Jimmy Robles is a native San Antonian, born and raised in the Westside. Throughout most of his formative years, he was a drug dealer, and also involved in other unlawful activities. But everything changed in December of 2005, when he decided to attend an A.C.T.S Men’s Retreat through San Juan de los Lagos Church, not knowing that he would experience an encounter with God, which would transform his life forever. Right after he witnessed a drama at the retreat, which made him realize his need for Jesus, he got rid of all of the drugs that he was planning to sell there, to never return to that lifestyle, and start on a new journey of bringing others to Christ.
With an uncontainable desire to share with others what the Lord had done in him, Jimmy wrote a drama based on his own life. This 26-page script was first presented at the YMCA on Castroville Road, in San Antonio, Texas in April, 2006, and touched hundreds of lives. For the next three years, this production titled “A Second Chance” was presented in various locations all over the State of Texas, preaching the gospel to a great number of people.
In May of that same year, Robles found an empty lot at the corner of N. Zarzamora and Poplar, in the heart of San Antonio’s Westside, where he began to do community outreaches, offering prayer to those in need, and proclaiming Jesus as the only way of salvation. Every Saturday, many drug addicts, prostitutes, gang members, and homeless people would gather there to hear the message of Jesus Christ, and receive coffee and food. Eventually, in 2009, a former bail bonds building across from that empty lot became the first home for what now is Last Chance Ministries. Nevertheless, Pastor Robles kept on holding outdoor outreaches, such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Back-To-School events, and share the love of God with the community. He would do this because we does not forget where the Lord took him from.
In the course of time, the number of individuals that would come to Last Chance Ministries continued to grow, and soon, the building was too small for them. With the generous donation of a Christian businessman, Pastor Jimmy was able to pay off the building, and within a year, in 2012, the church also acquired which is their current main location, at 404 Brady Boulevard. This new building is the former Attorney General Office for Child Support and Food Stamps. Later on, the church purchased a land in the neighborhood, which would become the Christian Sports Organization (CSO) field, where people of all ages can practice sports in a safe, and Christian environment. Last Chance Ministries, with its slogan, “Hope 4 The Westside,” became a place of restoration for the brokenhearted, and a pioneer in the transformation of the poorest sector of San Antonio.
A crucial turning point for the Robles family, and Last Chance Ministries, occurred on September 6, 2016. In that sad morning, Pastor Jimmy learned that his oldest daughter, Victoria Robles, also known as Tori, died in a terrible car accident. This was a dark moment for the Robles’ – “A pain you can’t explain,” as Pastor Jimmy described it. Yet, he took a stand to keep on serving the Lord, despite this horrible loss. Just days after Tori’s death, he took a bat on his hand, and went up to the pulpit delivering the message that, “when life hits you, you either get knocked down, or hit back.”
After this tragic event, Last Chance Ministries entered into a new season of glory – many lives came to the Lord, while ministries and charities emerged in memory of Tori. To name a few, there are the VicTORIous Women’s Ministry and VicTORIous Scholarship. Out of this loss, one of the church’s greatest accomplishments was Crusade 300, held in October of 2018, at the Alamodome, where over a thousand people gathered to declare Jesus as the Lord and Savior of city. All this as a testimony that, “something has to die, in order for something to live” (Pastor Jimmy Robles).
Starting the year 2019, the church has initiated various new projects to reach the souls. With the theme “Year of Transformation,” Pastor Jimmy, and Last Chance Ministries, continue to work hard to see lives transformed in San Antonio through the message of the gospel, and services to the community. A recent project that has been placed in the heart of the Pastor is VicTORIous Point Transitional Homes, which is a set of tiny houses with the purpose of assisting homeless people that are ready to transition into financial independence. These homes are located on the grounds of the CSO field.