History in Detail

2004

April – Michael and Harriett McManus, founders of Marriage Savers, Inc. made a presentation to our local Evangelical Ministerial Fellowship at our monthly gathering. The idea of establishing a Marriage Savers organization in Frederick County was well received. The EMF leadership team stated they would consider this idea and respond when they had made a decision.

 

2005

April 7, 2005 – A special meeting of the EMF was called after the regular EMF monthly gathering to discuss the start-up of a local, non-profit Marriage Savers organization. A committee of volunteers was created and Rev. Bob Donk volunteered to be the Chairman of the Committee.

 

May – 2 Main Goals were set: Establish a Community Marriage Policy (CMP) and Establish Marriage Saver Congregations throughout the county.

Committee members:  Chairman – Bob Donk

Northern County – Wade Sandridge

Eastern County – Wayne Hall

Southern County – John Weber

Western County – Rachel Haffey

At Large member – Angela Philips

 

July – a local non-profit, Mid-Maryland Celebration, donated all their funds ($ 700) and Redeemer international Family Church donated $ 2,000 to get our organization started. Letterhead, business cards and envelops were purchased.  Final wording of CMP was approved. Bob met with 9 other local non-profits and many pastors. Bob attended the SmartMarriages Education Conference in Dallas to learn valuable skills to be used in this ministry.

 

September – had our initial *CMP Signing Ceremony at the Frederick County Courthouse with over 30 clergy signing the document. Marriage Savers leadership trained 38 Mentor couples in the use of the FOCCUS Premarital Inventory Assessment Tool.              Click here to see the CMP signing video

 

October – Bob & Cathy Donk attended the Marriage Savers Restoration Mentoring Conference in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

 

December – Bob trained 7 employees of the Family Partnership organization on mentoring financially challenged couples (Fragile Families).  Bob made presented of Marriage Savers to local Catholic Priests. By the end of the year, 53 clergy had signed the Community Marriage Policy.

 

2006

Summary:

3 Pre-marital mentor couples were trained

6 Clergy signed our Community Marriage Policy for a total of 59

 

January – Conducted our first Overview of MSFC mentoring/enrichment/restoration services.

 

June – Grant request for $ 50,000 Federal Capacity Building Grant was submitted.

 

August – Bob spoke at Lyons Club.

 

September – Received notice of Acceptance for our Capacity Building Grant of $ 50,000.  Filed IRS 501c3 paperwork as a stand-alone not-for-profit corporation. Purchased “Quickbooks” software to better control our finances.

 

October – Participated in our first “In The Streets” festival. So many great contacts are made at this event. We sent out our first newsletter by regular mail and via email.

 

November –   Partnered with Frederick Church of the Brethren in their Marriage Enrichment Conference featuring Les & Leslie Parrott(155 couples in attendance).  Joined the Chamber of Commerce.

 

2007

Summary:

12 People attended our class entitled “How to Avoid Marrying a Jerk”

20 Pre-marital mentor couples trained for a total of 61

29 Clergy signed our CMP for a total of 88

January – Held first Step Family Small Group Leader Training with 7 couples. Bob spoke at Rotary Luncheon and Fort Detrick Prayer Breakfast.

 

February – Bob spoke at Fort Detrick Sweatheart Banquet.

 

March – Bob spoke at Mt. Airy Rotary.

 

July – Bob attended the SmartMarriages Conference in Denver.

 

August – Trained 8 Facilitators at Family Partnership in Abridged FOCCUS. Presented Fragile Family concept to 28 Head Start staff.

 

November – Began offering Restoration Mentoring to couples in the community.

 

2008

Summary:

5 Marriages were saved from divorce

4 Other couples-in-crisis were helped

51 Couples attended our “Love & Respect” marriage enrichment events

6 Pre-marital mentor couples were trained

3 Clergy signed our CMP for a total of 91

 

February – Two couples will actually get married soon as a result of the Fragile Families training we did at Family Partnership in August 2007.

 

April – Bob spoke at Emmanuel Alliance Couples dinner

 

June – Bob met with two Department of Social Services managers to discuss how we could be a part of their efforts to strengthen families.

 

September – We participated in handing out our  marriage education materials at the local theatre during the opening week of “Fireproof” movie.

 

2009

Summary:

8 Marriages were saved from divorce

16 Other couples-in-crisis were helped

3  People attended our “Jerk” class

10 Pre-marital mentor couples were trained

7  Restoration Mentor couples were trained

6 Clergy signed our CMP for a total of 97

 

May – The first National Day of Prayer breakfast was held at Dutch’s Daughter restaurant. Many other non-profits were part of the event.

 

July –  Bob & Cathy attended the SmartMarriages Conference in Orlando.

 

December – We expanded the Board from 5 to 7 members with 2 At-Large Members.

 

2010

Summary:

8 Marriages were saved from divorce

14  Other couples-in-crisis were helped

6  People attended our “Jerk” class

6 Restoration Mentor couples were trained

1  Clergy signed our CMP for a total of 98

 

February – Ran a longest marriage contest and had 14 couples entered.  Winner was married over 72 years.

 

May – We completed a 4-day “Fireproof” class at the Frederick Rescue Mission, which was very valuable to the men there.

 

June – We received official notice of name change to “Marriage Resource Center of Frederick County”.

 

October – Created 3 Promo videos for addition to our website.

 

November – Our first Fall Fundraiser was held with 190 people in attendance. This is significant for our future expansion of the ministry.

 

2011

Summary:

16 Marriages were saved from divorce

16 Other couples-in-crisis were helped

4 Couples were provided with Pre-marital mentoring

32 couples attended the “Art of Marriage” marriage enrichment conference.

6 Couples attended our “Focus On Forever” Enrichment class

5  People attended our “Jerk” class

4 Restoration Mentor couples were trained

4  Clergy signed our CMP for a total of 102

 

January – We met with the Way Station organization and were added to the new on 2-1-1 emergency contact system for this area of Maryland.

 

June – Bob & Cathy’s testimony appeared on the new Oprah Winfrey network (OWN) and reruns continued for many months. The Convoy of Hope had it’s initial year in Frederick with a good response noted at our table in the Community Services tent.

 

November – Fall Fundraiser had 168 people in attendance.

 

2012

Summary:

18 Marriages were saved from divorce

22 Other couples-in-crisis were helped

8 Couples were provided with Pre-marital mentoring

39 People attended the “Jerk” class

30 Couples attended our RINGS Enrichment classes

15 Couples attended “The Art of Marriage” marriage enrichment class.

4 Pre-marital mentor couples were trained

7 Restoration Mentor couples were trained

 

July – We participated in the annual golf tournament sponsored by the States Attorney’s office from which we received all the proceeds totaling $5,300.

 

October – The new Frederick48 prayer/fundraising event resulted in an income of $ 5,588.

 

November – Fall Fundraiser had 180 people in attendance with Lavern Nissley as our main speaker. Lavern is the Executive Director of the MRC in Ohio, who is responsible to creating the “RINGS” marriage education class we started offering this year.

 

2013

Summary:

17 Marriages were saved from divorce

11 Other couples-in-crisis were helped

5 Couples were provided with Pre-marital mentoring

5 People attended the “Jerk” class

13 Couples attended our RINGS Enrichment classes

8 Pre-marital mentor couples were trained

4 Restoration Mentor couples were trained

 

February – We co-sponsored our first “Celebrate Marriage” event at FCF with 70 couples.

 

May- Bob presented MRC at the Fredericktowne Rotary luncheon.

 

July- Jim Eckfield started as new Executive Director. Bob is now the Director of Mentor Services.

 

November – Fall Fundraiser had 232 people in attendance.  Brett & Erin Barry and the “Inseparable Lives Band” presented our new Musical Soiree  program.

 

2014 – So far this year:

Summary:

2 Marriages were saved from divorce

8 Other couples-in-crisis were helped

6 Couples were provided with Pre-marital mentoring

10 Couples attended our “Art of Marriage” marriage enrichment class.

54 Couples attended our RINGS Enrichment classes

8 Pre-marital mentor couples were trained

0 Restoration Mentor couples were trained

 

February- Special Group for couples who have recently experienced Infidelity was begun.