Picket Fences Divorce Recovery Ministries (PFDRM) began in 2000 as a Yahoogroup by a small group of divorced women who found themselves “shunned” by their local church because of their divorce. As this group grew, it became obvious that there was a distinct need for a non-denominational divorce recovery ministry in the church that catered to women only.
As women joined this Yahoogroup, the stories began pouring in — heartbreaking stories of betrayal, rejection and abuse. From this Yahoogroup, a core group of women formed a Moderator group in 2005, whose initial purpose was to monitor the email generated from Yahoogroup. This Moderator group was dedicated to the vision of supporting and giving hope to women who were dealing with a divorce.
In 2007, PFDRM Inc. began its journey to social media as the PFDRM Social Network began via using a platform created by NING. With the increasing popularity of Facebook, a Picket Fences Facebook group launched in 2009.
In February 2010, we transitioned through an ownership change and a regrouping. This became an exciting year as we watched the hand of God direct this ministry. God sent an amazing group of women with a vision and passion to jump in and help revive the network, which had begun “dying off”. We saw a rapid growth of this network (which now has a membership of nearly 1,000) which solidified the need for a divorce recovery ministry for Christian women. During this time, PFDRM began to develop a mission statement, a statement of faith, ministry parameters and the official PFDRM website (www.picketfences.org ).
In May 2011, PFDRM passed yet another milestone as PFDRM became PFDRM, Inc, and began the process of applying for 501(c)3 status (non-profit, tax exempt corporation). Along with the PFDRM Ministry Team (formerly known as the Moderators), who maintain a presence in the communities to ensure that ministry and support happens, an official Board of Directors was established to maintain the overall functionality of the ministry and to satisfy the legal requirements for a non-profit organization.
During 2012, PFDRM, Inc. expanded by utilizing live telephone conference calls and by making its debut on the Internet Radio world via Blog Talk Radio. Although the PFDRM, Inc. Blog Talk Radio program discontinued in the spring of 2014, according to the site statistics, nearly 50,000 listeners tuned in to one or more broadcast.
In December 2013, PFDRM, Inc. passed a huge milestone when the IRS approved its application to be a tax-exempt 501c3 organization.
The year 2014 not only was the first full year of being a 501c3 tax-exempt non-profit, but it was also a year of huge changes for PFDRM, with the most significant change being combining the Yahoogroups and Ning networks into one central forum. From May -June 2014, the Ministry Team worked tirelessly to move the Yahoogroup and the Ning Social Network communities to a new forum, powered by ProBoards. Also, during 2014,the PFDRM Logo family was introduced (visible on our website, Facebook page, and our forum), option to donate to PFDRM via PayPal or by shopping through Amazon Smile was added to our website, the first-ever real life retreat for Ministry Team members occurred, and a brand-new Facebook page was launched.
In 2015, the PFDRM, Inc Scholarship Program was launched to help provide tuition assistance for women who, due to a divorce, had to return to school to further their education to make themselves more employable. To date, PFDRM, Inc. has awarded several scholarships to our members and plans to continue this program as the Lord provides.
In mid-2016, our third-party chat room vendor suddenly went out of business, so we began searching for a suitable chat room for our Online Community Forum on the ProBoards platform. After months of searching, it became evident that there was no suitable product on the market, so the Board decided to take a huge leap of faith and hire a professional web developer to design a site that would meet our needs using Word Press.
The new PFDRM, Inc. website and Online Community Forum made its debut in March 2017, with plans for continuous improvements and new features
What are the plans for 2017 and beyond?
Plans for PFDRM, Inc. include, but are not limited to the following:
- Written materials available for download
- Training for church leadership to help launch real-life support groups
- Comprehensive Resources section on the website for both men and women
Until divorce ceases to exist, which is unlikely to happen as long as we live on this present Earth, and as long as The Lord allows, PFDRM will continue to be a safe place of non-judgmental comfort and support to women impacted by the outcomes of a divorce and/or separation.