FAIRMONT, W.Va. (WBOY) — The Union Rescue Mission of Fairmont has appointed a new executive director after the retirement of Pastor George Batten.

Fairmont’s Union Rescue Mission serves three meals a day starting at 7:00 a.m., 12:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. and is open 365 days a year. Last month, the Union Rescue Mission was responsible for distributing more than 3,000 meals alone, so the organization knew big shoes had to be filled after Pastor Batten’s announced his retirement at the end of last year.

Reverend Jeff Benedict, who has been affiliated with the Union Rescue Mission since 2019 and who had previously held the title of assistant director has taken on the new role.

Pastor Batten had initially invited Reverend Benedict to the Union Rescue Mission for a helping hand when he reached out to him in June of 2019. From that point forward, Reverend Benedict felt that this location had been a calling for him and began working part-time, commuting between Wheeling and Fairmont.

Reverend Benedict is no stranger to the field as he has helped with the mission in a variety of ways throughout his involvement with the organization. Whether it be spreading hope, working in the kitchen, ministry services or participating in its rehabilitation program, Reverend Benedict has been a large part of the Union Rescue Mission’s function.

Reverend Benedict spoke with 12 News about his excitement and goals in accompanying this new position.

“They chose me, and I’m privileged to have the opportunity here. We want to, again build relationships with churches and agencies, hospitals institutions, and all those types of places. And that’s the number one goal we have at this particular time,” said Reverend Benedict.

To get involved by supporting, volunteering or donating with Fairmont’s Union Mission, you can do so on their website.

The Union Rescue Mission will be hosting a “Run for Recovery” fundraising 5K run and 2K walk on July 22 at 9:00 a.m. You can register for that event here.