The City Mission was founded by Rev. and Mrs. Thomas A. Williams in April 1936. Originally located on Dale Street, the mission purchased the building on East Sullivan Street in 1938. The City Mission provided meals, lodging, and assistance to people in need. Williams came to Kingsport in 1917 and operated the Magic City Barber Shop for several years. After his death in 1967, his wife, Clara, continued to run the City Mission. The City Mission held church services everyday and often featured visiting pastors.