The Center at 45 Years

April 2017 – A reflection by Jim Hayes, Executive Director, Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center


6 April 1972. Ring a bell?

That date, 45 years ago, was when the Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center was formally incorporated. How do I know this? One of the first things Ellery Duke (executive director 1976 – 2016) provided me when I arrived in December 2016 was a faded and only slightly tattered copy of the board of directors’ minutes of the first four years of the Center.

It’s a great read, thanks to Glenna Evans, who was the secretary for all those meetings. She has a distinctive voice and wry wit as she captures some of the drama of our first years. The document begins with a thematic “This is Your Life” summary, based on the popular TV show of the day.

Click page to launch a readable version of the Center’s history, “This is Your Life” by Glenna Evans.

I often think of Glenna, of Dr. Ray Martin, our Founder and all the others who have made this mission possible—and vibrant. Reflecting on their efforts inspires gratitude. We had cupcakes at our April staff meeting to commemorate the 45th.  As our 50th anniversary arises on the horizon of our consciousness, I hope that we can put together a quality history of the many great stories of hope and healing that occurred over the decades. We’ll also need to have an appropriate celebration on or around 6 April 2022. Pencil it in!

James E. Hayes, D. Min., M. Div., Executive Director, Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center

Until then, thank you again for the many ways you support us and inspire our mission.



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