The Chaplaincy Program’s mission is to offer a ministry of presence, pastoral counseling, prayer and worship to Greensboro Urban Ministry’s guests, clients, volunteers and staff. Our chaplains also engage the community to delve into the issues of poverty and serve the poor with dignity, witness and advocacy.
Stephen Ministry draws men and women to its ministry of listening and walking with people in crisis. GUM’s Stephen Ministry program is the largest in the city. The training program draws from congregations across the area and prepares people to combine good psychology with good theology to care for others.
“Today, I still help out in Potter’s House, and I work with some of the same volunteers who served me when I was a shelter guest. I’m also a Stephen Minister in the chaplaincy program, and I walk beside men who are now in the fire of a crisis themselves. I know their story. And I tell them, look at me, you can do this too.”
– Howard Coates, GUM Board of Directors
Stephen Ministers lead sessions at all three Greensboro Urban Ministry sites. One of the most popular groups, for young men at Partnership Village, was developed by GUM chaplain Rev. Andei Spells and longtime GUM volunteer Mike Sasser in partnership with his church, Guilford Park Presbyterian. Combining sports, meals and prayer, these young men find a safe place to work through the daily challenges of growing up in poverty and preparing for adulthood.
Another opportunity for ministry in the Chaplaincy Program is the divinity school intern program, which allows divinity students to get hands-on training working with our guests and clients. Helen McLaughlin, along with the other chaplains, have offered supervision to students from Wake Forest, Duke and Shaw Divinity Schools, among others.
Leader of the Chaplaincy Program, Rev. Frank Dew, also works closely with the Servant Leadership School of Greensboro. In addition, he leads Urban Pilgrimages twice a year in downtown Greensboro, a prayerful exercise in walking in the steps of those who struggle with poverty and injustice.