Where Grace Abounds is a not-for-profit, inter-denominational, Christian organization which exists to guide and support men and women who seek to understand sexuality and relationship, and to inspire all people to know and personally appropriate God's plan for their sexuality and relationships.
For the first five years of its existence, WGA remained an "underground" ministry, in donated quarters in the basement of a hair salon for a few months, then in the lower level of the Bond of Love Church.
For the first few months, the staff consisted of two people: Mary Heathman and one other with help from several volunteers. The efforts of the staff, (together with an administratively gifted volunteer and the first WGA Board member, David Cordova,) resulted in WGA's incorporation as a not-for-profit organization in the fall of 1986.
During the years between 1987 and 1992, the WGA ministry grew from an average of fifteen members meeting once a week, to over thirty. In addition to speaking in churches, the WGA staff also spoke to such organizations as Colorado Christian University, Colorado State University in a psychology class, Denver seminary in their urban ministry classes, and Focus on the Family Counselors' In-service training classes. This pattern continues as WGA holds a two-pronged ministry - one providing direct ministry to the sexual sinner and their loved ones, and the other to the Body of Christ, providing education and testimony to God's healing of sexual brokenness.
From 1992 to the present, WGA services and ministry opportunities have continued to expand. Having outgrown their existing office with the addition of three staff members, WGA purchased a building just nine blocks east of downtown Denver in 1998. WGA had been grateful for the years of donated space, but the new "home" was welcome.
Also, two new types of groups were added as WGA group members matured and their needs changed. We found that four out of five WGA group members had been abused as children. (These statistics are the reverse of those for society at large: one in four women and one in five men.) WGA established a group called Survivors of Abuse. Another need was identified among people who were no longer controlled by their same-gender attractions, yet still experienced great difficulty with opposite-gender relationships. A "Growth Group" was established to meet these ongoing needs.
WGA's influence has had a ripple effect over the years. It has spread locally, then nationally and internationally. One evidence of this is the speaking and teaching schedule of the director, staff and leadership. They increasingly present to various Christian gatherings, educational seminars, and workshops, Mothers Of PreSchoolers, and in churches of various denominations.
WGA currently has 3 fulltime staff members and 3 part-time. Roger Jones is the Executive Director and Scott Kingry is the Program Director. Mary Heathman is serving as Founding Director which will allows her to focus on outreach, discipleship, leadership development, speaking, and writing. Nancy Dryden is the Office Manager. Steve Huston is the Church Liaison and Chaplain. Jill Huston is the Family and Friends Coordinator and Hospitality Coordinator.
WGA's Programs, Activities and Accomplishments
In the church and professional community: WGA provides solid, up-to-date resources and education to train and equip Christian leaders to minister more effectively. We are currently offering a series of seminars which will provide answers for pastors on specific topics, such as sexual abuse and pornography.
In the gay community, there are those who are disillusioned by the lack of understanding from the church, and by the lack of options afforded them in secular society. WGA addresses this need by providing a consistent witness to God's love and grace. In 2014, we held twelve orientation meetings for newcomers. Our support group attendance stays steady with 30-35 men an women attending weekly.
In families: parents, a brother, sister, husband or wife, or a child in pain - look for resolution of their own feelings of betrayal, fear, and confusion; they desperately look for hope and a way to help their loved one. WGA provides a weekly support group for family members and friends of those who are struggling personally, as well as an annual Family & Friends retreat.
Men and women in the church and in the general population hide their sexual sin, or the still lingering effects of childhood sexual abuse, struggling silently with intense feelings of isolation and held captive by life-controlling sexual and relational addictions. WGA seeks to reach out to the sexually broken by providing an environment that they have not found elsewhere: a safe place to confess sins, to face their options honestly, discuss their questions, and receive emotional and spiritual support throughout the process of healing.
"When people seek help in dealing with (unwanted sexual behaviors), where can they turn? And what agencies can we recommend for effective Christian counseling in such cases?
"Where Grace Abounds is precisely such a resource, raised up in God's providence to meet an increasing need in the Denver area. I count it a privilege to endorse its ministry and urge its support."
Vernon C. Grounds
President Emeritus, Denver Seminary
"I'm happy to give a strong note of affirmation to Where Grace Abounds. This organization has had a positive impact on the church. There is such a huge need for ministry in the homosexual community and so few are laboring in this area.
Frank R Tillapaugh
Author, "The Church Unleashed"
"I would not hesitate to recommend WGA to any educational organization who wishes to have the issues… presented in a meaningful, timely and non-threatening way. At no time were my students placed in an uncomfortable or embarrassing position. At the same time, they were challenged and stimulated with new insights on a very sensitive subject.
Denver Christian High School