Stephen Ministries

First United Methodist Church of Oak Ridge

Stephen Ministry is…

A non-denominational program that trains and supports lay persons to provide distinctively Christian, one-on-one care to those who are experiencing a significant life challenge such as:

  • Loss of a loved one
  • Separation or divorce
  • Job crisis
  • Major medical condition
  • Difficult life transition
  • Spiritual crisis
  • Birth or adoption
  • Overwhelmed by life

First United Methodist Church of Oak Ridge has maintained a vibrant Stephen Ministry program since 1990 and currently supports more than a dozen Stephen Ministers and Leaders.

New training class starting September 14, 2021
click here for more information

At FUMCOR, our Stephen Ministers…

  • Receive 50 hours of training in diverse areas of emotional and spiritual care.
  • Conduct confidential, one-on-one, Christian-centered visitations with persons in the congregation and community that are dealing with challenging life situations.
  • Supplement pastoral visitations to hospitalized members of the congregation.
  • Conduct in-home holy communion with home-bound members of our congregation and offer holy communion to residents of Canterfield.
  • Distribute “Journeying Through Grief” booklets to persons who have recently lost a loved one.
  • Provide birthday cards to members of the congregation.
  • Meet regularly to support each other and provide the best possible care to our care receivers.

Meet the FUMCOR Stephen Ministry Team

Rev. Jenny Caughman
Congregational Liason

Stephen Ministers

More information about Stephen Ministry…​

The Stephen Ministry program began in 1975 in St. Louis, Missouri. Since then, more than 600,000 lay persons have been trained in over 13,000 congregations. Here are some resources for better understanding the history and features of the program, as well as individual reactions to this Christian care-giving ministry.

​The richest resource for material associated with the Stephen Ministry program can be found at the St. Louis Stephen Ministries website. Highlighted resources from that site are given below.

Experiencing a life crisis?​

If you feel that you or someone close to you would benefit from meeting with a Stephen Minister, please contact:

• Jenny Caughman (483-HELP,

or one of the persons on the Stephen Ministry referral team:

•Peg Ashline (483-4268,

•Dan Ingersoll (483-9394,

• Ann Siemsen (483-5928,

This confidential discussion will enable you to fully explore the merits and features of the Stephen Ministry program and its suitability to your needs.

If you decide to have a Stephen Minister assigned, the referrals coordinator will assign a Stephen Minister—matched by gender—who best aligns with your need. The assigned Stephen Minister will then contact you to arrange the first caring visit.

If you’re still uncertain whether a Stephen Minister is right for you or not, then check out: testimonials by care receivers , Megan’s Story, or A Steady Reminder of God’s Presence.

Interested in becoming a Stephen Minister?​

Stephen Ministry training equips members of our congregation to provide a high level of emotional and spiritual care to individuals experiencing a life crisis. The training is practical, relational, and interactive, covering essential caregiving topics such as:

•Distinctively Christian caring

•Active listening

•Relating assertively

•Dealing with difficult emotions

•Maintaining confidentiality

•Crisis theory and intervention

•Maintaining boundaries

Once Stephen Ministers have completed the 50 hours of training distributed over 20 sessions, they are matched with care receivers. They also participate in monthly supervision and continuing education meetings, which provides them with the support and guidance to grow as caregivers and offer the best care possible to their care receivers.

If you would like to pursue the possibility of joining our team of trained Stephen Ministers at FUMCOR, please contact any of our Stephen Leaders.

Still uncertain if Stephen Ministry is your calling, then check out: Real Ministry, Real Difference or Well Done Good and Faithful Servant.

New Stephen Ministry Training Class​


•Block 1: September 14- November 16, 2021

•Block 2: January 4- February 22, 2022

Tuesday Evenings (6-8:30 pm)

Half-day retreats on October 23 and February 5 (tentative)

Taught by local Stephen Leaders

All new training material

(updated 2020)

Contact any FUMCOR Stephen Minister or Leader if interested in participating.