Steve & Janette Karges
Children’s Ministries International, Inc.
Stephen “Steve” Karges is the founder and president of Children’s Ministries International, Inc.
Children’s Ministries International, Inc. is a non-denominational Christian ministry, which Karges founded in 1980. “CMI” is based in San Diego, California.
Known as a “preacher’s kid,” Steve is the fourth and youngest child of Albert and Carolyn Karges. Steve’s parents planted two churches, and his father ministered to ten congregations over 39 years.
Steve was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma on February 15, 1958. The following year, the Karges family moved to southern California, where Steve and his older siblings, Mark, Karen, and Mike were raised.
On June 4, 1967, Steve placed his faith in Christ and received Jesus as his Savior and Lord, and was baptized. He was nine-years-old.
Steve was 15-years-old when his father asked him to lead “Junior Church” for children in their congregation. For the next three years, Karges served as a volunteer and conducted worship services on Sunday mornings for boys and girls (ages 5-12). It was during this time that God planted the seed in his heart for vocational children’s ministry. Steve learned from his own childhood experience that kids could understand and respond to the gospel and follow Jesus for the rest of their lives.
While attending college, Steve served for nearly three years as a part-time youth director at two small San Diego County churches at the same time. As a result, Karges gained valuable ministry experience that would prove helpful in the years ahead.
During his third and final year with the churches, Steve was also a West Coast Associate Director for Christ in Youth, a ministry to teens, then based in Tulsa, Oklahoma. During his brief stint at “CIY,” Karges believed he should narrow his ministry focus and concentrate specifically on children’s ministry. Steve’s faith in God kept growing as he trusted the Lord to meet every need. As a missionary who was required to raise funds for ministry expenses and salary, Karges turned to God and His Word for help; ever since THE LORD HAS FAITHFULLY PROVIDED for every ministry and family need.
Karges graduated from Palomar College in San Marcos, California in 1979. The following year, he was ordained into Christian ministry through the non-denominational Christian Church.
On May 16, 1980, at age 22, Karges founded and incorporated Children’s Ministries International, Inc. as an evangelistic ministry for boys and girls. “CMI” is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization.
“The global mission of Children’s Ministries International, Inc. is to glorify God by equipping leaders within the church to evangelize and disciple boys and girls based on the Authority of Scripture.”
Steve met his future bride, Janette Pullin, in 1981. After Steve shared the gospel with Janette, she received Jesus Christ as her Savior and Lord and was baptized. She was 22-years-old.
A Colorado native born in 1958, “Jannie” is the third and youngest child of Charles and Barbara Pullin. She was raised and attended high school in the small town of Walsenburg, Colorado, along with her older siblings, Jackie and Jim.
Steve and Janette were married on June 25, 1983, at Pomerado Christian Church in Poway, California.
That same year, Janette became Vice President of Children’s Ministries International, Inc. She attended Colorado State University and worked in the financial services industry for several years. Janette also worked on the children’s ministry staff at two churches over 17 years (1994-2012).
Steve and Janette have two grown children, daughter Stephanie (married to Charles Heidbreder), and son, Kevin. They also have one granddaughter (Cora Heidbreder).
Steve and Janette are active members of their local church.
As life-long learners, Steve and Janette continue to study the depths of God’s Word and the Doctrines of Grace under the Bible teaching of John MacArthur, Steven Lawson, and R.C. Sproul.
Since 1980, Steve and Janette have ministered with Children’s Ministries International, Inc. to boys and girls, parents, and children’s ministry leaders worldwide. Some highlights of their ministry include:
- Proclaiming the gospel by preaching and teaching the Word of God
- Defending the Truth and Authority of Scripture in global children’s ministry
- Equipping children’s ministry leaders for service in the church
- Ministering on five continents
- TheTruthTest.org is a resource for children’s ministry leaders that help them assess the readiness of volunteers in the church to teach God’s Word to kids
- Global414Day.com is a worldwide day of prayer for children, churches, and children’s ministry leaders, held annually on April 14 (4/14)
- HeroicDads.com is an online commentary for Christian fathers
- Weekend Kids’ Retreats
- Growing Up with Steve and Kids Korner radio broadcasts
- Children’s Crusades
- Youth Sports Outreach
In 2018, Steve and Janette will celebrate Children’s Ministries International’s 38th year of ministry. Visit cmikids.com for more information.