Purpose Prize

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Larry Hill

The Nehemiah Foundation of Springfield/Clark County
Purpose Prize Fellow 2006

Incubating and supporting ministries to meet community spiritual and physical needs

Over the last 14 years, the divorce rate for Clark County, Ohio has averaged 87%. In 2002, there was one more marriage license than divorce paper filed. When Larry Hill, local business owner and Board Chairman of the Nehemiah Foundation was approached by the local government to wage a “war on divorce,” the immediate and heartfelt response was yes. The “war on divorce” was embraced by the congregational community. Within a 4 month span, 83 churches had committed to the marriage policy. The media in the city embraced the idea as well, making front page news on the policy signing day, September 16, 2004. The Nehemiah Foundation’s recruiting arm, called the Equippers Network, kicked into action on this issue as well. Support services were provided to a group they helped form called the Marriage Resource Center. Mentor couples were recruited and training classes were held. How has the community been impacted over the last 18 months? According to court records, the divorce rate has been reduced by 20% to the lowest on record in the last 15 years. Over the last 6 months, the reduction has been 28%.