“Christ in Every Phase of Life”

“There’s nothing to do around here,” complained 13-year-old Harriet Brehm and some of her friends in Winfield, Illinois. Her brother and other boys in his Sunday school class had a weekday club (the Christian Service Brigade) and had lots of fun. Harriet and her friends wanted a club too.

One day in 1939, Harriet asked the boys’ Sunday school teacher and club leader, Joe Coughlin, to find a leader for a girls club. This was a new thought to Joe, a busy Wheaton College student. But he said, “If you can get a list of girls interested in club, I’ll find a leader.”

A week later, Harriet saw “Uncle Joe.” Triumphantly she said, “Here, I’ve got the list. When can we start?” To Joe, it seemed every girl in town had signed. He had to find a leader, but who?

Many days passed with no word from Joe. Harriet decided to take things into her own hands. Calling the office of the Wheaton College president, she told her story. A few hours later, Joe heard from the president: “If you promised those girls a leader, you need to find one!

Joe put a plea for help in the college paper. While Joe prayed, God talked to freshman Betty Whitaker. She was concerned about girls Harriet’s age and had been asking the Lord for a ministry to them. When she saw the notice in the paper, she knew it was God’s answer.

Betty and several other students began developing a girls club. They wanted to involve club members in activities that would give them godly role models, help them see their God-given talents and help them learn to live for Christ in every activity of every day. They coined the phrase “Christ in every phase of life,” which is still Pioneer Clubs’ focus today, stated as “Christ in every aspect of life.”

A few weeks later, Harriet and her friends had their first club meeting. It was called Girls Guild and it was everything Harriet and her friends hoped for.

Want to know what happened next? Check out the Pioneer Clubs Timeline.