Stephen Ministry...serving the congregation and the community


  Pandemic Fatigue

Are you feeling exhausted from all the disruptions to life brought on by the pandemic? If so, you  don't have to face it alone. Our Stephen Ministers are ready to listen, care, encourage, and provide emotional and spiritual support. For more information, click here

If you'd like to know more about Stephen Ministry, please contact: Richard Summers:,
or Rev. Jane Summey Mullennix:

Caring for Grieving People
With so many dealing with losses, limitations on gatherings, isolation, and increased stress and anxiety, it can be difficult for people to grieve fully and receive the care and support they need. That’s where the care you offer can make a big difference. If you'd like some helpful tips to be a light in the darkness of someone's grief, please click here.

To hear from people whose lives have been changed through Stephen Ministry visit:

Stephen Ministry is ...

  • A Christian program sponsored by many denominations in the United States and around the world.
  • A means of assisting the clergy and staff in the on-going needs of their church membership in crisis.
  • An effective way of nourishing the spiritual lives of church members as they seek to serve each other.
  • A program of specific training and supervision in which to convey the love of God in all situations.

Stephen Ministers are ...

  • Caring Christians who offer support to others, in the congregation and the community, in time of need.
  • Sharing Christians who bring their own personal witness to each helping relationship.
  • Trained Christians who have developed their helping skills through intensive course work.
  • Dedicated Christians who are commissioned by our church to do confidential, in-depth caring.
  • The After People . . . (click here for more info.)

Stephen Ministers are not ...

  • Professional counselors or psychologists.
  • Social workers providing extensive support and physical service.
  • Experts in law, finance, church doctrine, etc.
  • Occasional visitors who "drop in" from time to time.

How Stephen Minsitry works at Oakland Avenue Presbyterian Church

  • The fifty-hour training program prepares interested men and women to become effective caregivers by focusing on areas such as:
    • Listening
    • Assertiveness
    • Confidentiality
    • Crisis intervention
    • Feelings
    • Prayer and scripture
    • Professionalism
    • Grief
    • Aging
  • Following training, Stephen Ministers are formally commissioned to serve for at least two years.
  • Following commissioning, Stephen Ministers are paired with church members who are experiencing crisis. The relationships continue as long as necessary, after which the Stephen Minister may be paired with another person as needed.
  • Throughout their service Stephen Ministers engage in twice-a-month supervision meetings and attend additional programs of continuing education. In addition, members take on leadership and administrative positions within the program.

Benefits of Being a Stephen Minister include:

  • Growth in understanding of one's own Christian vocation.
  • Experiencing the fellowship of a warm, loving, and caring group of people.
  • Enjoying the privileges of working closely with others in helping relationships.
  • Knowing that one is a vital part of the Body of Christ, the living Church
  • Developing skills that are applicable in everyday experiences and in relationships with others

"Bear one another's burden...and so fulfill the law of Christ." Galatians 6:2

If you feel you could use the services of a Stephen Minister,
please contact the Church Office at 803-327-2006.

If you are interesed in becoming a Stephen Minister,
please call the Church Office at 803-327-2006

2020 was a very challenging time on the National and Global level. OAPC Stephen Leaders are concerned that in the coming months there may be a greater need for Stephen Ministers to give one-on-one care to people who are struggling with crisis in their lives. Please click here for more information about how you could help provide care to our congregation and community. If you know someone who might make a good Stephen Minister, please let them know --
they do not need to be a member of OAPC.

Current Stephen Ministers are:
Jo Grier
Buzzy Hall
Kelly Herring
Margaret Hinson
Stephanie Hyatt
Mary Ann McDow
Becky McGinnis
Diane Murphy
Bill Oliver
Becca Robinson
Mary Schweitzer
Sally Shive
Carolyn Williams
Sue Williams

Current Leaders are:
Jonatha Vare – Lead
Bob McCann – Assoc. Lead
Sue Smith – Awareness
Alice Campbell – CE
Richard Summers – Referrals
Cindy Mayfield – Training
Kim Wasson – Training
Susan Vogel – Supervision
Jane Summey Mullennix – Clergy Staff

Last Published: April 7, 2021 12:32 PM