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Lambscroft Ministries - Helping the Poor and the Needy

Giving Hope to Nashville Communities


We bring the poor, spiritually bankrupt and/or financially destitute into a safe environment, providing immediate shelter while entering earnestly into learning skills necessary for the restoration of their entire being.


Who We Are:

Lambscroft is a group of people who believe that Jesus is among the poor, broken-hearted, cast-out, rejected, unloved, hopeless and houseless. We are not from one particular church, denomination or civic group. We are the church in all of its expressions!

As a volunteer based organization, we advocate active, voluntary service to the surrounding community. We, as a community practice the mandate given by Jesus, ‘freely you have received…freely give.”


Our Purpose:

To adhere to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and to provide the opportunity necessary to encourage and support its effect on ourselves and those we serve through everyday living and service. To continue to be a center of effective training and encouragement, to follow the teachings, life and character of Jesus, and its call on the human soul.


Form 990 is available upon request.

Founder & Executive Director


Brett Swayn was born in Perth, Western Australia. He came to the U.S. in 1991, settling in Austin, Texas, to pursue a promising music career. His search for God began in earnest many years later, and he understood he was called to go to Nashville. So, on March 19, 2002, he left the life in Texas for the call in Tennessee.

What wasn’t foreseen was that Brett was to spend the next four months living on the streets of Nashville, experiencing the heartache, alienation and desperation of homelessness. He calls this period “the hardest, most beautiful time of my life,” because he experienced a closer walk with God and came to understand the sufferings of a marginalized people of America.

Through a series of what he calls “miracles,” he was offered a job at Fleming’s restaurant, where he worked his way to sous chef and traveled around the country training others in culinary arts. At the same time, he felt called to address the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of the homeless community. Over time he felt drawn to a life of simplicity.

He left his position at Fleming’s, deciding to devote his life to those in need. Brett’s three-year dream of opening The Cookery is here. In addition to serving coffee and luncheon/dinner foods, it is also a training facility. Here Brett and associates will instill culinary crafts to select homeless individuals in order to prepare them for employment in the food industry. “Through all of this, God has taught us perseverance, resilience, patience and trust,” Brett says.

Brett lives in Nashville with his wife Merari Joy Swayn. Together with others, they help manage Lambscroft Ministries and all of its programs.


Watch News Channel 5’s OpenLine 2nd interview of Brett Swayn and The Cookery’s role in ending homelessness in Nashville. Hosted by Carrie Sharp, this 5-part video was aired on Wednesday, October 21 at 7pm and discusses the need to end Nashville’s homeless crisis. A panel of representatives from different homeless outreach organizations are represented in this interview, including The Cookery’s Brett Swayn, who discussed how community is vital to the sustained healing of people coming out of homelessness.

Our Board Members

Tim Garrett

Board President

Linda Tozer

Board Secretary

Marsha Crowder

Mark Peterson

Ray DeVries

Jim Robinson

Randy Gannon

Stuart Beaton

What We Do

The cookery cooks up hope, alongside a selection of burgers, salads and more!

26 culinary students have graduated from the program. All were formerly homeless.

COVID has changed the way we do outreach. We now take bagged meals to homeless campsites in Nashville Metro area nearly everyday. Breakfast at Downtown Presbyterian Church has been canceled for time being.

Three discipleship houses offer a safe place for culinary students to live & grow in community.

DUE TO COVID- This service has been temporarily canceled. Twice a week, ServSafe Certification is taught at the local prison.

COVID has changed the way we do community food pantry. Individuals still come to The Cookery location and ask for meals or food. We give out meals and food items that have been donated on an individual basis.

Monthly movie nights showcase a culinary student with a 3-course meal.

DUE TO COVID- we now take boxed meals, supplies and presents out to homeless campsites. Thanksgiving and Christmas meals feed up to 150 people!

In the winter, assistance with cold weather supplies are given out.

I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do.
~Edward Everett Hale

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Get Involved


Want to volunteer? Lambscroft is currently in the process of forming volunteer-run committees to assist in the following areas:

  • Fundraising
  • Donor Relationships
  • Special Events
  • Service Projects
  • Administrative
  • “fixer upper” projects

Our one request: give of your heart. We have found that what is most effective is heart-to-heart relationship with our friends. Invest your heart in one life – the returns are eternal.

AdministrativeDonor RelationshipsFixer Upper ProjectsFundraisingService ProjectsSpecial Events

Donate to Lambscroft


Amount: USD