Stephen Ministry

What We Do

Stephen Ministry is grounded in Jesus' command to love one another. Through confidential one-to-one caring relationships, those who are hurting receive the love, care, and support they need.

Who are Stephen Ministers? Stephen Ministers are lay Christians trained a minimum of 50 hours and supervised by clergy and trained Stephen Leaders to provide effective Christian care to others in our community (both BUMC members and non-members).

The Referral Process

  • You or a loved one is hurting and in need of Christian care.
  • Contact the Pastor of Caring Ministries, Rev. Casey Orr, at 615.324.7244 or You can also contact the Confidential Hotline at 615.577.4881 or fill out the confidential request form below.
  • Casey Orr or Sheryl Davis will contact you to discuss you or your loved one's particular needs and explain the process to you.
  • With your permission, a Stephen Minister of the same gender will be assigned to you.
  • After speaking with your loved one and obtaining his/her permission, a Stephen Minister will be assigned to him/her.
  • The Stephen Minister will contact you or your loved one directly to schedule their first meeting.
  • The Stephen Minister will continue to provide distinctively Christian care for you or your loved one in strict confidentiality.

To contact a Stephen Minister, please call 615.577.4881. If you have a more urgent need, contact the Pastor-on-call at 615.969.3086.

Want to Become a Stephen Minister?

Who can be a Stephen Minister?

Okay, admit it. Stephen Ministry has crossed your mind a few times. You might even have picked up a brochure or talked with a minister about it. But now you want to take a closer look at the idea of becoming a Stephen Minister. You're wondering: Is this right for me? Stephen Ministers often find that because of their participation in Stephen Ministry, their relationships become richer and deeper at home, church, work, and with friends. A Stephen Minister shows compassion and gives encouragement, and intercedes for their care receivers. Many Stephen Ministers say that they receive much more from the caring relationship with their care receiver than they give.

We are recruiting a new class of Stephen Ministers through September 27. Questions? Contact Stephen Ministry Recruitment Coordinators Hal Bumbalough or Jan Jamieson.

  • Commitment

    A Stephen Minister is called to provide Christ-centered care for a care receiver and receives support, encouragement, and guidance from fellow Stephen Ministers.  A Stephen Minister devotes time (serving a minimum of 2 years), energy, and resources to this ministry.  He or she serves wholeheartedly.  This isn't a casual ministry.  It involves prayer, thought, consideration, and study.  In return, a Stephen Minister participates in meaningful ministry, makes a difference in another person's life, and grows in their own personal faith.

  • Training + Continuing Education

    A Stephen Minister completes 50 hours of training (weekly for 2-3 hours in length, typically starting in the fall) before ever meeting with a care receiver. He or she learns about listening, assertiveness, confidentiality, and other aspects of caregiving. After completing the initial training, there are Stephen Ministry meetings 2 evenings a month (2nd and 4th Thursdays). SM's also benefit from Continuing Education during the bi-monthly meetings on topics related to our caregiving skills.