Stonecroft Ministries

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Stonecroft Ministries is a non-denominational, non-profit Christian organization providing global leadership in women’s ministry. Its mission is to "equip and encourage women to impact their communities with the Gospel of Jesus Christ."[1] Founded by Helen Duff Baugh in 1938 and now headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri, Stonecroft Ministries provides training and contemporary tools both domestically and abroad to develop and sharpen volunteers’ leadership skills. Regional offices headed by Field Directors operate throughout the U.S. and more than 40,000 volunteers presently serve in 64 countries (2009).[2]

Leadership development[edit]

Stonecroft Ministries provides global leadership through internships, mentoring, and training events at the international, regional, and local levels.

Training Events[edit]

Stonecroft Ministries plans and hosts evangelistic leadership training events at the international, regional, and local levels. International Impact events are held on even years. Regional events are held annually. Local topical events are held throughout the year.

Mentoring[edit]

Mentors play a vital role as leaders in Stonecroft Ministries. At the local level, mentors lead small group or individual Bible studies. At the regional level, mentors cover large areas, organizing and training volunteers to guide Stonecroft Bible Studies. No matter where or how they share their knowledge—whether addressing a convention crowd or teaching one-on-one—the goal of these mentors is to equip and encourage Christian women to become leaders in their own unique communities.

Internships[edit]

In the spring, summer, and fall, Stonecroft invites female college juniors and seniors, post-graduate students, and recent college graduates to apply for specialized 10-week internships. Successful applicants serve at the Home Office in Kansas City. Home Office interns are given the opportunity to live on the grounds during their internship. (Field interns serve with their respective Field Director at various locations around the U.S.) Interns receive training and acquire new skills while being mentored in the inner workings of specific departments of ministry, including Communications, Outreach, and Special Events. [3]

Connections[edit]

Stonecroft Bible Studies[edit]

Eighteen Stonecroft Bible Studies are currently in use (2009). Each one focuses on a specific topic or book of the Bible, and is intended for use with the Good News New Testament. Scripture references in the studies are linked to a specific page number in the Good News New Testament making locating verses easier for study participants who are unfamiliar with the Bible. The first Stonecroft Bible Studies were published in 1968.

Life Publications[edit]

Since event attendees and people interacting with Stonecroft volunteers on a one-to-one basis may have limited or no previous exposure to religious teaching, Stonecroft Bible Studies and Stonecroft Life Publications are designed to present basic Christian principles in a simple, easily-understood format.

Connection groups[edit]

More than 1.5 million people attended Stonecroft outreach events in the U.S. and Canada during 2007 and 2008. Stonecroft staff and volunteers are determined to minister to women and couples through modern avenues that best serve their unique communities. These methods range from traditional luncheons with inspirational speakers to community projects, from prison ministry to parenting workshops, from beach Bible studies to arctic outreach—whatever works best for a particular people in a particular location. A couple of examples:

Moms on the Run[edit]

Moms on the Run is a Stonecroft Ministries’ outreach event for mothers of young children. Mothers are given the opportunity to interact in a fun, casual atmosphere featuring refreshments, an inspirational speaker, and complementary childcare. [4]

Vital Network[edit]

Vital Network is a group of women, usually connected through an existing Stonecroft outreach group, who desire to leave an impact on future generations. Vital Network functions as a Stonecroft Ministries group, through women connecting in community, prayer, and giving.

Facilities[edit]

The Home Office campus of Stonecroft Ministries, located in Kansas City, Missouri, provides newly renovated facilities that can accommodate overnight guests with catered dining services.

Baugh Center for Evangelism Training[edit]

Fully renovated in 2007, the Baugh Center includes 33 overnight guest rooms. Each room features a private bath, two twin beds, and a queen-size hide-a-bed. The dining room located in the Baugh Center seats 128, with an overflow capacity for up to 40 more. Meal service is contracted separately through approved caterers. Meeting areas in the Baugh Center include the chapel, which seats up to 175. An additional meeting room can be used as one large space, with seating up to 80, or divided into two smaller rooms, with up to 40 persons per room.

The Manor[edit]

In 2007, the Manor was completely renovated. It has seven bedrooms, each with its own private bath. The Manor’s common areas, including a living room, solarium, and weatherproofed sun porch, offer meeting space for small groups. Built in the 1920s, the stone Manor served as the office and living quarters for Stonecroft Ministries staff when the property was purchased in 1952.

History[edit]

Much of the history of Stonecroft Ministries is recorded the classic book written by Helen Duff Baugh, The Story Goes On (Stonecroft Publications, 1984), and her recent biography by Steve and Annie Wamberg, One Woman, One Faith, One Vision (Bethany Press, 2008).

In 1938, the seeds for Stonecroft’s international ministry were sown when a grieving young woman approached banker Elwood Baugh at his office, asking him where her mother had gone when she died. Elwood and his wife, future Stonecroft leader Helen Duff Baugh, invited the young woman and nine co-workers to a restaurant, talking with them over a relaxed dinner about heaven and how to get there. [5]

The women responded to Christ’s message of hope, and requested they meet again the following week so they could bring their friends. This original dinner with Elwood and Helen Duff Baugh led to the creation of 24 prayer groups in San Jose, California, sparking what would eventually be known as Stonecroft Ministries.

In 1948, Mary E. Clark, a former businesswoman and missionary, joined Helen Baugh in leading the growing organization. Clark was instrumental in the birth of Christian Women’s Clubs, lunchtime meetings featuring a catered meal, a special speaker, and an inspirational message.[6]

In 1952, Mrs. Baugh and Ms. Clark moved the ministry headquarters to Stonecroft, a beautiful tract of wooded land in south Kansas City, Missouri. The prayer groups, Bible studies, and outreach events were soon referred to as Stonecroft Ministries.

The first Life Publications booklet, Life Eternally Yours, was published in 1962 and Stonecroft Bible Studies books started rolling off Stonecroft’s presses in 1968. Friendship Bible Coffees (now called Stonecroft Bible Studies) also launched in 1968. [7]

Stonecroft Ministries went international in 1966, as the first outreach groups outside the U.S. began in Canada and South Korea. In 1973, for the first time, Stonecroft councils and clubs were active in all 50 states.

Stonecroft’s first regional Field Directors were appointed in 2006, and in 2007, college-aged women began arriving at the Home Office in Kansas City for 10-week internships.

Accountability[edit]

Stonecroft Ministries is a member of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA).[8] As a member, Stonecroft must meet rigorous standards of accountability in such areas as fundraising, financial disclosure, confidentiality of donor information, and the use of resources. The ministry submits to an annual independent audit. Local small groups are limited to $1,000 in their holdings and the rest of the funds go to Stonecroft ministries. Local accounts must have the board manager's name on the checks.

Stonecroft is governed by an independent board of directors which oversees the ministry’s mission, finances, management, conduct, and ethical decisions.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Missouri Attorney General - http://ago.mo.gov/cgi-bin/charity/orgDetail.cgi?ID=3701
  2. ^ Outcomes Magazine, June/July ’08, page 25.
  3. ^ http://www.oakhills.edu/alumni/careercenter/internships.htm
  4. ^ Outcomes Magazine, June/July ’08, page 27.
  5. ^ "Helen Kooiman Hosier, "100 Christian Women who Changed the Twentieth Century" (Revell Publishers, 2001).
  6. ^ University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa Women's Archives, Iowa City, Iowa - http://sdrc.lib.uiowa.edu/iwa/findingaids/html/IowaCityAreaCWClub.htm
  7. ^ Steve and Annie Wamberg, One Woman, One Faith, One Vision (Bethany Press, 2008)
  8. ^ Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability - http://www.ecfa.org/MemberProfile.aspx?ID=12663