June 3, 2003
JEFFERSON CITY – Joe Ulveling, founder of the 1 For Life Ministries in Woodstock, Ga., is the new Family Ministries Specialist at the Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC).
Ulveling’s first day on the job was May 20.
MBC administrators are elated about Ulveling’s decision to come to Missouri.
“Churches of Missouri are incredibly blessed that God has sent us people of the caliber of Joe and Debbie Ulveling,” said Kenny Qualls, MBC associate director for church and family equipping. “Not only does Joe teach with passion and Biblical principals for healthy homes, he and Debbie live it out in their own home.”
Ulveling says his interest in marriages, families and the home grew out of preparing and researching for newlywed and marriage classes at First Baptist, Woodstock, Ga., where he and his wife are members.
“The Lord gave me a vision for curriculum that would hit the nail on the head,” Ulveling said. “I first wrote the curriculum titled ‘Building Blocks for Newlyweds.’ Studies show 50 percent of divorces take place within three years of the wedding day. I saw firsthand many marriages that were failing, and the Lord burdened my heart for all couples.”
It was out of this curriculum that 1 For Life Ministries was born, according to Ulveling. “The ministry is designed to do nothing more than help couples strengthen their marriage relationship. Our goal is to provide truly practical and life-changing direction for marriages, for God’s Glory.
“Mark 10:7-9 states that the husband and wife are no longer two, but that they are one flesh. It’s God’s plan that we remain one for life. This scripture is where the name for our ministry was birthed.”
Ulveling’s assignment in Missouri will be to develop a network of people across the state that feel called to be trained in family ministries.
“There will be conferences in marriage enrichment across the state,” Qualls said. “There will be ministries to strengthen pastors and wives. We will use technology (web sites) to bring as many resources as possible into the hands of churches.
“We want to continue being on the cutting edge of development in this area, and I would encourage Missouri Baptists to use Joe Ulveling,” Qualls added. “The Lord has given us a precious gift to help strengthen our families.”
Ulveling told The Pathway he “is not bringing a marriage counseling service to Missouri.”
“I don’t point a finger at people. I try to come up with practical ways to help,” Ulveling said. “For example, I talk about the two most stressful times in a marriage – when the first child is born and when the last child leaves home. We do a lot of role-playing and a lot of music is used. The best workshop time is when couples get knee-to-knee.”
After earning a degree at Tennessee Temple University, Chattanooga, Tenn., Ulveling took a position in the commercial finance industry. A corporate transfer moved his family to Atlanta where he got involved with First Baptist, Woodstock.
“The curriculum I developed at Woodstock is not the answer for marriage problems,” Ulveling said. “Jesus Christ is the answer for all areas of our lives! The curriculum is a tool to be used to create an atmosphere of openness and change for couples. Most couples think their marriages are doing just fine, but they don’t take time to work on an issue.
“The goal of each session at our seminars is to create oneness in each couple’s marriage. The overall goal of the curriculum and conferences is to provide truly practical and life-changing direction for marriages for God’s glory.”
Qualls said the reason Ulveling was recruited by the MBC is simple.
“I don’t think anyone in Missouri would argue that Missouri families are not under attack,” Qualls said. “We think it’s time for a counter-attack and I believe Joe Ulveling will stand and will share God’s Word to strengthen the family.”