House. Pray for the church, the Hospitality Team, our guests living in the home, and for the families of our guests that are in their home countries.
  • Maintenance Team: This team will serve as individuals who can be called upon to repair minor issues at the house, purchase needed bedding or bath supplies between families, fix scuffs or leaks, purchase needed items for the house, Needs will be communicated to this team by the Hospitality Team Coordinator.
  • Rehabilitation Team: This team will be made up of individuals who can help with design and installation of the house to prepare it to host families. This will include painting, flooring, furnishings, etc. This team’s purpose will be complete when the house is ready to host.
  • There is a way for YOU to be involved! Hospitality Team is just one way. Maybe you can make a hot meal or invite them to play on the local playground? Maybe you have furniture to donate to their permanent house after they leave the Welcome House? Maybe you have a welcome gift or plant? Maybe you can help with repairs in the house? Maybe you can invite them over to your house?

Volunteer Information

Hospitality Teams/Hosts
  1. A hospitality team consists of 5-6 adults who will offer Christian friendship to Welcome House guests while they stay in the house. Youth and children are welcome to serve on a team with parents or mentors.
  2. Each hospitality team will have a leader responsible for managing the visits of team members and communicating family or house needs to the Coordinator of Hospitality Teams.
  3. Hospitality teams will rotate per family assigned to the guest house, one hospitality team per family. When that family moves on, the next hospitality team will serve. A family may be in the house anywhere from 1 day to 3 months at most.
  4. All adults on a team must fill out an application, agree to a background check, and attend child protection training. Your youth or child may join you when visiting Welcome House Guests.
  5. Host’s primary responsibilities will be to acclimate guests to the house and neighborhood, maintain contact with the guests while they are in the house, and clean the house between guests.
General Hospitality Team Responsibilities
  1. Make contact with family on the day of arrival with words of welcome and/or a warm meal.
  2. Show guests how to turn on water, use the stove, run the washing machine, where to put food items, how to use the microwave, how to lock and unlock doors, etc.
  3. Show off the neighborhood: point out bus stops, where good walking places are, parks around, how to cross streets, shopping areas, where the church is.
  4. Covid-19 Safety: All volunteers will wear a face covering when indoors with guests and visit outside with guests as much as possible.
  5. Between guests: All sheets, towels, and bed coverings are to be washed between house guests. All main surfaces are to be wiped down between house guests. No open food should be left behind by guests and if so needs to be thrown out.
  6. Clean the house before and after guests. All cleaning products will be provided and kept in the house basement.
  7. Spread the Good News – invite them to a church function.
ALL ADULT VOLUNTEERS PER World Relief and Welcome House Community Network MUST:
  1. Inform Donna Bissette, Hospitality Team Coordinator, of intent to serve as a hospitality team member. She can be reached at dmbissette@yahoo.com or 336-413-2246.
  2. Fill out the general interest form here: https://worldrelief.org/triad/get-involved/volunteer-interest-form/
    o On second page under interests, check the box for Good Neighbor Team
    o On second page under group leader, type “Ardmore Baptist-Amy Gallaher”
  3. Watch 23 minutes worth of videos and take quiz: https://worldrelief.org/triad/get­ involved/volunteer/volunteer-orientation/
  4. Attend MANDATORY training in person or on zoom – April 2, 9:00 AM – l:00 PM
    o Youth can attend this also
    o Hosted at Ardmore Baptist Church Fellowship Hall
    o Training done by World Relief and Welcome House Community Network
    o Coffee and pastries provided
  5. Clear background check (will be emailed to you after completing all previous steps)

Spark Your Interest?

Please call Amy Gallaher, Minister of Missional Engagement at 336-725-8767 or send her a message at agallaher@ardmorebaptist.org to get connected!

A Video Introducing the Welcome House Raleigh Model

Contact / Location

Contact info

123, New Lenox, Chicago IL 60606

Gathering Times


8:00am, 9:15am, 11:00am