Back Bay Mission STILL Making Good Trouble after 100 Years

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Back Bay Mission began in 1922 as an outreach of the First Evangelical Church of Biloxi, MS to the “fisher folk” of the area. Today, 100(+) years later, Back Bay continues to offer a variety of ministries serving the poor and marginalized of the Mississippi Gulf Coast and the people of the United Church of Christ. From providing emergency assistance to addressing houselessness at many levels, from offering education and empowerment programs to being a destination for mission trip groups and social justice interns, the staff and volunteers at Back Bay Mission embody the extravagant welcome of the United Church of Christ in relationships with clients, supporters, and other members and partners of the community.

On May 4-7, 2023, Back Bay Mission gathered folks locally and from across the country to celebrate its 100 years of ministry and to look ahead to the next century of serving the community and tackling poverty head-on. Highlights of the event were the Making Good Trouble Conference on Friday, with UCC General Minister and President Rev. John Dorhauer and EEECHO (Education, Economics, Environmental, Climate and Health Organization) co-founder Ms. Katherine Egland, and the first United Church of Christ worship service on the Mississippi Gulf Coast in several decades. Southeast Conference Minister Rev. Kim Wood presented the workshop “Why ONA?: What is Open and Affirming and Why does it Matter?” South Central Conference Minister Rev. Phil Hodson, Back Bay Mission’s Executive Director Rev. James Pennington, Gulf Center for Equitable Climate Resilience’s Director Renee Collini, and Rev. Dorhauer also provided workshops for the conference. Other activities included the “In Their Shoes” presentation about Back Bay’s work; a social to celebrate the Making Good Trouble Capital Campaign, which has raised over $1 million; a shrimp boil to learn about this gulf culinary treasure that has served as fundraisers for Back Bay all over the country, and a breakfast fellowship with Clemon P. Jimerson, Sr., who was part of the Biloxi Wade In to stand up for desegregation of the beaches in the area.

For more information about Back Bay Mission, go to, or join us at the Southeast Conference Annual Meeting in Atlanta on June 2 and 3 to meet Rev. Pennington. The SECUCC looks forward to building and strengthening our relationship with Back Bay Mission and working in partnership with the South Central Conference UCC to broaden the voice of the United Church of Christ on the Gulf Coast!