Now hiring a Men's Mentor Coordinator! Learn more

Our Story

Changing, Healing, and empowering

Changing the Heart of the City through the Hope of the Gospel

The mid-’80s was a deeply troubling time for Little Rock and North Little Rock. Crime erupted throughout these communities as escalating gang violence dominated the news. The murder rate—particularly among young men—skyrocketed while fear kept a paralyzing grip on the soul of the cities.
But amid the violence and desperation, a glimmer of hope emerged. Moved by the Holy Spirit, a few church leaders began meeting to pray for how to best help the cities’ under-resourced youth. They believe Jesus guided them to focus on Eastgate Terrace (now The Homes at Pine Crossing), which was statistically the most crime- and violence-ridden area in the Little Rock/North Little Rock communities. The church leaders gathered some volunteers, and STEP Ministries began to take shape by building a playground and starting a reading readiness program for the neighborhood’s young children. But it was the Encourager Program at Pine Elementary that revealed God’s plan to heal and change this community: one-on-one relationships. 
That summer, STEP Ministries, with the help of a Pine Elementary student volunteer, began the Gospel-centered Mentoring Program. Since then, hundreds of STEP volunteers have invested in the young people of this community by fostering one-on-one relationships. And many of the young people have been empowered to break the cycles of fatherlessness, violence, and generational poverty the Holy Spirit moved church leaders to address decades ago.

Our Mission Statement

To empower people through Jesus Christ to step in, step up, and step out.

Step In, Step Up, Step Out!

STEP Ministries Today

Today, the Encourager Program at STEP Ministries has spread to schools all over Pulaski County, and the Mentoring and Tutoring programs serve children at the Family Outreach Center in The Homes at Pines Crossing (formerly Eastgate) community. These programs serve children in 3rd-12th grades. The Next STEP program, which is part of the Discipleship (middle school) and Ambassador (high school) clubs, assists young people as they transition into adulthood. Plus, STEP has just launched the STEP LR Mentoring Center located inside First Baptist Highland Park Church in south central Little Rock which will provide mentoring clubs for youth in that neighborhood.

Because STEP now has a multi-generation history, “STEP Alums” visit the program and tell about how they experienced these life-changing relationships. Some of them bring their own children to be a part of STEP mentoring. God’s ability to change circumstances and heal people and communities is real, and we see it play out at STEP every day. STEP Ministries continues to change the heart of the city through the hope of the Gospel, one mentoring relationship at a time. God is still writing this amazing story. Join us and become part of it!

Step In, Step Up, Step Out!