What is a Stephen Minister?

A Stephen Minister is a Christian friend trained to help you through times of crisis. These lay caregivers are compassionate friends, good listeners, firm believers in God, and people who can keep confidences . They are there for those who are dealing with:

  • illness/hospitalization
  • aging & elderly
  • moving concerns
  • death or serious loss
  • terminal illness
  • pregnancy/adoption
  • personal difficulty
  • the disabled & their families
  • job loss – family frustrations
  • teen & youth
  • separation/divorce
  • faith issues
  • loneliness
  • low self esteem
  • any other personal difficulty


Who started Stephen Ministry?

Dr. Kenneth Haugk, a pastor, clinical psychologist, author and educator, saw a great need in his own congregation for helping people get through trying times.  Since he did not have adequate time to spend with every person , he turned to his St. Louis congregation for help.  He wanted his venture to be spiritual in nature, so he searched the Scripture for a base.  He chose Acts 6:2-5a.  Thus, in 1975, Stephen Ministry was born to bring the body of Christ together as partners in ministry. Dr. Haugk set up trainings for Stephen Ministry leaders.  The leaders then provide 50 hours of training for those in their congregation who are willing to serve. Central has been a Stephen Ministry congregation since 1998.



What Stephen Ministers are not…

Stephen Ministers are not trained counselors and don’t pretend to be.  Their only purpose is to give people who are experiencing challenges, hurts or crises a friend who will not give advice, but will be a sounding board when they just need to talk.



Some people find it difficult to admit they need help …

Realizing that one needs help in a life transition and then seeking that help is a sign of strength, as well as an opportunity to grow personally and spiritually.  There is great benefit in talking to an objective person when it isn’t possible or practical to share with a family member.



How can I be a care receiver?

In order to receive help from one of Central’s Stephen Ministers, you should contact the pastor.  He will speak to a Stephen Ministry leader who will assign a caregiver to you. Your identity will be known only by the pastor, the leader and the caregiver. The Stephen Ministry has such a strict confidentiality policy that even the other Stephen Ministers will not know you are receiving care.  



How can I be a care giver(stephen minister)?

Contact our leader, Carol Ozier 256-318-3902, to express your interest in becoming a Stephen Minister.

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