House of Rest: A Tradition of Hospitality.
Inspired by faith and passion for spreading the gospel, Mary and David Gamble worshipped at and gave generously to Pasadena Presbyterian Church. Following travels in China, they returned home with a pronounced desire to support the work of missionaries abroad. In particular, the Gambles perceived the need for a house of rest, where missionaries on furlough might find respite and renewal.
To this end, in 1923, Mr. and Mrs. Gamble purchased a property at 170 S. Marengo Ave. in Pasadena, California and placed 1000 shares of Proctor & Gamble stock in a trust fund. This endowment provided for the construction and maintenance of a residence consisting of seven furnished apartments. On February 6, 1924, Mrs. Gamble presented the keys to the president of the Los Angeles Presbytery. The home was open to missionaries from home and abroad as well as Y.W.C.A. and Y.M.C.A. officials from abroad.
Oversight of the House of Rest fell to a Board of Directors consisting of seven women, with four of women appointed by the Session of Pasadena Presbyterian Church and three appointed by the Los Angeles Presbytery. Funds drawn from the endowment provided by Mr. and Mrs. Gamble supported the maintenance and upkeep of the House of Rest.
In 1943, The House of Rest merged with the nearby Peabody Home, which served a similar function. In 1957, the House of Rest received tax exempt status and in 1958, incorporated, with title of the property passing to the corporation.
The House of Rest continued to serve mission co-workers faithfully at its original location for many years, until the City of Pasadena moved to obtain the property to make way for construction of the Convention Center. In 1971, the Board of Directors resolved to sell the property at 170 S. Marengo Ave, to the City of Pasadena. In turn, House of Rest purchased the current property, an apartment house at 784 Santa Barbara St. Pasadena, California. House of Rest transferred operations to 784 Santa Barbara St. on May 11, 1971.
In 1982, the Presbyterian Program Agency approved the expansion of the mission of the House of Rest to include services to retired pastors and missionaries. In 1984, the House of Rest commenced grants to Westminster Gardens and Monte Vista Grove; two local communities housing and caring for retired missionaries and pastors.
In 1997, the House of Rest together with the PC(USA) Board of Pensions funded of a grant to the San Gabriel Presbytery to assist retired missionaries and clergy living within the boundaries of San Gabriel Presbytery who were experiencing financial hardship.
Continuing this mission, in 2016, House of Rest funded a grant to the San Gabriel Presbytery to hire a part time chaplain. The chaplain serves the needs of retired missionaries and ministers residing within the bounds of the Presbytery.
Nearly a hundred years after its founding, House of Rest continues to fulfill its original mission. By providing missionaries with both a physical and spiritual home away from the mission field, House of Rest supports those who spread the Good News worldwide.