In 1999, the idea of a “coffee house” ministry at Missouri State University (then SMSU) began in the hearts and minds of Steve and Berna Proffitt.
After 20 years of ministry, Steve and Berna felt a call to spend the next chapter of their lives as missionaries, assuming that would mean leaving the community they had come to love. As God’s plan began to unfold, it became very apparent that the “mission field” they were called to was not “over there”, but “right here.” With more than 30,000 college students here in Springfield, and more than 600 international students, representing more than 80 foreign countries the doors opened for Steve and Berna to begin The Potter’s House. Sponsored by The Church of the Nazarene, The Potter’s House officially opened the doors in November 2000. What began with about 20 college students meeting weekly in their home, Potter’s House has grown to more than 800 students walking through the doors of Potter’s House every week. Students from all across the USA, and around the world looking for a place to meet friends, make new friends, have some great coffee and smoothies, and occasionally study, have found a “home away from home” at Potter’s House.
Our philosophy of ministry is clearly stated in our mission statement: The Potter’s House exists to advance Christian influence on the university campus by introducing and reconciling students to Jesus Christ. To accomplish this purpose, it is our desire to build relationships with students, disciple them in their spiritual growth, equip them for ministry and then to send them around the world with the message of hope in Christ, to every ethnicity and culture.
It is our prayer that while we faithfully follow God’s leading today, the students who are blessed by the ministry of Potter’s House today will carry this message of hope around the world with a ripple effect that will continue into our tomorrows!
Potter’s House is a not-for-profit, faith-based ministry, supported entirely by the generous donations of individuals, businesses and churches. Without this financial support, we could not stay open for the thousands of students who come here for support, encouragement, mentoring, and community every year. Meeting the $150,000 annual budget can only be accomplished through the regular, generous donations of people just like yourself. Charles Malik, former under-secretary of United Nations offering a critique of the university said,
The University is a clear-cut fulcrum with which to move the world. The problem
here is for the church to realize that no greater service can it render both itself
and the cause of the gospel, with which it is entrusted, than to try to recapture
the universities for Christ on whom they were all originally founded. One of the
best ways of treating the macrocosm is through the handle of the universities in
which millions of youths destined to positions of leadership spend, in rigorous
training, between four and ten years of the most formative period of their life.
More potently than by any other means, change the university and you change
We are in the business of changing the world and we need people to come along side us and help us do it.