The origins and early growth of our ministry

After completing his specialty training in Family Medicine and while working in the community, Dr. William Morehouse responded to a strong sense of calling to establish a presence in the city for faith-based ministry through comprehensive primary health care. In 1978, with the help of a team of people from his church and with a lot of community support His Branches opened on Arnett Boulevard in Rochester’s west side, as part of a progressive vision, dream, and prayer.


Dr. Morehouse and Susan back in 1978 shortly after His Branches first opened on Arnett Boulevard (daughter Sarah riding on Dad’s back)

The vision was of people from all walks of life being helped by gifted Christian doctors and nurses working with others who were living out their faith caring for those in need. The dream foresaw people living in communities where children could grow up in healthy families, play in safe neighborhoods, worship in vibrant churches, and learn in enriching schools. Together with Jesus, our prayer was and has always been “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven!” Since then, His Branches has grown and become a thriving example of servant leadership and sacrifice in ministry to the under-served in our community.


Drs. Morehouse, McMullen, and Lee together with staff members around 1993


Celebrating 20 years of God’s faithfulness to our ministry in the community in 1998

For the first few years our medical office was called The Chapel Guidance Center until we renamed it Grace Family Medicine in the early 1980s. Thirty years after we opened on the west side, another team came alongside Dr. Morehouse to open a second office on the east side called Joy Family Medicine at the Gerhardt Neighborhood Outreach Center (GNOC) on the corner of Goodman and Bay Streets in northeast Rochester.


Opening Day at the Gerhardt Neighborhood Outreach Center in 2008

GNOC is a community revitalization project and ministry undergirded by Joy Community Church and supported by a growing coalition of churches and collaborative ministry partners.