Bill Sparks founded Gilead Ministries in January 1999 to minister to 27 cancer patients. Through his ministry to these patients, Bill saw a need for a pre-hospicechaplain since the hospice chaplains did not get involved until the end of the patient’slife.
Initially, Bill wanted to see if he could visit and provide services for at least 30-45 patients. However, the ministry quickly outgrew Bill’s expectations with about 60referrals within the first year. By 2000, Gilead served over 100 patients. Bill eventually decided to resign as pastor at his church to work for Gilead full time in 2003.
Bill modeled his ministry after Dave and Jan Dravecky’s organization Outreach of Hope, now called Endurance, by making phone calls and sending cards to patients. The two organizations still maintain close ties, and Dave continues to send 5-10 kits of goodies a year to patients.
Today, Gilead volunteers clean yards and houses, build ramps, make rice bags, deliver gift bags and finish projects for hospice patients. Annually, Gilead Ministries members minister to over 3,200 patients and their families in 44 states. Volunteers primarily pray and write card of encouragement to meet the needs of patients and families affected by cancer and other illnesses. In addition, they also help around the office. To learn more, visit our volunteer page.