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About us

A Bit of History About Vera A. Stephens Christian Ministries


In 1966, Vera A. Stephens, responding to Christ’s Great Commission to “go out and make disciples”, left her hometown of Chicago, Illinois and traveled to Monrovia, Liberia.  There she cultivated her love of Liberia as home and exercised her Christian faith and passion for children’s education, by developing a vision for a children’s boarding school. 


The vision became reality in 1983, in part due to a generous ten-acre land grant by Liberia’s President, William R. Tolbert, Jr., where she founded the Bethesda Christian boarding school.  The goal of the Bethesda School was to educate underserved, often impoverished children and expose them to Christian principles of love and service.


Under God’s grace The Bethesda School thrived and served hundreds of children from 1983.  As a testimony to her faith in God and love of her children, Mother Stephens, at great risk to her life, defied the American Embassy evacuation order, by refusing to leave the school during the violent Liberian civil war from 1989-1995.  Her life inspired many to accept Christ as their Lord and further their educational pursuits, while trusting God to fight the hardest battles. 


Mother Stephens died in Liberia in 1995, leaving a legacy of love, devotion, and commitment to improving the lives of the Liberian children. VASCM is dedicated to pursuing and expanding the vision and work of its founder, Mother Vera A. Stephens.

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Profile of the Missionary Mother Vera A. Stephens, Founder of BCMS

Mother Stephens' vision and burning need to build a boarding school that would provide the educational need and skills training for underprivileged children did not align with the CEF International program vision. Therefore, she had to pursue her inner passion and vision without the organization's support. Convinced that God had called her to build a mission and school for the Liberian children, she appealed to the late President William R. Tolbert, Jr. for land to erect the school and training facility for the underprivileged children of Liberia. President Tolbert, a Gospel Minister, graciously granted Mother Stephens a ten-acre property on the outskirts of the capitol in 1974, which she named Camp Bethesda and single-handedly established the Bethesda Christian Mission School, and classes started on March 7, 1983.

On September 26, 1918, Mother Stephens was born in Chicago, Illinois. She graduated from the Tennyson Elementary and Lucy Flower High School and graduated valedictorian at the Great Lakes Bible School; that same year, the Lord called her to child evangelism in the inner city of Chicago, influencing her to work for Child Evangelism Fellowship. At the tender age of eleven, she accepted the Lord as her personal savior. At age thirteen, she heard the Lord called her to complete dedication in his service, specifically in Africa. Through her dedication to the children, the youth, and the needy, she went on to establish and founded the Calvary Bible Church at 2150 West Madison Street, reaching countless boys and girls for Christ through this work. As one of the CEF area directors in Chicago during a teacher training, Mother Stephens got the divine calling, "Africa Now."

Mother Stephens' dedication to the Lord, passion for serving humanity, and obedience to the Lord's calling transformed many lives in the USA and Africa.

Meet The Team

Rachel V. Stephens

Rachel V. Stephens is the only daughter of Mother Stephens, who has risen to lead the work of continuing the vision and works of her mother. Adopted by Mother Stephens while just ten years old, Rachel traveled to the United States after her mother's death and acquired education, becoming a professional nurse. She heads the administrative running of the ministry and has successfully executed the purchase of fifty-four acres of land within the boundaries of Kakata City, just thirty-five miles from Monrovia, to extend and expand the works of catering to underprivileged Liberian children.

Our Board

Mother Middleton heads the Board of Directors, which is principally responsible for policy directions, fundraising, and ensuring that the founder's vision is pursued successfully. Presently, the Board is comprised of three members: Barbara Middleton, Jerome Nance, and Michael Middleton​.

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