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Caring Ministry

"Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest." - Matthew 11:28

Stephen Ministry

You do not have to face situations alone. Life can become unbalanced little by little or without warning in a moment. When you find yourself needing someone to listen, email  for more information or to begin the Stephen Minister referral process. All communications are confidential.

A Stephen Minister is:

  •  A Christian friend who really listens and maintains confidentiality;
  •  A companion during difficult life transitions; and
  •  A trained lay person who provides distinctly Christian, one-to-one care, presence and prayer.

A Stephen Minister is NOT a counselor, therapist, problem-solver, or casual visitor.

If you (or someone you know) could benefit from having an extra pair of ears to listen confidentially and someone with whom to pray, please consider requesting a Stephen Minister.

Men's Referrals Coordinator - Charles Peavy -
Women's Referrals Coordinator - Karen Varner - 

Taking Care of Your Mental Health in the Face of Uncertainty

Care Receiver Stories


Several years ago, I was very ill with a serious heart condition. (I am now healthy after having a heart transplant.) The depression, fear and anxiety that was part of my daily life was overwhelming. I felt that God had abandoned me as I faced death multiple times. My husband, Gary, was supportive, but was stressed as he dealt with my declining health. I decided that I needed a Stephen Minister to help me.

My Stephen Minister was always there for me, in both the good and bad times. She is a wonderful, caring person. I realized that God had not left me at all, but simply spoke to me through this incredible woman. I will be forever grateful for her kindness and love.



Care Giver Stories


My wife Evelyn was diagnosed with two different forms of cancer in 2010. The church staff sent a Stephen Minister to our house to see her. We were not familiar with this ministry, but soon came to appreciate it very much. Her Stephen Minister visited her weekly for the next 19 months until she passed away in 2011. I learned later that her two hospital chaplains were also Stephen Ministers.

I was so impressed and inspired by their dedication to her and their loving care, that I decided to become a Stephen Minister myself. It is my hope that I can return some of that love and care to someone else.


There was a time in my life when I had wished that there was someone to talk with and help me discover that through tough times there is hope. When my children were very young, seven and twin five-year-olds, their father, my husband, died of cancer at the age of 36. This was before Stephen Ministries was formed.

Over the years this wonderful group of caregivers has grown and provided hope to so many. I am so proud and grateful to be part of such a warm and supportive "family."

History of Stephen Ministry at FUMCR

In February, 1996, six people from our church attended a seven-day training conference and became our first Stephen Ministry Leadership Team. Their first training class began in July that year, and our first twenty Stephen Ministers were commissioned in January, 1997. New leaders are sent annually to a Leaders Training Conference. Today our Stephen Ministers invest over 2000 hours each year caring for individuals who are going through difficult life transitions.

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