STCH Ministries is a Texas Baptists affiliated agency, one of twenty-eight Christian education and human care institutions across the state that are part of the extended family of the Baptist General Convention of Texas (BGCT). Each member of this family operates independently, but we are intrinsically linked by our faith and our mission to advance kingdom work. Consisting of more than 5,300 Baptist churches, the BGCT serves a vital role in supporting the ministry of its member organizations.
“We are institutions that are cut from a very similar cloth,” STCH Ministries President and CEO Eron Green said about the relationship between STCH Ministries and the BGCT.
So how does this connection play out in the day-to-day work of STCH Ministries? One significant benefit is the support that Texas Baptists provide through the Cooperative Program. The program brings together financial contributions from participating churches to fund missions, evangelism, education, and ministry efforts.
Over the past ten years alone, the Texas Baptists Cooperative Program has given $5.85 million to STCH Ministries to help provide homes, counseling, and life-skills training to hurting families.
“The convention believes in the mission, the results, and the work of STCH,” said Steve Vernon, Texas Baptists Associate Executive Director. “We value the partnership and rejoice in the amazing work that is ongoing at this vital ministry.”
Tim Williams, STCH Ministries Director of Church Relations, is one of the staff members who travel across the state sharing with churches about the work of STCH Ministries. He often speaks to church members who do not realize that their regular church giving already helps support our ministries.
“There are a lot of different ways that the program makes an impact that people are not even aware of,” Williams said. “STCH Ministries is their ministry to children and hurting families because they support us and have supported us through the BGCT Cooperative Program. They help us do it.”
While the Cooperative Program supports the overall mission of STCH Ministries, there are additional resources for specific areas of need. The Texas Baptist Hunger Offering provides a monthly grant to STCH Ministries International, which buys food in the Dominican Republic for needy children. Our local ministry team members already have relationships with families who are benefitting from our medical, dental, and construction mission projects. The additional resource of Hunger Offering groceries brings another element of stability into the lives of children who are on the verge of breaking free from generational poverty.
Closer to home, the relationship between STCH Ministries and Texas Baptists helps open doors to the future for children who grow up at Boothe Campus. STCH Ministries Homes for Children has always maintained a commitment to provide an opportunity for higher education to the children who graduate while in care.
“Our kids placed in care have the opportunity to attend college or universities in the state of Texas through our STCH Ministries Higher Education Scholarship program,” says Greg Huskey, Boothe Campus Administrator.
Thanks to Texas Baptists, that scholarship program frequently gets an extra boost. Upon high school graduation, many students attend Baptist universities, which provide significant scholarships to students coming from a Baptist children’s home. Young adults who may once have had no prospects of college whatsoever are able to receive a private, Christian education without the burden of student loans. Frequently, these students are the first in their families to achieve a college degree.
While at college, many of these students find fellowship and spiritual support at their local Baptist Student Ministry (BSM) chapter, of which there are more than one hundred across Texas college campuses. BSMs are a ministry of Texas Baptists that serve college students, while at the same time empowering those students to serve others.
Students from the Corpus Christi BSM, at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi and Del Mar College, have donated weekends to serving at Boothe Campus. During this time, students interact with the children, cook meals for the cottage families, and do minor maintenance work around the grounds.
Texas Baptist churches and institutions have invested in many different facets of STCH Ministries. One of the ways that we give back is through a collaboration of our Family Counseling and Pastor Care ministries with Texas Baptists Counseling Services. When a crisis arises in the family of a pastor or church staff member, STCH Ministries is equipped to provide confidential counseling.
“We feel that if we can help to strengthen those called to ministry, they will in turn help to strengthen those they minister to,” said Darin Griffiths, Vice President of Family Counseling at STCH Ministries.
“STCH and BGCT have partnered together offering ‘intensives’ to ministry couples who are experiencing difficulties which could hinder their ministry opportunities,” explained Griffiths. “The normal counseling experience provides a one-hour session every other week for about 10 to 12 sessions. An intensive is different in that a couple can receive about 10 hours (equivalent of 10 sessions) worth of counseling in one-and-a-half days.”
As with the other areas of partnership, Griffiths believes that this collaboration is a natural fit, saying, “Our values are very much alike. From my perspective, the BGCT exists to assist those who are on the front lines of ministry, sharing the gospel to a hurting world.”
STCH Ministries is grateful to be a member of the Texas Baptists family and we look forward to many more years of fruitful ministry together in Texas and beyond.
If you are a member of a Texas Baptist congregation, we hope you will visit our booth at the Texas Baptist Family Gathering this summer. The annual meeting will be held in Arlington, Texas, on July 29-31, 2018. Learn more at www.TexasBaptists.org/FamilyGathering.