What Drives Us
To develop unfathered and at-risk boys and girls into global-minded leaders of God’s design.
Fighting for the Underdogs
6 out of 10 children living in Cleveland do not go home to a dad.
We can complain about this problem or we can pray, listen and step into the gap and obey God’s call to disciple the next generations.
God used two key Bible verses and the powerful story of Joshua and Caleb (Numbers 13:1-14, 38) to convict, compel and inspire Jerry to obey the call and launch Joshua and Caleb Leadership Center:
“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” James 1:27
“These commandments that I give to you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them to your forehead. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.” Deuteronomy 6:6-9
“Joshua and Caleb said to the Israelite assembly, “The land we passed through and explored is exceedingly good. If the Lord is pleased with us, He will lead us into that land, a land flowing with milk and honey, and will give it to us. Only do not rebel against the Lord. And do not be afraid of the people of the land, because we will devour them. Their protection is gone, but the Lord is with us. Do not be afraid of them.” Numbers 14:6-9
Why Joshua and Caleb?
Unfathered and at-risk children often lack hope for their future. The obstacles in their lives can look insurmountable, BUT GOD promises to care for His children and fulfill a greater purpose in and through them. Joshua and Caleb did not deny the reality of their situation, BUT GOD gave them the faith to trust Him. They focused on the presence and power of God and were lifted out of the fear and despair that consumed their peers. Joshua and Caleb had a God-sized vision for their future because they focused their eyes on God.
JCLC exists to share the life changing hope that comes through faith in Jesus Christ with unfathered and at-risk children. With eternal hope comes God-sized vision!
Rev. Jerry Mitchell
Director of Operations
Board of Directors
BOARD CHAIR – Julia Ellifritt, MSSAS, LISW-S
Director of Education and Community Engagement, Cornerstone of Hope Bereavement Center
Adjunct Professor, Case Western Reserve University
Minister Linda Anderson Gaines, MA, PCC-S
Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor
Dr. Gerald Juhnke, Ed. D., LPC, NCC, MAC, ACS
Professor/The University of Texas at San Antonio
Chris Steinmann, M.A.
Superintendent & CEO, Cleveland Lutheran High School Association
Van Lunen Fellow in Christian School Executive Management, Calvin College
Emilee Weatherred, B.A.
Consultative Analytics Manager, Broadspire
We believe God’s Word clearly commands the church to intentionally invest in orphans, widows and strangers.
We believe it is our mission to serve the local church by investing in unfathered and at-risk boys, girls and their mothers.
We believe men and women of the church who choose to invest in an unfathered and at-risk child are investing in an eternal person who matters to God.