Family Guidance Inc. Selected as 'Shining Light' Ministry

A community development ministry based near Pittsburgh, Pa. has been selected as the most recent “Shining Light” example of the Gospel by Wall Watchers, the renowned ministry-watchdog group.

Wall Watchers CEO Rusty Leonard explained, “These ministries that we designate as Shining Lights are indeed models of letting their lights shine before men so that the Gospel may be proclaimed and God be glorified. Therefore, we shine a figurative light on them so that donors may be aware of them and other ministries may learn from their examples.”

What began as a mentoring program for troubled youth more than 40 years ago, Family Guidance, Inc (FGI) has developed into a network of local churches and civic and business leaders throughout Pittsburgh that reach some of the region’s most vulnerable children. Under FGI, more than 100 churches and organizations are helping “orphans and widows in their distress” through “true religion” based on scripture.

FGI’s 340 volunteers donate 38,000 hours of their time to meet their goal while running on a mere $1 million operating budget.

According to the Wall Watchers report, FGI’s passion is rooted in its history and is evidenced it all of its volunteers, staff, board members and even “the children that are the object of this passion.” This stems from the efforts of FGI’s founder, the Rev. Dr. James M. Lenkie, who started FGI as a mentoring program for 28 boys – 27 of whom had no father - upon the request of a local juvenile judge.

"Dr. Lenkie quickly developed one of the region's best camping programs for at-risk young people,” according to FGI CEO Bob Jamison.

Since that time, FGI broadened outreach to girls, troubled families, and neighborhoods, and still remained effective in spreading hope through the Gospel.

"We wish to help spread the Gospel of Christ,” the Wall Watcher’s report stated. “ We believe FGI is an outstanding example of how to do that, and that is why it is the subject of a Shining Lights profile."