In early 1995, the vision was to bring Christians of different denominations and backgrounds together for a one-night prayer service. On September 29, 1995, Executive Director Brian Jenkins along with the Zion Prayer Band of Ardmore held an all night worship and prayer service from 10:00 PM till 4:00 AM.
The service was based around the theme of Gideon from the 6th & 7th Chapters of the Book Of Judges whom God chose 300 men for Gideon to fight against the war of the Midianites. That night 300 Christians came together, unconcerned of their separate ways they practiced their faith; but focused on the commonality they had in Christ, and their desire to pray for the needs of others.
But You Considered Me
It was Father’s Day 1996, at the exit of the Merriam Theater in Philadelphia; Mr. Jones, a dark skinned man stood outside of the theater as people walked by. He had long locks that had not been combed for some time. For a shirt he wore a torn blanket, wrapped halfway around him, exposing his meatless ribs. His pants were stained and held up by a rope he had found.
All we had to offer him was forty cents and an apology for not being able to do more. His reply is what sparked the mission now knows as Chosen 300…"But you considered me…”
The next week Chosen 300’s founders started a bagged lunch initiative prepared at their home which shortly outgrew their ability to provide the meals on their own.
Today, over 115 religious organizations, companies and community groups distribute over 150,000 full course meals throughout the Philadelphia region. Chosen 300 also provides more than 500,000 lbs of food and humanitarian aid in 24 locations across 9 countries.
Brian never saw Mr. Jones again, but stated, "I see the smile he had on his face that night every time I see the smile of another homeless person we reach."