In June 1988 Pastor Karen was ordained an elder in a Word of Faith Church in Baltimore, Maryland. Preaching since age 17, she went on to minister all over Baltimore and surrounding areas as an evangelist. Her initial sermon was preached in December of 1976 at Sharp Street Memorial United Methodist Church in Baltimore, Maryland where she had been a member since birth.
December 1999 Pastor Karen came under the covering of Bishop T. D. Jakes in preparation for opening the church doors in April of 2000.
On April 9, 2000, under her leadership, Set the Captives Free Outreach Center (STCF) opened at the Comfort Inn, in Woodlawn, Maryland. The church opened with five adult members and seven children. It continues to grow rapidly to this day. The current membership is 2,000.
On August 8, 2000, God blessed STCF with a 3,000 square foot fully equipped facility at 9816 Liberty Road, Randallstown, Maryland. The Lord continued to show favor. Attendance was steadily increasing, the word was alive, lives were being changed, and marriages were being restored. This resulted in the need for multiple services. Even with the new worship schedule of an 8:00 and 11:00 a.m. there was no more room to seat the members, regular attendees and visitors.
In January, 2001, LIBERTY was launched. LIBERTY is STCF’s television outreach aired every Sunday at 8:30am on the WORD Network Internationally and WNUV channel 54 in the Baltimore-Washington, Delaware and Pennsylvania markets God continued to show favor, increasing weekly viewer-ship from just a few thousand to over 15, 000 today. Pastor Karen was the first woman pastor asked to preach on the local television program “Grace & Glory” which airs on the ABC affiliate in Maryland ,channel 2, Sundays at 7:00 a.m. She is the guest preacher every second Sunday of the month at 7:40 a.m.
In November of 2002, Pastor Karen stepped out on faith again as God blessed STCF with a 33,000 sq. ft. facility, located in Woodlawn, Maryland. The building had been a clothing warehouse and was but a shell. With God’s favor and the faithfulness of the STCF church family fulfilling their pledges, part of the building was quickly converted into a 1,000 seat sanctuary.
In August 2005, after renting with the option to buy, STCF purchased the facility. At that time renovation completion began. It was an exciting time as the church family witnessed weekly changes to the former warehouse!
In April 2006, STCF completed the renovation of 7111 Windsor Boulevard. The 33,000 square foot building now contains a 1,000 seat sanctuary with state of the art screens and technology, offices, multipurpose rooms, a kitchen, the church bookstore, the nursery, a baptismal chapel, The Mays-Woodson Christian Academy educational wing complete with brand new child accessible bathrooms, a state of the art television studio and a state of the art recording studio built by a leader in the industry, Jonathan Lesane. God has really been good to STCF!
In August 2007, as a LITE Class project, the church held its first Back to School Jam in conjunction with FEED THE CHILDREN INTERNATIONAL. Mayor Dixon and other city officials were in attendance. One thousand families were fed and school supplies were given to children. The One Hundred Black Men of Maryland partnered with the church for this outreach.
In June 2008 the West Baltimore Clergy United was formed. It consists of a group of pastors on the west side of Baltimore who understand that the day of ministry in isolation is over. They have combined their resources to meet needs in the western corridor of Baltimore City/County. They are avid supporters of Coppin State University and other area causes. The WBCU is committed to increasing the quality of life for the residents of Baltimore.
Over the past ten years plus God has demonstrated His faithfulness and amazed us over and over again. STCF has grown to a membership of over 2,000 and continues to grow.We have had a wonderful journey thus far and we continue to look to God as our guide, source, and sustenance. As we embark upon the next five years we are excited about the God inspired goals that we will accomplish. We are excited and grateful that God has given us capable members to assist us (Exodus 31:6). God bless you richly!