About Our Founder
Everyone has something to contribute
Meet Terri Stipanovich
Having taken more than 20 trips to Africa, Terri Stipanovich recognizes that her life is a little unusual for a married mother of six living in the Midwest. Terri, a St. Louis native, has more than 25 years of service and nonprofit experience. She entered the nonprofit sector as a volunteer, helping at her children’s school for 15 years, serving on a nonprofit’s board of directors, and coordinating tournaments and travel for many youth sports programs. Having a passion for Christian ministry, Terri has lead numerous women’s Bible studies and served as a volunteer fundraiser for Mercy Multiplied. After years serving in leadership positions as a volunteer, Terri began working in nonprofit fundraising and development in 2008, raising over $100,000 for a global aid organization. Terri’s extensive experience with nonprofits helped her realize the importance of putting people first when managing a nonprofit. With marathon meetings, tight deadlines, benchmarks to meet, and new campaigns, Terri realized that nonprofits can get caught up in the day to day business and lose sight of their core mission: helping people. Terri saw organizations get mired in seemingly nonessential details and felt time and resources were sometimes wasted due to misplaced priorities. Terri continued her development work but began envisioning another way to serve and lead. In 2009 Terri started Faith that Works with her husband, Steve, with the intent of putting people first and setting aside nonessentials to more effectively meet urgent needs. Soon others became involved who shared Terri’s desire to enter into the hard places of life and build relationships with people in the midst of struggles. Since Faith that Works’ creation, Terri has helped mobilize hundreds of volunteers into action, believing everyone has something of value to contribute that can help another. While Terri began Faith that Works in St. Louis, a unique friendship led her to expand her work to East Africa. Terri met a Somali pastor when traveling to Africa for an international aid organization. The two developed a friendship that grew as Terri learned more about the Somali culture and people and the challenges they face. Terri and Faith that Works began working with the pastor and fellow Somali leaders, providing assistance like leadership training and emergency aid as well as helping plant multiple churches. Terri now also works with Somalis in St. Louis and is learning the Somali language. She especially has a heart for Somali and other East African women who have suffered from gender-based injustices and atrocities like female genital mutilation. In her role as director of Faith that Works, Terri works to raise awareness of these issues and oversee empowerment initiatives that equip women who have few resources with job skills and employment. She understands the value of ministering cross-culturally through trusting relationships and desires to help others gain the resources and skills needed to change their own lives and communities.