Frequently Asked Questions

What is the NBA?

The National Benevolent Association (NBA) is the health and social services general ministry of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).

When was NBA started?

In February 1886, Sarah Matilda Hart Younkin brought together five other women in the basement of a local Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) congregation to pray and consider how they could respond to the needs on their doorsteps and in their communities. Missouri officially granted an organizational charter to "The Benevolent Association of the Christian Church" on March 10, 1887. From these humble beginnings and led by the faithful commitments of many Disciples, the NBA is about "creating communities of compassion and care." This ethos of healing care and faithful service is evident in our name as well. Our benevolent work links acts of kindness and care with a passion for justice.

What is the mission of NBA?

Following God’s call, the National Benevolent Association (NBA) exists to inspire and connect the people and ministries of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), to accompany one another in the creation of communities of compassion and care, and to advocate for the well-being of humanity.

What does NBA do?

In collaborative partnership with local church congregations, regions, and general ministries of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), and Disciples-related direct care providers, NBA initiates, incubates, and connects with ministry partners who are providing direct care to those in need every single day.

What is NBA initiating?

In 2014, we initiated NBA XPLOR, a faith-based, 10-month, congregationally hosted Residency for 21- to 30-year-olds who want to explore lives of care and service. Click here for more details or contact Rev. Bonnie Osei-Frimpong, Director of NBA XPLOR.

How is NBA incubating?

Part of NBA's mission is to partner with and empower new Disciples-related health and social service ministries in order to strengthen and grow their effectiveness and impact. Ministries affiliated with the NBA Incubate Initiative are service providers who are in the early stages of formation and mission. As affiliates, they receive NBA board-approved funding, organizational support, and/or other kinds of assistance. For more information about being part of the NBA Incubate Initiative, click here or contact Rev. Ayanna Johnson Watkins, Director of the NBA Incubate Initiative.

How is NBA connecting Disciples-related health and social service ministries?

We believe that compassionate and caring communities result from a partnership with God and cooperation between individuals, communities, churches, and organizations. The NBA is a catalyst for advocacy, education, and the support of innovative approaches to addressing justice issues. As part of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), we are blessed to have the expertise of health and social service providers who provide direct care in communities every day. Click here to learn more about these ministries or contact Rev. Monica Wedlock Kilpatrick, Director of Connect Ministries.

If I have more questions, who can I contact?

We welcome your questions, ideas, and insights! Send us an email or contact us by phone at (314) 993-9000 ext. 5479. 

A view of the sunset from Marillac Center
XPLOR, STORIES

Creative and Artistic Resistance

October 10, 2017

I recently completed Anti-Racism / Pro-Reconciliation training as part of my marketing and development internship with the NBA. I believed that I knew what to expect, but this time there was an aspect of the training that was new for me.

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Ayanna Johnson Watkins

Director of the NBA Incubate Initiative
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SPECIAL EVENT

Community Building: Ministry-in-Place

November 9, 2017

North Carolina Disciples: Please join NBA staff, trustees, and ministry partners in Charlotte on Thursday, November 9, for dinner and a panel discussion about Disciples health and social service ministries.

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