Archive: January, 2022

Announcing New Leadership

January 21, 2022
HopeNow Furniture Bank serving Knox County is announcing staff leadership for the organization that distributes free donated furniture and household supplies to persons with need, according to Lee Rhoades, Chair of the HopeNow Furniture Bank Board of Directors.
The Board of Directors has named Rev Dr. Mearle Griffith as its Executive Director and Steve Frye as Director of Operations. Both men bring extensive not-for-profit leadership in Knox County and beyond.
Griffith, a retired United Methodist pastor, served in state and denomination-wide leadership as President/CEO of United Methodist Association of Health and Welfare Ministries and as Associate General Secretary of the Church’s General Council on Ministries. He also served as Senior Pastor of North Broadway UMC in Columbus.
Locally, Griffith has been Chair of the Committee on Mission and Service at First Congregational United Church of Christ and a member of the Interchurch Board of Directors. With his wife, he directs the Hot Meals program at the church. He also volunteers as Resident Pastor of Outreach Ministries at First Congregational UCC.
Griffith has also served as a board member of the Methodist Theological School of Ohio and served as chair of its Development Committee. He holds a Doctor of Ministry from United theological Seminary and an honorary Doctor of Ministry degree from Rust College for service to the church and world. With wife Jane, the couple has two grown daughters, Maria Oliver and Marci Snively and two granddaughters, Sophie and Ava Snively, all of Danville.
Steve Frye has been involved with HopeNow Furniture Bank as a volunteer in the wood shop for the past six years. In his new role he will oversee the daily operations of the organization’s warehouse, located at 1025 South Main Street, Mount Vernon. Frye is a retired Manufacturing Engineer following attendance at Ohio State University and a career at Dana Industries. He serves as an active volunteer and member of the Board of Directors of the Winter Sanctuary Homeless Shelter.
Frye is also well-known around the area where he continues his passion for music across the years on the local scene. A native of Mount Vernon, Steve is married to Cecile and they have two children, Aimee Frye and Jesse Frye and a granddaughter Kali Frye.
HopeNow Furniture Bank was founded in 2005 with a critical mission to collect gently used furniture and distribute it to families who cannot afford to furnish their homes. Families are eligible if they are Knox County residents with incomes low enough to qualify for Food Stamps or Medicaid assistance.
“The goal of the organization is to help make a house a home for those Knox County families who cannot afford the most basic furniture and housewares,” Rhoades explained. In 2021, the HopeNow Furniture Bank distributed 1317 furniture pieces and each family received at least four large boxes of household items. The organization operates with nearly 40 faithful volunteers.
Dr. Mearle Griffith, Executive Director
Steve Frye, Director of Operations