Freedom Rain Ministries was formed by Brenda Lovelady Spahn in 1997. However, Brenda did not heed her individual call from God until 2004. God had been calling Brenda into Ministry since her childhood, but she was very reluctant. After a brush with the legal system, He had her attention. Brenda began her ministry with her daughter Melinda MeGahee (the current Director of The Lovelady Center) by entering the Birmingham Work Release Center and Julia Tutwiler Women's Prison (the only women's prison in Alabama) to bring hope through the message of the Gospel.
Part of Brenda and Melinda's ministry was to pray with the women who were being released, only to see them return soon after. Seeing this "revolving door" of the prison system made it clear that there was no real rehabilitation for women in Alabama. This was a consequence that Brenda and her daughter could not just accept. And being the crusader that she is, Brenda decided it was time for a change.
Brenda had heard some of the women talk about going through a halfway house, and how little those places had helped them. This was the inspiration for Brenda's concept of a "whole way house." Brenda decided that she wanted to open the doors of her own home to female inmates and give them an opportunity for redemption. Let that sink in. She brought them into her home to live with her.
After contacting the Department of Corrections numerous times, they finally approved Brenda's request. The Lovelady "Whole Way House" began with seven women and has grown into The Lovelady Center, serving over 500 women and children daily. Brenda has chronicled the intriguing story of Lovelady's beginnings in her book, Miss Brenda and the Loveladies, soon to be a major motion picture by Rubicon Entertainment and Good Universe.
With her daughter Melinda at her side, Brenda has watched The Lovelady Center grow into one of the largest transitional programs in the country. The Lovelady Center receives no state or federal funding because it is a faith-based, Christ centered program.