Christian Services for Children in Alabama Names Rev. Tabitha Isner as Interim Executive Director

The Isner familyThe Isner family

The National Benevolent Association (NBA) of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) celebrates with Christian Services for Children in Alabama (CSCA)as CSCA calls Rev. Tabitha Isner to serve as Interim Executive Director, effective March 1, 2019.

Located in Selma, AL, the mission of CSCA is to show the love of Christ by providing counseling and other related services to children and their families, including therapeutic foster care and family preservation and reunification services. Tabitha joins CSCA upon the retirement of the organization’s first and only Executive Director, Cynthia Stinson, who served with CSCA for 27 years.

“Cynthia Stinson built a solid, credible record of service to those who were served by CSCA. We wish her Godspeed as she leaves to enjoy her new stage of life,” says Lawrence Wofford, CSCA Board Chair. “CSCA is extremely grateful for Rev. Tabitha Isner to take the helm of the ship and steer us through the turbulent waters of transition, so that we can sail more peacefully into the future. We are grateful that God allowed our program and her life to intersect at this time.”

As part of NBA’s leadership and organizational development initiatives, NBA provides administrative and operational support to Disciples-related health and social service ministries. These services include executive search support, accounting, marketing and communications, development, leadership support such as CEO peer groups and executive coaching, and scholarships to professional development conferences and trainings, to name a few.  Over the last three years, NBA has assisted CSCA with accounting services, board development training, and the executive search process. Historic health and social service agencies like CSCA face a real challenge when it comes to times of transition, and the church, through NBA, is present in these times.

The church has always been the place Tabitha felt most fully alive and at home. In her youth, she led the National Youth Council for the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), and that call to lead through service has never ceased. She sees the call to service extending far beyond the walls of any church building. She followed that call by pursuing a Master of Divinity and a Master of Public Policy at the University of Chicago. She was ordained at Iglesia del Pueblo Christian Church in Hammond, IN, as was her husband, Shane, whom she met while in Chicago.

Tabitha worked for nine years in the field of early care and education policy, as a researcher for Child Trends (writing reports for the federal government and for research journals), as a policy analyst for the State of Minnesota (measuring progress and improving processes), and as a business analyst for New World Now (helping other states to use software to make their programs more effective and efficient).

The Isners became foster parents in 2014, in recognition of the many children in need of a safe, loving home. Their very first foster child, Tymari, came into their home at age 5, and God saw fit to make them a family. Tymari was adopted in 2017 at age 8.

The Isners moved to Alabama in 2016 when Shane was called to be the pastor at First Christian Church in Montgomery, AL. Tabitha quickly jumped into community activism and became the 2nd District’s Democratic Nominee for U.S. Congress in 2018. Although her campaign was not successful, her desire to serve the people of Alabama continues, as she moves into this important role with CSCA.

NBA strives to cultivate relationships between Disciples-related health and social service ministries and the broader church. Tabitha will represent CSCA through the 2019-2021 NBA Executive Leaders Peer Group, as part of the next generation of leaders creating communities of compassion and care throughout the life of the church.

“Under Cynthia Stinson’s leadership, CSCA has established a legacy of serving children and families in central Alabama with grace and compassion,” Tabitha says. “I am honored to be tasked with continuing that legacy, ensuring that CSCA is equipped to face new challenges, still driven by our call to show the love of Christ through high-quality services.”

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As the health and social services general ministry of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), the National Benevolent Association partners with congregations, regions, general ministries, and a variety of Disciples-related health and social service providers to create communities of compassion and care. Founded in 1887 by six women responding to the needs of the day and on their doorsteps, for more than 130 years the NBA has continued to serve “the least of these.” Learn more at