Stephen Ministry at First Congregational Church, UCC

Our purpose is to be vessels of God’s love and grace, and to create a safe space for people to share their struggles and to find solace in their faith. 

Mission Statement of Stephen Ministry at First Congregational Church, UCC, Columbus, Ohio

We walk with those in need, maintain confidentiality, develop trust, and offer Christ-centered care. Our role is to listen, kindle hope, and be humble companions on the path to healing. We believe in God as the ultimate healer and commit to be present, patient, and non-judgmental, extending love and fellowship when needed. We trust in prayer and Christ’s transformative presence. Through our own training and supervision, we deepen our capacity to nurture trust and understanding. Our ministry is a testament to an enduring faith that brings healing and hope to those who seek it.

Stephen Ministry Caregiving Situations

Stephen Ministers provide confidential care for hurting people going through a difficult time in life. Learn more by clicking below.

Stephen Ministers: The After People

Stephen Ministers are congregation members trained by their Stephen Leaders to provide care after a life crisis. Another way to put it is they are The After People. Learn more by clicking the button below.

Becoming a Stephen Minister

Stephen Ministers have an impact on people’s lives at times when they really need someone to care. To learn more about training to become a Stephen Minister, click below. 

Stephen Leaders

Stephen Leaders are lay leaders, church staff, and pastors trained by Stephen Ministries St. Louis to direct their congregation’s Stephen Ministry.

The History of Stephen Ministry

Stephen Ministry began in 1975 when the Rev. Kenneth C. Haugk, Ph.D., a pastor and clinical psychologist, trained nine members of his St. Louis church to assist him in providing Christian care and support to people, both in the congregation and the community, who were experiencing life difficulties. These first Stephen Ministers were so excited by the ministry that they encouraged Dr. Haugk to offer Stephen Ministry to more Congregations.

On November 3, 1975, Dr. Haugk and his wife, Joan, founded Stephen Ministries St. Louis as a non-profit organization. At first, Dr. Haugk traveled to other congregations to train their Stephen Ministers himself. However, due to the ministry’s rapid growth, in 1978 Stephen Ministries began holding Leader’s Training Courses to equip Stephen Leaders, congregation representatives who would then train and supervise their own congregations’ Stephen Ministers. Since then, Stephen Ministries St. Louis has used this “train the trainers” model to empower thousands of congregations and other organizations to begin

and grow Stephen Ministry.

About the Logo

The Stephen Ministry logo consists of a cross and circle, together with a broken person and a whole person. The broken person behind the cross symbolizes the brokenness in our lives, while the whole person in front of the cross symbolizes how we are made whole again through the cross of Jesus. The circle represents both the wholeness we receive through Christ and God’s unending love for us.

Connect with Stephen Ministry at First Congregational Church

The Stephen Ministry Class of 2023

Gary Glover, Stephen Leader, Stephen Ministry Program Coordinator 

Wendy Kennedy, Stephen Leader, Stephen Ministry Training Coordinator 

Susie Loik, Stephen Leader, Stephen Ministry Referrals Coordinator 


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