Good Samaritan Ministries, Inc.

Rating: 4.9 stars   10 reviews


PO Box 2441 Johnson City TN 37605 USA


Good Samaritan Ministries is a non-profit, ecumenical organization of people helping people founded in 1985. Relying on donations, Good Samaritan Ministries believes that our community can find resources of time, money, goods, and volunteer services. Recognizing the dignity and importance of each person, the Good Samaritan staff works with each individual on long-term solutions. In terms of financial aid, Good Samaritan Ministries helps provide funds for rent, utilities, prescriptions, and other basic needs. We have a food pantry in which food is provided as needed. Another aspect of our ministry is The Shepherd''s Lunch, which provides a hot noontime meal to the homeless, low-income, and elderly. The Shepherd''s Lunch is housed at Munsey Memorial United Methodist Church and is directly across from a former hotel that now houses disabled and low-income individuals. When the program was started we did not know how many lives would be impacted by the program being located in the current facility.

Geographic areas served:

Washington, Carter, Sullivan, Unicoi, Greene, and Johnson Counties


There are two major branches of Good Samaritan Ministries. The main office, which oversees all programs The Shepherd's Lunch. The main office of Good Samaritan Ministries handles the financial aspects of assisting clients with emergency and immediate assistance such as food, rent, utilities, and prescriptions. We also have a Summer Food Program to assist families with school age children who receive assistance during the school year with free or reduced lunches; a Back to School program to provide children of low income families with the necessary school supplies to return to school and as resources are available to provide new clothes and shoes; Thanksgiving food baskets for elderly and other low income in need of assistance; Christmas Adopt-a-Family program and food assistance to the elderly. The Shepherd's Breakfast and Lunch program provides meals to the needy on a daily basis. In 2008 there were 102,000 meals served.

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(423) 928-0288

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Reviews for Good Samaritan Ministries, Inc.

Rating: 5 stars  

8 people found this review helpful

Good Samaritan Ministries and our church (Lone Oak Christian) work in partnership. GSM is one of several benevolent agencies in Johnson City but fills a spot that is not being filled by any others. When someone loses a house by fire, they can come to GSM for dishes, furniture and food. When there is need for help with the power bill, there is a budget for that. Clothing is available. The breadth of the help is unique. The founder of Good Samaritan, Sarah Wells, knows what it is like to be on the street without help. She survived that with dependence on God and is now committed to helping people as a life mission, not a job. GSM is not good but great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

People whom we have sent for help. In immediate help for those who ask. Their heart to help and make do with every resource they have.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I know of none. They have recently occupied new facilities, the former Power and Light Building. Funded mostly in response to public announcement and major donations.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

The ministry grew out of a personal experience in life and determination to help others who run into hard times.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Founder and leader, Sarah Wells. Administrator, Vernon Wells (husband)

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Pay off the rest of the money owed on the building. Hire more staff to implement their vision. Broaden outreach to cities within a 35 mile radius. Increase salaries for full time employees.

Ways to make it better...

They had just moved to new quarters so the donated supplies were not organized. But there were assigned people to that department and probably have it organized by kind now.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

Adequate funding. There is a good donor base but the need has increased in the last year. There is good public awareness of the work of GSM and more knowledge of the ministry to the public would be helpful.

One thing I'd also say is that...

I am sold on the ministry, on Sarah Wells as the one with the vision, and on Vernon Wells as the one to manage the operation.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?


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Rating: 5 stars  

11 people found this review helpful

GSM is a great organization that helps a lot of people in our local community. They operate on a very lean budget with about 90% of all donations going directly to help people in need.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

genuine and kind.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?


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