By: Matt Lasley Reporter
September 24, 2013
The Grayson County Center for Women’s Ministries held its official ribbon-cutting and open house on Monday, September 23.
The Grayson County Center for Women’s Ministries (GCCWM) is the first establishment of its kind in Kentucky - a non-profit, non-denominational Christian organization that provides peer counseling to individual women and support groups in a non-judgemental setting, according to GCCWM Steering Committee Member Sandy Kiper.
“It’s a place where women can go to heal,” Kiper said. “Our goal is to help women find a better way of life through emotional and spiritual counseling.”
The GCCWM is run entirely by volunteers, all of whom have undergone or will undergo special training to allow them to provide counseling.
“We have no paid physicians and are only funded by donations,” Kiper said. “We trust in the Lord’s provision.”
The GCCWM is the 30th branch of the International Center for Women’s Ministries (ICWM), which was founded on October 1, 1989 by Reova Meredith, and the headquarters for which is located in Bloomington, Indiana.
Meredith attended the GCCWM ribbon-cutting and discussed how God reached out to her and told her to found the ICWM, which would both help women in need and serve as a “catalyst to bring together the Christian community.”
Since 1989, the ICWM has established centers in eight states, as well as a presence in 22 countries, according to Meredith.
“Coming [to Grayson County] for the opening of number thirty is just as exciting as it was opening the first one 24 years ago,” Meredith said.
Kiper said Brother Gerry Otahal, pastor of Little Clifty Baptist Church in Leitchfield, was also “instrumental in putting us together.”
Otahal, who attended the ribbon-cutting and open house, took the opportunity to speak about the GCCWM and the impact it will have on the community.
“It’s a place where women who are hurting can come and find healing,” Otahal said. “It offers free counseling for women who need it.”
Otahal said when he started as pastor of Little Clifty Baptist Church in 2010, he and the members of his church performed a community assessment to determine what needs are not being met in Grayson County.
After receiving a number of “shocking” results, Otahal said he formed a team to pray about what could be done to help.
One option Otahal and his prayer team discovered was what would become the GCCWM.
JoAnne Rodes, from the ICWM headquarters, also attended the ribbon-cutting and open house, and said Otahal had invited her to travel to Grayson County for a ministerial meeting at the hospital to help form the GCCWM.
Rodes said she had worked with Otahal previously to open a Center for Women’s Ministries in Dubois County in Indiana and worked with him again on GCCWM.
Rodes said she is excited for the opening of the first Center for Women’s Ministries in Kentucky and spoke about her own experiences with Women’s Ministries.
“15 years ago, I was a client,” Rodes said. “That center became a place where I could fall apart and the Lord would put me back together…The doors are now open in Kentucky for more centers to open.”
The GCCWM is located at 200 Mill Street Suite 600 in Leitchfield, and its open hours are currently Wednesdays from 8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. or by appointment.
The GCCWM may be reached by phone at 270-230-9925 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.