Establishing a presence in the city for faith-based service


Our founder, Dr. Morehouse was called out of the corporate world of Kodak in 1977 with a heart for establishing a presence in the city for faith-based service through community oriented primary health care and youth outreach. Following a visionary blueprint outlined in late 1977 (see Original Outline), his wife Susan and a team of people from his church and the broader community helped him open the Chapel Guidance Center on Arnett Boulevard in 1978 where he began offering primary care to all who would come, regardless of their ability to pay. Not long afterwards the name was changed to His Branches, Inc. a trans-denominational 501(c)3 nonprofit organization which was written up in the local City West Newspaper.

Around the same time, Teen Challenge opened a weekend youth center under our auspices that met in what is now our back conference area. Students from Elim Bible Institute and other local colleges canvassed the neighborhood on Saturday afternoons and then held a free coffee house with music, an open mike, and sharing. Many years later, the seeds of youth ministry planted in its early years would sprout for a while and bear fruit again in the form of Rochester Youth Outreach.

In the early 1980s a group of concerned citizens opened Rochester’s first “crisis pregnancy center” in our building, right beside our primary care office and backing up into it for clinical support when needed. This grew and became Crisis Pregnancy Services, moved to larger facilities, and is now active in Brighton under the name CompassCare. Shortly after CompassCare moved out of our facility and into its new offices in Henrietta, we opened our own reproductive counseling services office, Embracing Options.

Our clinical outreach services have been growing since their early days and have received full New York State licensure to operate as a Community Health Center under the name His Branches Health Services. One of our clinical outreach endeavors that lasted several years before being absorbed into St. Mary’s Hospital and then dissolved, was The Martin Luther King Center on Troup Street. As you look at our Early Pictures, you’ll see some taken at the King Center.

We’re now overseeing a main primary care office on Arnett Boulevard, Grace Family Medicine, and a satellite office, Joy Family Medicine, at the Gerhardt Neighborhood Outreach Center on the corner of Bay and Goodman Streets in Rochester’s northeast quadrant, as well as supporting a network of reproductive counseling offices and reaching out with community-building activities in the Greater Rochester area.

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