The Way Out Ministries grew out of a desire in the hearts of Barry Bruce and his then girlfriend, Terryl Horton, to lead the children living in Hawaiian Gardens, California toward the right path. (Proverbs 22:6) One Sunday Barry and Terryl looked out upon the depressed barrio from the locked fence of their church and felt convicted to reach out to the people there and help guide them to the path of peace found in Jesus.
These two young adults, along with youth pastor Ken Derek and a concerned church member named Rich Guthrie, organized a week-long vacation Bible School program during spring break that they named “Resurrection Celebration”. About sixty children attended this successful event, and many of those children received Christ! Among these new young Christians were a brother and sister, Michael and Rachael. At the end of the program, they did not want to go home and sincerely asked, “Where do we go now?”
When the two children invited Barry and Terryl into their neighborhood and home, Barry and Terryl’s eyes were opened to a city where drugs addiction, alcoholism, and gangs were commonplace. They had a strong desire to make God known to those who lived in darkness; however, their church leadership was largely unmoved. Overwhelmed with the large task before them, Barry and Terryl continued to befriend Michael and Rachael, but any plans for ministry to the city faded.
Barry and Terryl were soon married and went overseas as short-term missionaries with Youth of the Mission (Y.W.A.M.) on board the M/V Anastasis. While overseas God made clear a calling that would take them back home to America to become missionaries to the people of Hawaiian Gardens. With the support of a few members of El Dorado Park Community Church and the eventual encouragement of the church’s leadership and the Reformed Church in America (R.C.A.), the couple incorporated as a ministry on May 7, 1984 with less than $100 in the bank.
The ministry has grown from originally running out of the Bruce’s home in the city to the current facility that has over 14,000 square feet. The Ministry is also working currently on plans to build a facility in the Philippines! Every day lives are being touched by the Lord Jesus Christ through the staff and volunteers of The Way Out Ministries. After almost four decades of ministry we are still adapting to the needs around us while never compromising the Gospel message.