Government Backs Off Christian Rescue Mission That Seeks to Hire Only Christians AND Pays Attorneys’ Fees

Wyoming Rescue Mission hires people who share the Christian faith. Its mission is to spread the Gospel and model Christ and teach Discipleship Recovery Program guests to do the same.

But the state had other ideas after an unbeliever complained. The person applied to work in one of the rescue mission’s thrift stores. This non-believer did not get the job.

Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), which represents the rescue mission, said the state government and the U.S. Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (EEOC)  investigated the rescue mission for 16 months and determined that the mission “likely” violated the Wyoming Fair Employment Practices Act of 1965 and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The problem? ADF said neither law applies to faith-based organizations’ hiring decisions that are based on religion.

The rescue mission filed a civil rights lawsuit in September to protect itself from government retaliation.

Government officials must have realized the error and formed a different conclusion. ADF announced last week that the Wyoming Rescue Mission and state and federal officials have reached a settlement (emphasis added):

As part of the settlement, state officials acknowledged that the rescue mission, as a religious organization, is free to hire like-minded employees who share the ministry’s religious beliefs and mission to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ through its homeless shelter, clothing voucher service, faith-based recovery programs, and life-rebuilding assistance to Casper residents.

The state government and the EEOC will pay the rescue mission’s attorneys’ fees.

ADF said the Wyoming Rescue Mission last year served “60,862 free meals to the public; provided 41,037 beds for men, women, and children; enrolled 92 Discipleship Recovery Program participants; offered 5,597 case management sessions; and gave 1,208 thrift store vouchers worth $39,649.92 that provided free clothing and essentials to families and guests in need.”

Photo credit: ADF

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  1. It must be difficult to determine who is and who is not a Christian only at face value. There are probably people working at the mission who follow Jesus’ directives more so than the next person. We all fall short. During the employment interview process, what questions from the hiring manager can determine who is and is not a “true believer” in Christ? I think that’s where faith comes in.

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