The System Explained
The Foster Care System in Miami
The System Explained
The Church & Parishes
Christ Fellowship: Active Foster Care Ministry
Christ Fellowship is a multi-site, multi-generational, and multi-cultural church with a main campus in Palmetto Bay. Christ Fellowship laid the groundwork for a foster and adoption ministry in Miami-Dade that has impacted children and families across eight years.
The church partners with Citrus by bringing licensing training into the community at the Palmetto Bay campus in both English and Spanish. It also provides meeting space to the Hope 4 Kids FAPA, whose leadership oversees the ministry at CF. As a ministry, Christ Fellowship has helped get over 300 families licensed, 600 children fostered, and 100 children adopted. These feats are the result of holding 19 licensing classes at their Palmetto Bay campus. “We can’t all do everything, but we can all do something. And if we all do something, none of us has to do everything” (Christ Fellowship Miami, 2022).
Christ Fellowship. (2022). Miami-Dade: Christ Fellowship Miami: United States. https://www.cfmiami.org/
(Pastor T. Stipe, personal communication, July 19, 2020).
Full Deliverance Baptist Church: Active Prevention & Foster Care Ministry
Full Deliverance Baptist is a baptist church, where Pastor Victor Hickson Sr. is committed to living the Great Commission. This ministry promotes “freedom, encouragement and community” within Florida City, while renewing the Spirit through Godly principles and teachings. Full Deliverance Baptist has created a community of authentic believers empowered by God’s Grace. It wholeheartedly embraces all individuals, as the Body of Christ is made of “imperfect people from all walks of life” that share the “freely-received” love of God with others. In serving one another, Full Deliverance displays the “life-changing reality of the Gospel”– in which “little becomes much when you place it in the Master’s Hands” (Live Better, Love Better, 2022). Full Deliverance Church focuses on prevention efforts by partnering with Safe Families in Miami along with foster efforts with Explore Foster Miami.
Full Deliverance Baptist Church. (2022). Live Better, Love Better. changingyourdirection.org
Granada Church: Active Foster Care Ministry
Granada is a multi-cultural Presbyterian church pastored by Worth Carson and his wife Sandy. Located in Coral Gables, the ministry emphasizes a movement of Reformed Faith: core beliefs include “salvation by grace alone, faithfulness to Scripture, and the Glory of God.” Since 1999, Granada has flourished into an authentic, family-friendly congregation; every member can grow spiritually during weekly activities and ministries tailored to their unique season of life. The Church believes that “one act of God’s Grace can impact a life forever… a family for generations to come” (Everyone Belongs Here, 2022). Sunday Service is ministered in three languages: English, Spanish, and Portuguese. Granada is now an active foster care ministry and growing from the ground up to serve children and families in our city!
Granada Church in Miami. (2022, April 18). Everyone Belongs Here. granadachurch.com
Holy Family Church: Upcoming Prevention/Foster Care Ministry
Holy Family is an Episcopal church led by Reverend Horace Ward in Miami, Florida. The ministry promotes “faith, hope, and love” through five practices: worship, ministry, evangelism, fellowship, and discipleship. For nearly sixty years, this “Family of Faith” has nurtured thousands of youth– and all who come– spiritually, emotionally, and socially. Each member is warmly embraced in Christian fellowship and love when the congregation “pray… cry, and rejoice together through triumphs and tribulations” (About Us, 2022). Holy Family believes that an empowering spiritual environment can be achieved through sharing God’s Word and serving all people.
Holy Family Episcopal Church. (2022). About Us. holyfamilychurchmiami.com
Hope, Heart & Home: Active Foster Care Ministry
Hope, Heart and Home (HHH) is a faith-based community coalition that partners with seven child welfare agencies and the 11 parishes of the South Dade Deanery of the Archdiocese of Miami to support children in the foster care system. HHH currently acts as a clearinghouse for prospective volunteers. Volunteers are interviewed to determine which of the five areas of foster care ministry fits them best. It is based in the South Dade Deanery of the Archdiocese of Miami. Eric Schwindeman created the coalition with three parishes (St. John Neumann, St. Louis, and St. Catherine) and it has since expanded to 11 Catholic parishes in Miami-Dade County. Hope, Heart & Home recognized the brave commitment of taking a child into a home and created an exceptional model showing parishioners and congregations that there is a place for everyone to serve.
Hope Heart & Home Ministry. Facebook. (2022). https://www.facebook.com/ministryHHH/
(E. Schwindeman, personal communication, July 7, 2020).
Iglesia Rescate: Active Foster Care Ministry
Iglesia Rescate is a multi-cultural church pastored by David Monduy and his wife Vivian. A group of devoted believers seeking community revival founded the ministry in 1990. Rescate envisions a community redeemed by the Gospel of Jesus Christ. A collective mission to imitate His character empowers the Church to “rescue Godly values, hurt families, and humanity without Christ” (Iglesia Rescate, 2022). Sunday Service and Weekly Activities are available in Spanish at Hialeah Gardens. Inglesia Rescate is an active foster care ministry that also serves unaccompanied minor children. They are in the process of opening up “Rescate Retreat Center” which will serve as an official UCC Shelter and refuge for unaccompanied refugee children.
Iglesia Rescate. (2022). Home. www.iglesiarescate.org
Igreja Vida Com Vida: Active Prevention Ministry
Igreja Vida Com Vida, or Disciples of Christ, is a multi-cultural church pastored by Joaquim Costa Jr. and his wife Rosana. Their ministry began in Natal, R.N. Brasil, and has expanded into three continents. Since 1999, the Church’s mission reflects Jesus’ Commission: bringing each Disciple, or follower of Jesus Christ, a clear and objective knowledge about the fundamental truths of the Kingdom of God. Igreja Vida Com Vida means “One Body”– where “the pain of one must be the pain of all, and where the blessing of one must be the blessing of all.” This shared commitment speaks to the Church’s Vision, built upon “embracing and multiplying the life of Christ everywhere” (Quem Somos, 2022). Vida Com Vida’s Miami Campus offers services in Spanish and Portuguese. Disciples of Christ focuses on prevention efforts by partnering with Safe Families in Miami.
Vida Com Vida Ministérios. (2022). Quem Somos. vidacomvida.com
New Life Baptist Church of Carol City: Upcoming Foster Ministry
New Life Baptist Church of Carol City is a vibrant 47-year-old church where lead Pastor Erik Cummings (President of the Florida Baptist Convention) is committed to sharing the gospel and taking the Biblical stance to care for orphans in Miami. New Life Church’s heart is to serve the community and to spread the Gospel of Christ through his love. Pastor Erik Cummings of New Life explained that, “We have had 15 families over the last 20 or so years who have fostered. Our desire is to revive this ministry of fostering at our church and within the community” (personal communication, September 2, 2020). New Life currently has partnerships and ministry outreaches with His House Children’s Home and One More Child.
New Life Baptist Church of Carol City. (2022, May 2). Welcome to New Life of Carol City! https://www.visitnewlife.net/
(Pastor T. Stipe, personal communication, July 19, 2020).
Providence Road Church: Active Prevention and Foster Care Ministry
“We exist as a Gospel-centered community, living in a multicultural city, making known the Gospel of Jesus Christ, to all people for the glory of God” Speak to me. Providence Road Church is a baptist church pastored by Jose Abella and his wife Nira. In 2021, Providence Road Church said “yes” to stepping up and serving children and families in and out of the foster care system. Their Ministry Leader and fellow Champion, Erika Diego– along with Pastor Abella and Missions and Young Adults Pastor Jesse Crowley (both champions as well!) decided to start the first ever “Foster Parents Night Out” in our city, and galvanized a movement of volunteers to start serving local foster families in the community. National organization America’s Kids Belong provided excellent resources and assistance to help the “Foster Parents Night Out” flourish. They have also partnered with Safe Families for Children on the prevention side. Their active ministry is thriving as they continue to find new ways to serve children and families in our city in this new year.
Providence Road Church. (2022). About Us. prclife.org
Sweet Home Missionary Baptist Church: Active Foster Care Ministry
Sweet Home is a vibrant baptist church pastored by Dr. Theo Johnson in Miami, Florida. The ministry equips a community-oriented and mission-minded Body of Believers by “imparting the Word, impacting through works, and inspiring through witness.” To represent Christ is to walk like Him– and Sweet Home continues this endeavor in faith and ministry. It believes that the Church extends “beyond the walls” of an establishment; the living Body of Christ should celebrate the glory and goodness of God through serving one another in biblical community and friendly fellowship. Sweet Home embraces “unity, harmony, and diversity” in their service to God and the teaching of His Word (Home, 2022). Sweet Home Missionary Baptist recently served teens from care in Miami Gardens by hosting a Christmas gathering, along with a beautifully prepared dinner and individual gifts for each teen during the holiday season.
Sweet Home MBC. (2022). Home. sweethome.org
VOUS Church: Active Foster Care Ministry
VOUS Church, formerly The Rendezvous (Meeting Place) of Miami Gardens, is pastored by Rich Wilkerson Jr., along with his wife, Dawn Cheré Wilkerson. Their desire is to pastor a diverse community with a drive to reach the next generation, including foster children (Our Pastors Rich and Dawn Cheré Wilkerson, 2020). Kat Rowse is the Director on the pastoral team and currently runs their foster care model. “At VOUS Church we recognize the compassion, dedication and strength it takes to be a foster parent in Miami. We honor and celebrate those who answer the call to foster while coming alongside them to support and encourage them along the journey.” VOUS implemented this foster care model to recruit, retain and minister to Miami-Dade foster families, showing God’s love every step of the way.
Vous Church. VOUS Church | Miami, FL Church | Rich & DawnCheré Wilkerson. (2022). https://www.vouschurch.com/
(K. Rowse, personal communication, June 25, 2020)
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Explore Foster Miami Directory
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