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Who We Are

The story behind Encouragement Ministries

Encouragement Ministries was formed to support the pastoral care ministry of Russ Corley.  After he received his PhD, Russ served two churches as a preacher with a special emphasis on ministry to patients and families in hospitals. In 1990, a group of committed individuals formed Encouragement Ministries as a Christian ministry focused on encouraging and supporting patients and their families during a hospital crisis.  For ten years the ministry worked under the oversight of the Madison Church of Christ. In 2001, Encouragement Ministries received 501 (c) (3) status from the IRS as a Not for Profit Organization. Pat Ward began working with Encouragement Ministries on a part-time basis in 2006. In 2017, Pat began working full time with Encouragement Ministries. Her gifts and service have greatly expanded our outreach. Most of her work is outside of the context of hospitals working in other crisis situations, especially in support of women and families dealing with challenges with children.

Russ Corley and Pat Ward

Pat Ward joined

Encouragement Ministries

full time in 2017 after working

part-time for 10 years. Previously,

she served as Director of Otter Creek

School for 29 years. She has a degree in elementary education from Lipscomb University in Nashville.  Pat was employed by the school for 34 years. She is the mother of two children: a married son who is a graduate of Lipscomb University and currently is an SLP  and a married daughter who is a graduate of UT and taught in inner city Nashville for 10 years. She has 2 grandchildren. Pat has served on the Athletic Board for Brentwood High School, the Wayne Reed Christian Center Board, and currently serves on  the Otter Creek Board. She attends Otter Creek

Church of Christ. 

Pat & Russ

Russ Corley grew up in Nashville and

graduated from David Lipscomb College in 1975. He received his PhD from The Ohio State University (OSU) in 1983. While in Columbus, OH, he preached at Indian Springs Church of Christ and taught in the Department of Communication at OSU where he won awards for his teaching. He returned to Nashville in 1985 and served as a minister at Otter Creek Church of Christ until 1990. At that time, he began Encouragement Ministries with the support of of individuals who believed in his gift for working with people in crisis. In 2015, Russ began to serve as the Senior Minister at Madison Church of Christ. He is married to Jackie, and they are grateful for their children and grandchildren. He is also involved in a number of men’s groups, where he encourages men to be disciples of Jesus. Their friendship as brothers, friends, and fellow disciples has been

life changing for him.

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