Meet Nettie.

Nettie Golden White Pitney (1900-1985)


Who is Nettie? Glad you asked.

Nettie is a big reason why Rockford Rescue Mission exists, because she was the mother of Mission pioneer Gerald Pitney. She married Leonard Pitney and settled on a farm in Higbee, Missouri, where she found great fulfillment as a wife, mother and homemaker. Nettie especially enjoyed cooking and baking, with apricot cobbler being her specialty dessert.


Nettie served as a Sunday School teacher and church pianist and influenced her children to love music — but more importantly, to love God. She had a heart for missions and ministry; the couple even donated a portion of their land to the Mt. Zion Baptist Association for a campground, where she could often be found cooking for the campers.


Nettie had a quiet, humble spirit and would surely question why anyone in Rockford, Illinois, would make a fuss about her. But she would love that her legacy includes creatively extending the hope of Christ to people who are hurting and in need of His love.


Nettie’s Mercantile & Café opens to the public on June 18! This venue is a coming together of Rockford Rescue Mission’s Remade Store and Restoration Café, in the former café’s location at 625 West State St. The name Nettie was chosen to honor the mother of Rockford Rescue Mission’s co-founder and Executive Director, Rev. G.O. Pitney.


Nettie’s Mercantile and Café offers a delectable eatery, unique shopping and so much more.  Where else can you savor a cup of coffee, enjoy freshly baked muffin or cookie, find a gift … and change a life? Most of the furniture and décor is created or repurposed by individuals rebuilding their lives through our Life Recovery programs along with Mission staff and volunteers. All Nettie’s Mercantile proceeds benefit Rockford Rescue Mission programs.


“By having a single destination location, we’re combining the best of both outlets into one unbelievable experience,” says CEO Sherry Pitney. “We are always seeking ways to best serve God – and our community – while honoring our past. This is an exciting way to do that, and we invite our friends and partners to visit Nettie’s soon!”

Nettie’s Location:

625 West State St.
Rockford, IL 61102

Nettie’s Hours

June 2020

Thursday, Friday and Saturday | 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.


Starting July 1, 2020

Tuesday to Friday | 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Saturday | 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Sunday | Closed


We will be open for shopping and limited grab and go bakery and coffee items.

Ready To Help?

We need your financial support to keep
touching lives in the Rock River Valley.

Want To Volunteer?

Volunteers are needed at many
different areas of the mission.