TRUTH Houston, Missouri City, Texas
Wherever there was a challenge that needed a gospel witness in his community, Stephen Quill was on the forefront of using innovation and creativity to address a human need, to unite a divided community or to address a pressing social issue.
The list is huge. And most of the initiatives he started continue to this day. Some of these initiatives include the Austin Hispanic ministry program, the New Hope Free Clinic, Family Promise for the homeless and many MATRIX experiences.
Quill is also adept at getting others involved. In order to sustain these ministries, congregation and community leaders were needed to serve with their gifts and talents as well. He introduced new ministries and followed through with their visions and commitments, even in the face of initial resistance from people in his congregations and communities.
As one of Quill’s colleagues remarked, “No matter how long it takes or tough the fight, Steve never gives up and always believes that if the cause is right, then God will bring people to see the light.” In all of his ministry, Quill has remained focused on the gospel message. He is well known for his inspiring preaching. In the words of one colleague, “Steve is truly evangelical, in the sense that the table he sets is for all. Steve has been able to keep an open heart and mind for all kinds of people without forgetting that his purpose is to make the gospel known in word and deed.”
Quill finds pleasure not in the success of numbers, but rather the success of communities in meeting the needs of those who have been cast aside, and in authentic relationships honoring differences and unity. Another colleague says, “Steve’s preaching comforts the afflicted and afflicts the comfortable.” In the words of his own bishop, Michael Rinehardt, “Pastor Stephen Quill is a gift to the ELCA.”