In 1972, Jubilee began as a youth revival. Young people were prompted to enter the prison and witness, sharing testimony to what God had done in their lives and the freedom available to all who will claim salvation through Jesus Christ.
In October of 1977, a group of Mennonite women shared a desire to open a thrift store that would supply quality, inexpensive clothes to the public and generate funds for the ministry. In 1977, the first men’s chaplain was hired in Lebanon County.
In the early 1980s, the Lebanon prison was moved from the basement of the courthouse to a new facility on Walnut Street. The population was about 150 inmates. Jubilee then began ministering to female prisoners.
Dozens of volunteers remodeled the thrift shop, expanding the retail space from 500 to over 2,000 square feet. Jubilee placed its first chaplain in the Camp Hill Prison.
In 1986, the ministry expanded to include material assistance, which offers rental, heating, transportation, medical, food, clothing, and furniture assistance to families within the community.
In 1993, Jubilee tested out it’s first Aftercare Program – a program for inmates to enter directly after their release from prison, that would teach them essential re-entry skills and provide them with work.
By the mid 1990’s, Jubilee had chaplains in seven correctional facilities: Lebanon Country Dauphin Country Camp Hill State Retreat State Frackville State Chester State Mahanoy State.
Jubilee began sending children of inmates and parolees to a week of Christian summer camp.
Jubilee bought and renovated the old Milsan Mills factory at 235 S 12th Street in Lebanon and opened a clothing and furniture store to support the prison ministry programs.
In 2003, the Palmyra store opened (the picture is of the current store; moved into in 2017).
In 2004, the Myerstown location opens.
The Quaker Alloy factory, which sat just a block from Jubilee’s new main headquarters, closed its doors. In 2006, Jubilee completed renovations on the building and opened its new “Transition House”.
In 2008, the Manheim location opens it's doors.
In 2016, the Annville location opens.
In 2020, the Wernersville location opens & the Online Store, ShopTheJub.com, launched.
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