In Memoriam: Pastor Milele Hobbs

Rev. Ayanna Johnson Watkins, Director of the NBA Incubate Initiative, with Pastor Milele Hobbs at the 2015 General Assembly.Rev. Ayanna Johnson Watkins, Director of the NBA Incubate Initiative, with Pastor Milele Hobbs at the 2015 General Assembly.

March 14, 2017 – Pastor Milele Hobbs, Executive Director of Gomer’s Houseand Co-Pastor of Trees of Righteousness Christian Church, died on January 15, 2017.

Hobbs grew up as the eldest child/cousin of 11, with responsibilities that set the stage for leadership, organization, planning, and giving. At 21, she felt obligated to drop out of college to become guardian of five siblings after their mother’s death. Her experience during this difficult time eventually brought her back to the church.

She joined a women’s prison ministry in Portland, OR, serving with them for 12 years. This led to the original Gomer’s House, providing housing for some of the women returning to Portland in 1995-2003.

Hobbs became a licensed minister at Everlasting Baptist Church in February 2004. In April 2007, Trees of Righteousness Christian Church was launched, and Gomer’s House reopened as an integrated auxiliary of the church, becoming an affiliate ministry of the NBA Incubate Initiative. Gomer’s House is a peer-led outpatient/support program and transitional home for people working on addiction recovery and mental health issues. Hobbs described the ministry as “a safe, nurturing environment for people to heal from growing up in a less-than-nurturing environment.”

Hobbs was an active partner with the National Benevolent Association through the Incubate Initiative, participating in the Social Entrepreneur Track at Hope Partnership’s Leadership Academy, attending the NBA Incubate Retreat, and serving with the Executive Leaders Peer Group in 2016.

“Pastor Milele was one of our earliest Incubate partners, and her commitment to serving those whom society had counted out was an inspiration to me personally,” says Rev. Rebecca Hale, NBA Vice President of Mission and Ministry. “We grew together to understand ways Disciples-related health and social service ministries need to be and could be supported.”

Hobbs’ ministry, with her husband, Pastor James Hobbs, has been an important part of the Christian Church in Oregon and Southwest Idaho Region. Her leadership was felt beyond Gomer’s House and Trees of Righteousness Christian Church, as she was a faithful presence in regional church life.

Burial and Memorial Service:
Friday, March 17, 2017 at 10:00 a.m.
Rose City Cemetery
5625 NE Fremont Street, Portland, OR 97213
Memorial service to follow.

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