Scott Payne

Executive director

I never dreamed I would be working with the homeless for over 20 years. 

I grew up in San Jose and graduated from Lincoln Christian College (University) in 1982. I began in ministry at Shawnee Christian Nursing Center in Herrin, IL where I served as Chaplain, then Administrator for 7 years. From there, my family and I moved to Oswego, IL where I preached and ministered in a local church for 4 years. After moving back to central Illinois, we felt God leading us to work with the homeless at Inner City Mission. 

My parents dedicated me to ministry the moment I was born and made sure I was raised in the church. My parents gave me a foundation of truth and love, and for that, I will always praise God.

In the fall of 1977, the gift of a lifetime walked into my life—a young lady by the name of Constance Ann Gillespie. Four years later I married her, making January 10, 1981 the most significant day of my life. Over the years, God has blessed Connie and I with six children, each unique in their own wonderful way.

Connie and I, with children in tow, came to Inner City Mission on the prayer that God was leading us to the right place in ministry. He knew much better than I, because working with the homeless has turned out to be the perfect fit for all of us.

If I had to sum up my deepest desires and prayers for Inner City Mission, it would include this: 

  • ICM would no longer have to turn away people in need because we’re full.
  • Those living in our shelter would find lasting joy and peace in Christ.
  • Our surrounding community in central Illinois, and beyond, could better understand the causes of homelessness.
  • The Body of Christ will come alongside as a surrogate family to people in need.

Helping the homeless and those living in poverty has become my life’s work. I’m excited to see where God takes this ministry in the future.