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THE AMAZING STORY OF STONECROFT MINISTRIES

 

 
For over 60 years, Stonecroft Ministries has been actively reaching out with the Good News of Jesus Christ. It is amazing to realize how one woman's commitment to prayer has flourished into a great and growing ministry that has touched thousands of lives around our world for God.

It all began with a young wife and homemaker, Mrs. Helen Duff Baugh. A dedicated Christian with an enthusiasm for God's work, Mrs. Baugh realized the need for a deeper commitment to prayer in her own life. As she began to spend a portion of each morning in prayer, she realized the great resources made available by God.through prayer. She invited others to join with her for special prayer times. Soon, all over the city of San Jose, California, 24 groups of women were meeting for prayer.

In 1939, God gave a new 'assignment." A young woman, saddened by the death of her mother, came to Mr. Baugh with questions about what happens when people die. Mr. and Mrs. Baugh invited the young lady and several others to dinner, and they discussed Heaven and how to get there. The women who attended were so excited about the things they learned that they wanted to meet again and invite their friends. From this simple beginning, the first Christian Business Women's Council (now known as Christian Business and Professional Women) was started. The following summer, another Council was begun in Portland, Oregon. Each of the Councils took part in a special projectsending Bible school graduates out as itinerant missionaries to rural America. These teams of young women, known as Youth Home Missionaries, provided spiritual instruction and leadership for children and adults alike.

In 1946, a very special friendship began. While attending conferences in Keswick, New Jersey, Mrs. Baugh met a dynamic young woman from Maine Miss Mary Clark. As the two became better acquainted, they discovered a mutual desire to reach people for Jesus Christ and a concern for those living in rural areas. Mrs. Baugh was greatly convinced that Miss Clark, a former New York businesswoman, was the person of God's choice to become her associate; however, Miss Clark was not so sure! She was actively involved in missionary work in Maine and felt that was her place of service. God graciously guided Miss Clark and showed her in an unmistakable way that He had new work for her to do. In April 1948, she joined Mrs. Baugh as a partner in this ministry.

With Miss Clark's arrival, more exciting things began to happen. Three young couples, who were friends of hers, had heard about the work in rural America and wanted to become involved as missionaries to the villages. After much prayer and consideration, Mrs. Baugh's brother, the Reverend Walter Duff, was asked to accept the responsibility of directing an organization to send out missionary couples. In 1948, Village Missions was established with Mr. Duff as National Chairman.

Then God brought into existence a new avenue of ministry-Christian Women's Clubs. The format, project, and committee are the same as the Councils, but meetings are held in the daytime when it is easier for homemakers to attend. In 1949, the first Christian Women's Clubs were started in Hartford, Connecticut, and Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

After visiting in many homes across our continent, the need for good Christian reading material became apparent. The Stonecroft Book and Supply Center (now known as the Stonecroft Book & Media Ministries) was incorporated in 1958 to help meet this need.

A meeting on a train with a stranger who wanted to know about God and the thought of thousands of people who do not know Christ prompted Mrs. Baugh to prepare the first Stonecroft Life Publications booklet. These little booklets, with their attractive photographs and clear gospel message, have shared the answer to life with literally millions of people around the world. Life Eternally Yours, published in 1962, was the first Stonecroft Life Publication.

As couples began to express an interest in a ministry together, it became clear that the basic fonnat used by the groups could also be effective in a ministry for couples. In 1964, the first Business and Professional Couples' Club (now known as Stonecroft Couples' Club) was started.

In 1966, CWC and CBPW went international! Toronto, Ontario was the home of the first Canadian group. In 1968, Willow River, British Columbia became the home of the first Canadian Village Missions church.

As the CWCs and CBPWs multiplied, the need for another avenue of ministry became apparent-one which would help women and men know God's Word and apply it to their everyday lives. Various Bible study materials were examined, but none met the specific needs of this unique ministry. One of our own National Missionary Representatives, Lucille Sollenberger, a former professor of educational methods at Stanford and one who had a great love for God's Word, seemed especially qualified to undertake the task of preparing Bible study materials. In 1968, Mark was published, beginning the Friendship Bible Coffee ministry.

In 1973, Genevieve Aiiege joined the Stonecroft staff and became our first European Representative. She has helped establish Christian Women's Clubs and Friendship Bible Coffees in 13 European countries.

The newest avenue of Stonecroft Ministries came into being in 1981 with the opening of the Stonecroft Conference Center. Located in the beautiful Ozark mountains of southern Missouri, the Conference Center has provided "a vacation with a purpose" for hundreds of families and singles. Weekly conferences are held during the spring, summer, and fall, as well as seminars and retreats during the rest of the year.

Though many changes have occurred in Stonecroft Ministries throughout the years, one thing remains constant-prayer. Each avenue of ministry began in prayer and has continued through the years because of the faithful prayers of God's people. What praise and thanksgiving fill our hearts when we consider all God has done! Truly, as the poet said, "More things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of."

Our earnest desire and constant prayer is that Stonecroft Ministries will always lift up the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and that many people will come to know Him as their personal Lord and Savior because of this ministry.

STONECROFT MINISTRIES include:

Christian Women's Connections
Christian Business & Professional Women
After 5s
Stonecroft Couple's Connection
Village Missions
Friendship Bible Coffees
Stonecroft Bible Correspondence Courses
Meditation Moments (Prayer Ministry)
Stonecroft Book & Media Ministries
Stonecroft Life Publications
Progress Magazine
Stonecroft Audio-Video Ministry
Conferences
Stonecroft Conference Center  

 

To learn more of the exciting details of this story, you can purchase the book

"The Story Goes On" .through Stonecroft Book & Media Ministries.

 

STONECROFT MINISTRIES

  • ESTABLISHED IN 1939
  • BUILT ON A FOUNDATION OF PRAYER
  • REACHING PEOPLE ON SIX CONTINENTS
  • COMMITTED TO PRESENTING BIBLICAL TRUTH
  • PERPETUATES GOOD WILL IN THE COMMUNITY
  • WORKS IN HARMONY WITH CHURCHES
  • SUPPORTED THROUGH VOLUNTARY CONTRIBUTIONS

  • Founders Helen Baugh and
    Mary Clark in the early days
    Stonecroft Ministries
    CWC/CBPW/After 5 Department
    P.O. Box 9609
    Kansas City, Missouri 64134-0609
    Phone: 1.877.276.0131
    FAX: 816 765 2522

       

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