Church Leader Spotlight: Matt Craig, First Christian Church of Scottsburg, IN

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We want to help other churches and church leaders see what involvement in orphan care can look like across a variety of congregations. So, we will periodically post a highlight from different churches who are actively engaging in caring for the vulnerable children and families in their community.

First up is First Christian Church of Scottsburg, IN. Their lead pastor, Matt Craig (pictured with his family), answered some questions for us about how they are engaging in foster care and adoption. They are an Independent Christian/non-denominational church and have an average worship attendance of 550.

We hope you find some encouragement and inspiration to continue or start caring for hurting kids in your community.

Q: What are you doing to engage in adoption and foster care?

Matt: Since arriving at FCC 2 years ago and being a father to two adopted kids from the DRC; I wanted to let our story be part of the church’s story. I think everyone should be engaged with supporting, caring, and encouraging families of adoption/foster care. Our church has become partners with OCA, CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates), we have held multiple seminars that deal with TBRI training (trauma informed classrooms, etc). We believe that we should as a church be involved in the front lines of adoption and foster care - it’s a Biblical mandate.

We are supporting an international mission called Psalm 82:3 that is currently building an orphanage in Liberia. We send multiple people on short term mission trips to help and we financially support this ministry. It’s an amazing ministry. One of the founders is a member of our church.

We have also had contact and some support with an elderly orphan group (they care for elderly who have been “orphaned” who we meet at Wonder Valley Christian Camp last summer.

Q: Why did you decide to do this?

Matt: I suppose for two reasons. 1) I have two adopted kiddos and believe that 2) it’s a Biblical mandate to care for orphans. As a pastor, it’s my call to help equip our church for ministry and help our people understand the Word. I feel like the more information and knowledge that is out there will help make an impact for the Kingdom.

Q: How have you seen your people and church grow because of this?

Matt: We are early in the process of changing the culture here and I would like to say I’ve seen a great increase, but it’s been small, but there has been some movement in the area. We are not in this for the short term, but for the long haul and I know it takes time to change the mindset of people. A few of our people have been through the training and have had good results. The biggest growth has been in some of our schools that have had teachers get training with TBRI. It’s amazing.

Q: What would you say to a church/church leader who is on the fence about leading their church to engage in adoption and foster care?

Matt: I would say look to the heart of Christ and see if Jesus would be on the fence… that should answer their questions. All we need to do is be committed to the process and the first thing is get started. Preach a message on adoption - interview a family who has adopted - look to the heart of God and pray for God’s direction and wisdom.


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Get to know the guy who leads out as our Life Coaching and Operations Director as well as serving families as our in house Marriage and Family Therapist.

Tell us a little bit about yourself. Where you are from, where you grew up and your background.

 I was born in Knoxville, TN, but moved to Louisville when I was 5. I am the youngest of three. I grew up as the son of a pastor here in Louisville. After graduating college I moved to Nashville and began working in real estate, but soon began pursuing a career in college athletics as ticket sales associate for the Vanderbilt Athletic department. My wife and I lived in Chicago for a few years before moving back to Louisville. In 2015 I left my work in college athletics and began pursuing my degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. I became a board approved Marriage and Family Therapist Associate in the fall of 2018. My wife and I were high school sweethearts and have been married for 13 years. We have 3 children, the two oldest are girls and the youngest a boy, ages 8,7,4. 

How long have you been with OCA and what is your role here?

I have been involved with with OCA for 2 1/2 years, my first role was as life coach, which I continue to do today. I help oversee our life coaching ministry, help with our Hub Leaders, and am a Marriage and Family Therapist Associate

What’s a typical week look like for you?

A typical week for me would be around 10-12 hours counseling and then connecting with our Hub leaders, and supporting our life coaches to create new opportunities for them to engage with kids aging out of foster care.

Share a memorable way God has moved over the years at OCA. 

One thing I see is how God sustains and holds us in the midst of all the brokenness and chaos of the adoption and foster world. One thing I am noticing is that in the world in which we live and work, this is not a quick fix. It is hard and challenging, yet He still remains and sustains. Even in the middle of the challenges He brings us joy at OCA. He continues to be present as we continue to walk this slow journey of being catalysts for hope and redemption. 

What are your hobbies?

I enjoy playing board/card games. I am an avid runner and enjoy listening/reading books to further my development in the field of psychotherapy. 

What is your favorite book/resource/speaker on adoption /foster care?

Relational Soul  This isn’t necessarily related to foster care or adoption, but it speaks to us being created for relationships which is what adoption and fostering is about

Why are you so passionate about foster care and adoption?

If I were to be honest, and I think that’s what you’re looking for here :) is I’m not sure. If I were to search deep within, I think it is because I want to see redemption brought to broken families. I want to see kids have hope. I am passionate about families and love seeing families thrive. Where foster care and adoption isn’t always about thriving families, it is about working to provide opportunities for families to flourish and families to be made whole. 

What is your favorite Bible verse?

1 Thessalonians 5:9-11 God didn’t set us up for an angry rejection but for salvation by our Master, Jesus Christ. He died for us, a death that triggered life. Whether we’re awake with the living or asleep with the dead, we’re alive with him! So speak encouraging words to one another. Build up hope so you’ll all be together in this, no one left out, no one left behind. I know you’re already doing this; just keep on doing it.


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Today, we want you to meet Stacia Washausen. Stacia is OCA’s Family Support Director, and also happens to be married to our Executive Director. Her heart for foster care and adoption shines through the many roles she takes on here at the office.


Tell us a little bit about yourself. Where you are from, where you grew up and your background.

I was born in Red Bud, IL and grew up in a very small town (about 50 people) in southern Illinois and have one older brother. Darren and I are high school sweethearts—we started dating at the end of my freshman year in high school and married after graduating from college.

How long have you been with OCA and what is your role here?

I started with OCA in 2009 and I am the Family Support Director.

What’s a typical week look like for you as the Family Support Director? I spend most of my time in the office on the computer.

I work on a lot of administrative tasks throughout the week. In addition, I get to do some trauma training for parents, teachers, pastors and others. Occasionally, I work with parents who are struggling to assist with resources. I also do the accounting for OCA.

Share a memorable way God has moved over the years at OCA.

I am amazed at the growth of OCA. When Darren and I joined, we always said we wouldn’t force OCA into a community and we will let God open the doors of the places we need to be. And HE has certainly been moving.

What are your hobbies?

Unfortunately, I don’t have time for much outside of OCA and family time. If I make the time, I like to read and do some crafting.

Favorite book/resource/speaker on adoption /foster care.

Has to be The Connected Child by Drs. Karyn Purvis and David Cross.

Why are you so passionate about foster care and adoption?

It started when Darren and I were in an ABF class and heard from someone who had been on a mission trip to Brazil where children were being shot in the streets for begging. Darren and I looked at each other and decided we needed to do something. That something turned out to be adoption. After the adoption of Andrew and having experienced some difficulties, I began to do a lot of research, classes, conferences, etc. and felt called to help others who may be struggling.

Favorite Bible verse

Isaiah 41:10 “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”