ABOUT FIRMLY PLANTED FAMILY
Firmly Planted Family is a Christ-centered discipleship ministry dedicated to supporting families by equipping them first in their knowledge of the Bible, and second in their relationships at home.
THE HISTORY OF Firmly Planted Family
Firmly Planted started out as a family-based ministry to homeschooling families.
The first Firmly Planted Homeschool Co-op was started in April of 2000 when Emmanuel Baptist Church in Mount Vernon, Washington opened its doors to a homeschool co-op and to the growing homeschool community in Skagit County. At that time, it was known as First Class Homeschool Ministries. First Class Homeschool Ministries began its first year of classes with approximately 50 families and 200 members. The co-op was a ministry of the church where Jay St. John was the Worship Pastor. With the oversight and partnership of that church, the co-op grew to over 250 members.
The original group in Mount Vernon thrived and is still operating today.
First Class Homeschool Ministries grew rapidly, but in 2004 its founders (Jay and Heidi St. John, at right) were called to a new church in Vancouver, Washington. It was there that Heidi began another FCHM co-op, in cooperation with Northside Baptist Church and a wonderful group of parents who shared the vision of an evangelistic homeschool co-op in the Vancouver area.
Shortly thereafter, First Class began to receive calls from parents all over the country who had stumbled across the website and seen that First Class had two co-ops in different areas of the state. The St. Johns, who had been in full-time ministry for 17 years, began to sense the Lord's gently leading into a new field of ministry: homeschooling families.
In 2006, the second location of First Class, First Class Clark County West, became the catalyst for the birth of the national non-profit organization that was known as First Class Homeschool Ministries.
First Class Homeschool Ministries grew, and co-ops we planted all across the United States, and abroad.
AN EXPANDING VISION AND A NEW NAME
A weekly chapel ministry has been part of the structure of Firmly Planted co-ops since it’s first day of classes. Chapel is an important part of the program for all co-op families and includes a devotional time, worship and announcements. It has proven to be an effective tool for evangelism, too. Since 2000, many families have come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ through the chapel ministry of their local Firmly Planted co-op.
It was the fruit of this chapel time, and the increasing need for families to be in the Word that lead us to embark on a new branch of First Class Homeschool Ministries: Firmly Planted. In 2012, the FCHM team began writing a Bible study program for the FCHM co-ops to use during chapel time.
The idea was simple: create one book that could be used by an entire family, regardless of the ages of the children. Jay and Heidi, along with a team of other Bible scholars and pastors, began to write this Bible study, drawing on their experience in parenting their seven children and also their years of ministry and Bible college. Soon, the ministry team at Firmly Planted grew to include two other pastors and Board members: Firmly Planted was taking root.
The Bible study was well received in the homeschool community, and soon FCHM began to receive calls from pastors and parents who were interested in ministering to other families in their churches using Firmly Planted.
The Lord was moving. He was blessing Firmly Planted and clearly leading the ministry team of FCHM to focus more on the Bible study. And so, in early 2013, Firmly Planted Family and Firmly Planted Homeschool Co-ops were born. The name change of the ministry better conveyed the mission of FCHM.
As God continued to lead the Firmly Planted team in new directions, and bless and expand the Firmly Planted Bible Study series, the decision was made to shift the focus of the ministry to equipping families to learn about the Word together.
We are a resource oriented ministry in this respect. Firmly Planted is constantly developing new tools and partnering with like-minded organizations to offer support and encouragement to families.