Homes where God’s love transforms lives.

Ruth Harbor Ministries Staff

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Executive Director

Mark became Ruth Harbor’s second Executive Director in 2002. Prior to Ruth Harbor, Mark managed the non-profit GuideOne Foundation. His varied background also includes athletic director, instructor, and marketing communications. Mark’s BA is from Cedarville University. Mark and his wife, Deb, have three grown children and five grandchildren. He loves to invest in others in order to see them grow and enjoys his role on a recreational soccer team.

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Executive Director Designate

Chris joined the Ruth Harbor staff as the third executive director in 2022. Chris is a lifelong Iowa and Ankeny native who has a 30-year history serving on the pastoral staff of Grace Church in Des Moines and First Family Church in Ankeny. Prior to joining Ruth Harbor, Chris served as associate executive director of the Baptist Convention of Iowa. Chris is married to Chris (yes, Chris & Chris) and together they have three adult children and one grandchild. Chris enjoys reading history and apologetics, writing, and teaching. 

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Program Director

Stacy Stacy joined the Ruth Harbor team in 2020 as our Program Director. In her role, Stacy oversees and supports the House Parents at both homes, and assures the quality and appropriate programming for all of our residents. Stacy brings both ministry experience and leadership experience to her new role at Ruth Harbor. Specifically, she has served young women who have experienced unplanned pregnancies and successfully led other teams of people doing the same; and among all, demonstrated a real love for them. Stacy and her husband, Chad, have three adult children and one grandchild. Stacy's list of things she loves are junk and thrift stores, decorating her home, singing at Church, and relaxing with her family (but not necessarily in that order).

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Office Manager

Aimee joined Ruth Harbor as the Office Manager in January 2018.  In this role she oversees the front-office operations, supports the Executive Director and staff team, manages fundraising events and develops/oversees Ruth Harbor's volunteer program. Aimee and her husband, Derek, have three children that keep them busy with their athletic, musical and academic pursuits. Although there isn't a lot of time for hobbies during this busy season of life, when possible, she enjoys baking, reading and crafting.

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Financial & Database Coordinator

Wendy was hired as the Financial & Database Coordinator for Ruth Harbor Ministries in 2020, and she instantly fit into her role like a glove! "Finance and accounting tasks are especially rewarding to me, and to be able to do this work with Ruth Harbor is an answer to prayer and encourages my walk with Christ." Wendy loves to be social, encourage others, and laugh. She also loves to walk, play games of all kinds, and travel. Wendy lives in Des Moines with her husband and daughter.

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Cara & Shawn
House Parents (Des Moines)

Cara and Shawn have served as a full-time House Parents in our maternity home since 2017. As the "house dad and mom," they live in the home and are responsible for modeling a Christian family, serving as a father- and mother-figure to the residents and overseeing all of the day-to-day operations and "life" that happens in the house and in the lives of the residents. Together they serve as the leaders of the Ruth Harbor home. Shawn and Cara have three daughters, Danielle (who is married to husband, Derrick with two grandchildren), Madeline (who is married to husband, Michael with one grandchild) and Alyssa (who is married to husband, Joe). In Shawn’s spare time, he is a handyman who enjoys woodworking, collecting coins, and metal detection. Cara enjoys anything craft-related, playing card  games, and crocheting. Shawn and Cara really enjoy traveling in their free time especially to see their family and new sites.

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Matthew & Casey
House Parents (Carlisle)

Matthew and Casey joined the Ruth Harbor team in 2019 as House Parents at the home in Carlisle, IA. As the "house dad and mom," they live in the home and are responsible for modeling a Christian family, serving as a father- and mother-figure to the residents and overseeing all of the day-to-day operations and "life" that happens in the house and in the lives of the residents. Together they serve as the leaders of the Ruth Harbor home. Matthew and Casey have two young daughters and are blessed by the opportunity to do full-time mission work together as a family. In their free time as a family, they enjoy going on walks, and visiting the park and zoo. Matthew loves just about anything outdoors and Casey enjoys playing sports and sewing.

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Development Specialist

J.A. came to Ruth Harbor in 2018 after 30 years of missionary service. J.A. is developing community partnerships, retreats for staff and clients, and ministry outreach projects. J.A. also assists the director with handling key projects and speaking opportunities, and developing relationships with churches.  "I love working with the staff of Ruth Harbor! Their love for Christ and young people is infectious," said J.A. He and his wife, Pam, recently retired from their 30-year service as BBFI missionaries to Wales in the United Kingdom. They moved to Des Moines to be close to their son and his family. J.A. and Pam are the proud grandparents of four grandchildren in Wales and three grandchildren in Des Moines.  When time allows, J.A. enjoys hunting, catching catfish, golfing and of course Skyping with his grand kids in Wales. 

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Life Coach

Amanda joined the Ruth Harbor Ministries team in 2019 as a Caseworker and back-up House Parent for the Des Moines house. As a Caseworker, Amanda works with residents in collaboration with the House Parents to assist them in developing short- and long-term goals for themselves and their children. Amanda also maintains relationships with community resources and agencies to provide services needed by the birthmother, as well as maintaining documentation of the resident’s services and progress. Amanda and her husband have been married for 25 years. They have five children, two of whom are adopted, and they are former foster parents. Amanda enjoys listening to podcasts, and reading and listening to classic books.

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House Parent Assistant

Hannah joined the Ruth Harbor team in 2021 as the House Parent Assistant for the Des Moines home. In addition to Hannah’s background in Family Services, she brings a unique and very valuable perspective to the position because she was also a resident of Ruth Harbor in 2020, where she welcomed her son, Asher. Hannah is passionate about the impact Ruth Harbor has on young lives, and is eager to meet each woman with the same love and compassion Christ gives to her.
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Homes where God’s love transforms lives.

Ruth Harbor Ministries
534 42nd Street
Des Moines, IA 50312
Phone: 515-279-4661
Fax: 515-633-2157
M-F 8:30 AM-5 PM