Wonderful material. Many will benefit for a lifetime.Larry, Facilitator (Peoria, IL)
Steve Grissom, Founder and President of Church Initiative, and Cheryl Grissom, Vice President, have designed and developed a ministry that equips and serves local churches for frontline ministry to people experiencing life crises, such as divorce, grief and addiction. Church Initiative develops comprehensive, Christ-centered resources to help churches start and sustain effective support group ministries to meet these needs in their communities.
Steve was personally devastated by his divorce and turned to his faith in Christ and his local church for help. Although his church was very caring and helpful, he came to understand as he healed that churches needed a more comprehensive way to minister to people hurting from divorce. As a result, he began leading divorce support groups in his local church, learning methods that would become the foundation of DivorceCare. Steve remarried, and he and his new wife Cheryl soon felt the Lord leading them to devote full time to divorce ministry.
In 1993, Steve and Cheryl designed and developed a biblically based support group recovery program called DivorceCare. Today DivorceCare is in more than 12,000 churches around the world.
From there, Steve realized the need for more resource programs to help churches minister to people in other life crises, such as grief and addiction. In 1994, Steve founded Church Initiative, a ministry that develops and produces video- and workbook-based programs for churches to use to reach people at their point of pain. He is also co-author of Divorce Care: Hope, help, and healing during and after your divorce.
Steve’s past professional experience began in the telecommunications and broadcasting industries. He founded several satellite communications companies and spent more than 10 years in television news management. Cheryl received a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. She served as a hospital pharmacist until 1994.
Steve and Cheryl live in Wake Forest, North Carolina. They have three daughters: Carrie-Christina (deceased), Shannon and Heather.
Joseph Northcut, Director of Church Ministries, is responsible for all areas of Church Initiative’s interface with local churches, including group startup, training and ongoing ministry support.
Joseph is a longtime friend of Church Initiative, being one of the first “adopters” of the DivorceCare program in 1994 while Minister of Single Adults at First Baptist Church of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma (Tulsa area). From 1995–2001, Joseph was a Team Leader at LifeWay Christian Resources in Nashville, serving in the Discipleship and Family Adult Department. His focus at LifeWay was training and leadership development.
Joseph and his wife, Nancy, have two daughters, Margaret and Shea. In his free time, Joseph enjoys sports of all kinds, music, reading, cooking and traveling.
Richard Ragland, Director of Administration and Finance, joined the ministry in 1998 and directly oversees all administrative, technological and financial functions.
Richard graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in accounting. He accepted a position with what was then the accounting firm KPMG Peat Marwick and subsequently served as the Internal and EDP auditor for the NC Office of the State Controller and State Information Processing Services.
Richard met his wife, Esperanza, in the Republic of Panama while serving in the US Army Military Intelligence. The Lord has blessed them with four children: Anthony, Angelita, Heidi and Heather. Richard enjoys life! This includes rooting on the UNC Tarheels and ministering to his family, church and community, especially to the Hispanic-speaking population.
Sam Hodges IV, Executive Producer, has written and/or produced a number of Church Initiative’s video-based, small group curriculums (GriefShare, Chance to Change and Facing Forever).
Sam graduated from Howard University with a Bachelor of Arts in Communications. After that he received a Master of Divinity degree from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary with an emphasis in Christian Education. Sam has also served on staff as a Discipleship Pastor at Infinity Church in Laurel, Maryland.
Sam is married to Rachel. They have four children: Katrina, Sam, Nadia and Amber. Sam enjoys playing basketball, teaching his family, watching movies, rooting for the Washington Wizards and Redskins, and playing video games with his son.