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History

Built upon decades of experience in more than sixty disaster and crisis responses, Crisis Care Ministries provides consultation, training, resources, and operational collaborating in disaster and crisis preparedness and response, particularly related to emotional and spiritual care. 

 

In 2018, the Board of Ordained Ministry of the Oklahoma Conference of the United Methodist Church requested that Rev. Mary Gaudreau Hughes create a unique and innovative home for disaster and crisis emotional and spiritual care initiatives that had been thriving since 1995. As a result, Crisis Care Ministries, LLC was born. 

Rev. Mary Gaudreau Hughes

Executive Director

Rev. Mary Gaudreau Hughes is an ordained United Methodist deacon, licensed professional counselor, and nationally known disaster response specialist with 25 years’ experience in disaster emotional and spiritual care. Mary is a key leader in developing curricula, resources, and national standards for disaster spiritual care and has provided training, consultation, and technical guidance across the United States. 

Hughes, a native of Oklahoma, first entered into disaster response work following the 1995 Oklahoma City Murrah Building bombing. Her extensive field experience ranges from low-attention incidents to high profile disasters such as Hurricane Katrina, the Sandy Hook school shootings plus numerous hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, wildfires, and earthquakes. 

She was chair of the writing group for the National VOAD Disaster Spiritual Care Guidelines and chair of the National VOAD Emotional and Spiritual Care Committee during the development and ratification of the Disaster Spiritual Care Points of Consensus. Mary served for ten years as a national disaster consultant with the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR), providing training, consultation, technical guidance, and establishing credentialed disaster emotional and spiritual care teams more than two dozen states. She also created and managed a five-year pilot program based upon the National VOAD Disaster Spiritual Guidelines through the Oklahoma Conference of Churches (now the Oklahoma Faith Network), developing a team of more than 175 credentialed disaster spiritual care providers. Hughes also co-directed Project Resilient Spirit alongside SRT, Inc. (home of the Oklahoma Medical Reserve Corps’ Stress Response Team.) Project Resilient Spirit’s primary goal was to enhance the emotional and spiritual resilience of rural Oklahomans impacted by the historic 2017 and 2018 Oklahoma wildfires. 

 

Hughes currently serves as a subject matter expert on the National VOAD (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster) Emotional and Spiritual Care Committee and is chair of the Oklahoma VOAD Emotional and Spiritual Care Committee.

Supervisory Board

Crisis Care Ministries serves as an appointable Extension Ministry within the Oklahoma Conference of the United Methodist Church. The Supervisor Board for Crisis Care Ministries includes:

  • Sam Powers, District Superintendent, Crossroads District of the Oklahoma United Methodist Church

  • Derrek Belase, Director of Connectional Ministries, Oklahoma Conference of the United Methodist Church

  • Roger Parker, Pastor, The Gathering United Methodist Church, OKUMC

  • Nancy Hamilton, Associate Director of Connectional Ministries, OKUMC

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