“There’s nothing to do around here,” complained 13-year-old Harriet Brehm in 1939.
Harriet’s brother and other boys in Winfield, Illinois, had fun in a boys club begun by a Wheaton College student named Joe Coughlin. So Harriet asked “Uncle” Joe for a girls club. Slightly overwhelmed, Joe hesitated until presented with a petition signed by a number of young girls.
Joe put a plea for help in the college newspaper. Freshman Betty Whitaker had been praying that the Lord would show her a way to minister to young girls. When she saw the notice in the paper, she knew it was God’s answer to her prayers. Betty and several other students developed a club called Girls Guild. In 1941, the name changed to Pioneer Girls, and a theme of pioneering and adventure was adopted. Camp Cherith® also began – the summer camping ministry of Pioneer Clubs. Soon clubs were started for other age-groups. Pioneer Girls spread throughout the United States and Canada.
In 1981, clubs for boys began, and the name changed to Pioneer Ministries®. Pioneer Boys®, Pioneer Girls® and Pioneer Clubs® are divisions of Pioneer Ministries. A spanish-language division, Clubes Pioneros®, was added in 1993. Today there are clubs for Pioneer Boys and Pioneer Girls in five age-groups, from age two through middle school. Pioneer Clubs, Pioneer Girls, Pioneer Boys, and Clubes Pioneros have provided exciting, Bible-based experiences for thousands of young people through many years.
Statement of Faith
In all that we do at Pioneer Clubs, particularly in hiring staff and preparing our publications, the following statement of belief guides us.
- We believe in one God, eternally existent in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (John 14:16-17; Matthew 28:19).
- We believe that Jesus Christ was begotten by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, and is true God and true man (Matthew 1:18-23).
- We believe the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are verbally inspired by God and inerrant in the original writings, and of supreme and final authority in faith and life (2 Peter 1:20-21; 2 Timothy 3:16-17).
- We believe that we were created in the image of God; that we sinned, and thereby incurred, not only physical death, but also that spiritual death which is separation from God; and that all human beings are born in sin, and that this sinful nature is the origin of all sinful acts in thought, word, and deed (Genesis 1:26; Romans 5:12; Isaiah 59:2-4; Romans 6:23).
- We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ died for our sins, according to the Scriptures, as a representative and substitutionary sacrifice; and that all who believe in him are justified on the grounds of his shed blood (Romans 5:8-9).
- We believe that all who receive by faith the Lord Jesus Christ are born again of the Holy Spirit, and thereby become children of God (John 1:12; Romans 8:9).
- We believe in the bodily resurrection of Christ and his ascension to Heaven, and in his present work as High Priest and advocate (1 Corinthians 15:3-4; Hebrews 4:14-16).
- We believe in the personal return of Jesus Christ (Acts 1:11; 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17).
- We believe in the bodily resurrection of the just to everlasting blessedness, and the unjust to everlasting punishment (Acts 24:15; Revelation 20:15; Romans 6:23).
Christian Education Advisory Council
Dr. Dennis Dirks
Talbot School of Theology
Professor of Christian Education
Dr. Ron T. Habermas
Adjunct Professor, Biblical Studies and Christian Formation, Author
Dr. Scottie May
Christian Formation and Ministry
Rev. Doreen L. Olson
Evangelical Covenant Church
Executive Minister of the Department of Christian Formation
Dr. Mark Senter
Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
Professor, Educational Ministries
Chair, Educational Ministries Department
Dr. Zondra Lindblade Swanson
Professor of Sociology Emerita
Dr. Brad Widstrom
Chair, Youth and Family Ministries
Board of Reference
Dr. Paul A. Cedar
Mission America Coalition
Chairman / CEO
Dr. Charles Dunahoo
Presbyterian Church in America (retired)
Coordinator of Christian Education and Publications
Dr. William J. Hamel
Evangelical Free Church of America
Rev. Dr. Jeffrey J. Jeremiah
Evangelical Presbyterian Church
Stated Clerk, Executive Pastor
Dr. Walter C. Kaiser Jr.
Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary
Mr. Robert Kobielush
Christian Camp and Conference Association
Dr. Richard Mouw
Fuller Theological Seminary
Mr. Harold Myra
Christianity Today International
Former Executive Chairman / CEO
Dr. Joseph Stowell III
Board of Directors
Mr. Bruce Barton
Mr. Keith Bodger
Mrs. Marilyn Enstrom
Financial Aid Computer Support Specialist
Mrs. Robin Gorab
Director of Christian Education
Village Seven Presbyterian Church
Mrs. Linda Gulbransen
Ms. Shari Habusta
Northville Christian School
Mrs. Margaret Rhine
Director of Christian Education
Mrs. Sharen Rose
Office Manager (retired)
Mr. Jim Sullivan
Estate Investment Advisor
Mr. Willard Timm, Jr.
Associate Clinic Director, Tax Clinic
Adjunct Professor of Tax, Georgia State University College of Law
Ms. Sandi Vander Kooi
Chief Financial Officer (retired)